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Refusing to Join Up!! HELP!!

This is a discussion on Refusing to Join Up!! HELP!! within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    06-28-2013, 06:33 PM
I have had success with join up in the past, but it is not the only way to initiate a bond/respect with your horse (and I wouldn't recommend it as the only way). Having said that, its not something that can be learned from reading or watching videos. I had done a ton of research on it when I had my first horse, but when I tried it with her it was the "predator" scenario where she just ran and ran, so I obviously didn't know what I was doing. I then contacted an experienced horse person and learnt from them from watching them work with their horse (so maybe this is an option you could try). I think its essential to understand exactly what's going on and equally important, the timing of it.

For me "join-up" translates to a variety of other methods and situations. My gelding would always walk up to me in the pasture to get caught (once I was in the 20ft range), however the odd time he wouldn't come in. I would ask him to come in and if he chose not to, he had to work. I would immediately take up an aggressive stance and chase him away (and this is in a field). I would also make him turn before he got to the other horses/hay, so he would be trotting around alone. I would then invite him in again and 9/10 times he would happily trot over to be haltered (if he just stood, I would make him move his feet again). This scenario is very much like join-up to me, as he had to choose to come in (he wasn't working super hard or dripping with sweat, he would trot for maybe 2 mins). So I do find merit in the join-up technique (as it is has pressure/release principles, or at least that's how I do it), but you need someone who has experience with it to help you understand how/why to do it. Even though join-up has worked for me, its not the only tool in the toolbelt :)
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    06-28-2013, 08:04 PM
Don't use food to make her come, and don't force join up. Look her in the eyes and make sure they're locked on hers. Take a step back. If she doesn't follow put your hand under her nose. Walk by her side etc.
    06-28-2013, 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by equestrianfriend    
don't use food to make her come, and don't force join up. Look her in the eyes and make sure they're locked on hers. Take a step back. If she doesn't follow put your hand under her nose. Walk by her side etc.
I've found that it really works to look at the part of the horse that you want to move, in this case, the legs. That seems to help them understand.
    06-28-2013, 08:21 PM
I also think joining up is important, and just keep running her until she drops her head and chews. And if even then she doesnt come and follow you send her back out. You may be out there for a long time, but push her. She knows her limits and will have to give in at one point !
Hope I helped, and good luck with her !
    06-29-2013, 01:37 PM
Originally Posted by jaydee    
This sort of breaking technique just explains to me why we have so many poorly educated and badly prepared horses in the world right now - the first months of a horses education are the foundation for the rest of its life and should never be rushed like this.
I will stick with my good old fashioned methods!!!
Amen Jaydee!! That guy in the video is confusing the crap outta that filly. Round pen work is work for the horse not the person. He's making me tired! Lol
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    06-29-2013, 09:30 PM
Round pen work is about moving the horse (pressure) and backing up a few steps (release of pressure). Ask the horse to walk and see if you can angle yourself off her hip (out of kick range) and walk with her. As you walk keep your knees slightly bent and shoulder's square to the direction you are heading. By doing this you are driving her. She may stop but encourage her forward. An alpha horse moves another. When she's done about a circle move your shoulders back and stop. If she stops, step back a few steps to invite her in. If she doesn't come in, move her more only have her trot. Your personal circle can become much smaller. In both instances, match your footfalls to hers. She will pick up on this. After three circles again stop and do as at the walk. Different horses have their own idea of a respectful distance. I have one that's ok with 3' and another with 10'. An important training concept to remember is that a horse needs at least 3 chances to connect the dots when you ask something for the first time. The important thing is that she watches you with both eyes. Ah, when you step back, turn your body a bit so your not squarely facing her and drop your closest to her shoulder a little. Facing her squarely is predatorial.
    06-30-2013, 03:14 AM
I had no issues with joining up with my arabian...i find it useful I have always done it..he was the longest one two hours of work...but he joined up with me in the end..but as others have said..some horses just wont do it..if you can't get the join up within a week...try something else :: shrugs:: just my worthless two cents lol.

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