Trying the Join up?

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Trying the Join up?

This is a discussion on Trying the Join up? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse wont follow in round yard
  • Buck brannaman round pen or line lunging

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    09-29-2012, 02:23 AM
Trying the Join up?

Hi guys,
So I've been working with my 5 y/o quarter horse, and I was interested in trying to join up with him. I watched a Monty Roberts video about doing the join up, and I though it was really neat.

Here's the video:

I've been lunging Jake and trying to get him to drop his head and what not, but he just doesn't seem to get it.. :P I lunged him today for about 15 mins, and I got him to watch me with the one ear, lower his head (some), and start chewing... But after I turned my back to him for a bit, I turned around to him standing where he stopped and giving me a look like "whaaaa??" :P

I think I might be having trouble because I don't have a round pen, so I've just been keeping him on a lunge line, which kind of defeats the purpose of driving him away... but I'm not sure. :P

I really like natural horsemanship, I think it's pretty neat. I have a Clint Anderson book that I started reading a while ago, but with our recent move it's still in one of the boxes I haven't unpacked yet... I'm a big fan of Buck Brannaman, especially after watching his bio. :) I haven't really heard much about Parelli... And I, of course, really enjoy the Monty Roberts stuff. :) I think it would be cool to have a successful join up with my horse.

Anyways, what do you guys think about this?
Have any of you had a successful join up?
Any other things you think I should try?
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    09-29-2012, 04:41 PM
Bumpity bump bump :)
    10-13-2012, 01:01 PM
Bump? Lol
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    10-13-2012, 06:55 PM
Bump his face to the inside, teaches him to bend his neck and face you, then when your ready to stop you can either take a step forward bend over and pull the lead rope to your belly button to get him to face you or slack the rope and when he stops pull him into you to teach him it's okay to be in your personal bubble :)
    10-13-2012, 07:02 PM
When he stops to face you try taking a step or 2 back ( away), this should encourage him to come to you. Also don't look him in the eye. It will come, some horses take longer than others. When he does eventually join up try turning and walking away, I bet he will follow.
I have mostly only done it without a line, so you will have to watch he doesn't get tangled.
    10-13-2012, 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by Spotted    
When he stops to face you try taking a step or 2 back ( away), this should encourage him to come to you. Also don't look him in the eye. It will come, some horses take longer than others. When he does eventually join up try turning and walking away, I bet he will follow.
I have mostly only done it without a line, so you will have to watch he doesn't get tangled.
Haha! This happens with my horse every time I longe him! Haha! He pretty much peanut rolls around in circles, licking and chewing and went I let him off the longe to go and roll he won't quit following me around the arena!!! Haha I thought he was peanut rolling because he was checking out some turf to roll in!

Ya learn something new everyday!!!!!
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    10-13-2012, 07:15 PM
Yup! Its like having an invisble lead line.
    10-13-2012, 07:23 PM
Thanks! Haha
    10-14-2012, 12:17 PM
My horses won't move if the line is on the ground. If you're in a round pen, remove the line. Ask the horse to walk, doing 4 or 5 turnbacks then move to the center with your head lowered a bit, facing away. Don't even think about him. Give him a minute. If he doesn't approach, repeat the above. Don't worry too much if he won't join up, it's not a big deal and the younger ones are faster to make that connect than the older ones.
    10-15-2012, 11:53 AM
The real whole purpose of Join up is to do it at liberty (horse loose) so that the choice to come spend time with you and "Join Up" is made by the horse. If you have to do it on a lunge line you can get some of the same effect but it is not as strong a process as at liberty. One of my horses had learned to lunge in a roundpen and was punished for joining up. For them it was a tiring out exercise only so he was driven away anytime he tried to come in. So I taught him the concept on a line and then reinforced and strengthened it in the RP.

I personally like to watch Monty Roberts join up (and Buck Branamans too) as it is subtle and seems kind of mystical but learning it takes a tremendous amount of time and learning to watch and give very subtle clues. Cool to watch, hard to learn. I got much better results, particularly early on by using Clinton Anderson's method along with some stuff from Ken McNabb and Chris Cox. These methods are more about establishing leadership (as opposed to partnership) and in the end does the same thing as it creates a stiuation where the horse craves being with you.

The big secret to remember is that away from you is work and exile (being driven out of the herd, being made to work hard) and with you is rest and safety. That is the basic principles of join up, hooking on etc. It doesn't really matter what you call it all the good natural horsemanship trainers have it and it all works. Find the process that works for you and your horse. Get another horse? May have to slightly change your process. Do this over and over and you will develop your own style.

If you don't have a RP and your horse is fairly calm and workable, you can set up a roundpen in a pasture using posts and electric wire. Espcially if your horse is used to being fenced in by electric wire. The nice thing here is it makes it portable and you can vary the terrain that you RP on. Just make sure it is not a horse that freaks if pushed to hard as they can run right through it and either get hurt or step you back in your process. Good luck and let us know how it goes.


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