How To Do a Join-Up?
I first joined this forum looking for some advice for working with my very dominant gelding, Tonto. Prior to Tonto, I had absolutley no previous experience with Horses, which really impacted my relationship with him. It's been a little less than a year since than and things have been progressing well. In April I rescued a mare named Star who I am now learning to ride on.
While things have been progressing well with Tonto, I would really like to do a join-up with him. I don't have an actual round-pen at the moment, but I do have a temporary one that would work for the time being. My question is how do I do a proper join-up? are there any good join-up videos I could learn from?
This is how I do a join-up:
Bring the horse into the "round pen". Turn him loose and point in the direction you want him to go. With the other hand it's helpful to have a rope or whip with a flag or plastic bag tied to it. I point that at their hindquarters and "flick it" if they start to slow down or if I want them to go faster. I concentrate on staying "behind" their hindquarters. To get them to change direction, I run ahead of them toward the round pen (be sure you're well enough ahead of them) and wave the "flag" at them and point in the other direction until they turn, as soon as they do, I go back to pointing/pointing flag at hindquarters. Make them turn a few times. You'll know they're ready to join up when they start licking/chewing, their ear is turned towards you, and they lower their head. I usually wait until they do all of this then I completely drop everything and stand very still. The horse should slow down, come to a stop, and come into the middle with you. If they don't, send them back out. If they do, walk around and make sure they follow. If they don't follow, send them back out. It may take a few tries. Good luck!
Monty Roberts Join-Up video is amazing! you should watch it! Monty doesnt use any violence when working with horses and it completely amazing to watch! I did join-up with my horse and dont think i did really right cause i dont have a round pen but when i turned my back( like Monty intructs in the video) he came to me! It was a great feeling. and remember when your intructing your horse to move around the ring eyes on eyes tells the horse to go away so when he does join-up with you dont look him in the eye just pat him. For info check out Monty Roberts site www.MontyRoberts.com theres all kinds of great videos on it!
Also make sure they turn into you, not away from you into the pen. You don't want them pointing their hind end at you. To do this when you ask them to turn back up a step, if they show you their feet ask again and again until they turn into you with their front end. If you watch some of Clinton Anderson's videos of flatwork on Youtube he demonstrates it.
my technique is similar but I do it first with a lead line, and I dont let the horse turn away, if he starts I'll jerk his nose around towards me. I also dont run and cut him off. I give him the stop command. pull his nose if he doesnt stop, when stopped I point the opposite direction, back and forth, then STOP and pull him towards me with the lead line using come here command and an exagerated come here hand signal. Then I take off the lead line and do the same thing. Havent done the turn and walk thing to see if he will follow. I will have to add that in next time.
Zip, I am curious to know if you are trying to do all this training without a knowledgeable person as your guide and mentor? It's really hard to do this kind of thing, and the other things that you need to do to train a horse, all by yourself, without guidance. We have to learn from somewhere, and thought a video is nice, a real human teacher cannot be beat.
If Tonto is a dominant horse, then doing "join up" with him incorrectly will not change his attitude toward you. It is his mind that you are trying to change and maybe doing join up well might help, but you have to have a total change there, not just for the 20 minutes or so that join up might take. So, you can do join up, but if in all other respects, nothing in the way you deal with your horse changes, then it's unlikely that just doing join up will create a huge change in your horse. He will probably still continue to be a dominant animal.
I don't mean to sound discouraging, I just don't want you to think that it's some sort of "magic".
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