Resisting Join Up - Page 4

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Resisting Join Up

This is a discussion on Resisting Join Up within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    05-22-2013, 12:55 PM
Super Moderator
I've done similar work with Looby for probably similar reasons. I started her on the lunge and taught her to obey verbal commands with as little force as possible as she was so afraid of people (she still wont allow strangers near her) I'm sure she would have seen me 'sending her away' as aggression so I moved from the lunge to free work still using the same commands so when I want her to 'go away' all I have to do is ask her to 'walk on' and off she goes. When I ask her to whoa she stands until I either walk to her or I ask her to come to me by saying 'come on then' and she'll then follow me around or stand and wait to be called on again - always a cookie for reward.
I know some people refuse to use them but I don't see a problem as long as the horse is polite and doesn't mug you - and even correcting that habit is another training experience
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    05-22-2013, 01:02 PM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by Sahara    
I don't like even calling this exercise "join up". It implies all sorts of things, none of which I am particularly concerned with. Treats completely defeat the purpose of this exercise, too. The point is to get the horse moving in the direction you want when it is focused on everything else around it except for you. It is great for untouched horses that are loose in the round pen. Your body language tells the horse what to do at a relatively safe distance. When you draw the horse in by backing away, it should yield the hindquarter away from you and step into your direction. Lots of different things are happening during this exercise:

1) you are establishing yourself as the leader
2) the horse is learning that he isn't in charge
3) life is peaceful when you respect the leader
4) disengaging the hindquarters relieves the stiffness and brace in the horse.

Yes, there are several different ways to achieve the same thing. Not everyone CAN do this with their horse effectively because it takes a ton of self awareness and perfect timing and feel. But, what doesn't when it comes to horses!
Its not customary in the UK to take an untouched horse into a ménage or roundpen (we don't use that term traditionally)
A horse normally starts its education in a stable where it learns how to be handled, groomed, etc and then taught to lead and will already be used to being caught and handled well before it does anything else in its training.
We used to buy untouched ponies off the New Forest and they were always treated this way and when sold on were quiet sensible children's riding ponies
    05-22-2013, 01:31 PM
Thank you all so much. I'm learning a lot and really appreciate it. I used this same technique with a previous horse and had great luck so I thought I would try the same with her. She is quite a different horse though and I didn't take that into consideration as much as I should have. Her groundwork is pretty good for a 3 year old. She does need lead work and work with being tied. It's been extremely wet here so I am limited on the training I can do. We're stuck working in the barn. I guess as always patience is the key.
    05-22-2013, 03:03 PM
Try backing away a few steps. Horses are inclined to follow that which moves away.
EvilHorseOfDoom likes this.
    05-22-2013, 10:10 PM
My gelding is the same way. Will NOT come to me, BUT if I walk up to him and then walk away, he is right there with me. I haven't figured it out, but even after a long LOOOOHOOOHONG time in the round pen, he wont do it. Your horse might not. Ever. Does it follow you if you walk up to it?
    05-23-2013, 01:19 AM
This is funny because when I get off my horse I like my horse to stay where I asked him to and not follow me
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    05-23-2013, 03:02 AM
I just quickly read the thread, not in detail so if someone has mentioned this sorry.
What I like to do is, right from the start this join up stuff I guess, though I have never called it that, don’t really think about it in the kinds of terms discussed either. But Ill relate generally how I go through it.
1) Don’t use a round yard, one with corners is better. Go in the yard and see what the horse does, if it is reasonably comfortable with you you can start. If its climbing out of the yard, cool it and just let it relax with you in the yard with it.
2) If the horse is reasonably calm, use a whip or something, (I use a stick, like a coach whip with the lash cut down with a plastic bag, or a stock whip, or a bit of Polly pipe with a feed bag stuck to it. Depending on the situation) get the horse moving, and see if it will bury its head in a corner looking for a way out, that way they HAVE to come round to you to get out.
3) At first, as soon as the horse gives any face to you back off and ignore it. Just let it do whatever it wants for a while.
4) Once its reasonably relaxed, repeat process. As soon as that horse turns to you even a little, even if it’s an accident, back off.
5) As this happens the horse, provided it isn’t a moron (some are) will begin to see a correlation between it coming in your direction and you backing off. And it will start to actively pay attention to you, even if for a second (the smart ones do this real fast, you have to be observant enough to catch it).
6) Once you have it putting an ear and or an eye to you consistently then you can ask for more, like a turn of the face, then eventually a movement of a foot, eventually it will follow you around.
That’s the fairly standard way. The problem is some horses are really pretty smart and figure out what you are doing and will get stubborn, that’s when you have to get innovative. You can use a bit more pressure to get them moving, like a stock whip, rather than a stick with a bag, and that doesn’t necessarily mean hitting them with the thing. But my recommendations, from what you wrote, would be see how sensitive you are to the horse giving you what you want, and perhaps try a square yard, about 5 or 6 meters squared is a good size. That’s roughly what I do anyway, I always start out with a fairly standard approach (like above) and tailor it depending on what the horse is doing.
CatrinaB87 likes this.
    05-23-2013, 03:12 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Crossescowgirl    
This is funny because when I get off my horse I like my horse to stay where I asked him to and not follow me
Posted via Mobile Device
Agreed. In most conventional training, horse moving after dismount is a noooo nooooo.
    05-23-2013, 03:14 AM
Originally Posted by Crossescowgirl    
This is funny because when I get off my horse I like my horse to stay where I asked him to and not follow me
Posted via Mobile Device
Depends what you're doing or using your horse for.
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    05-23-2013, 09:53 AM
Super Moderator
This is where you have to decide what you're using the round pen (or one with corners as in a normal ménage) for
If your horse is already easy to catch and used to being handled then I see no purpose in 'join up' but you can still use loose work to reinforce basic education
For the following and standing then your horse should be trained to only do this to commands - using whatever cues you prefer so for eg when I dismount a tell my horses to 'stand' and they should remain there until I ask them to either 'come to me' or 'walk on'
There is a real risk that people will use the round pen in the 'predator/prey' approach which involves wearing the horse out until its either to exhausted or too bored to continue so admits defeat - but defeat is never a willing action

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