Is join up possible?
I would like to try joining up with my new boy, but he is only allowed to walk, with brief trotting.
Is there some way I can still do a join up with him, or will I have to wait until spring when he'll be able to go full out??
Join up can be quite stressful on horses legs as they are trotting/cantering for quite a long time without stopping. Spend time with him, grooming and building his trust in you. This will also make him more likely to join up quickly come spring time cz he already trusts you
People have different ideas of joining I guess. To me it shouldn't be stressful on the horse, just let it know you're displeased. I just did it again last Sunday with my mare who has recently moved to a new facility. It was cool enough to finally check her new saddle and do some ground work. She was an angel while I was doing her groundwork, then I tied the rope halter lead up so she couldn't trip on it while she grazed, so I could take some new pics of her. Put the camera back, and went to get her and she did the amble/angle on me, LOL. I took a step toward her shoulder, she took a step away. I took a step forward she took a step forward. (The arena doesn't have a gate) after a few steps like this I ran her away from me. Like the alpha would do in a herd for bad behavior. O got my stuff in the arena and headed to the barn and she came trotting up to me but of course she wanted her saddle off, LOL so I ran her off again. She went to the fence where the herd was, on the other side, and I went there and ran her away from the herd. Now doing this you face them full on. After that time I turned sideways to let her know she could come back. And she did.
I've gotten the idea here that some people consider joining be done in a round pen or an arena and you keep the horse running, and making it change directions for a long time and when you stop the come up to you and follow you every where. I've never wanted that and never done it that way. I want her to stand still when I walk out with her halter to get her, or like in the arena that day. I don't want her following me around all the time, LOL, there's 6 in her little herd, and when I go in where they are, they all wanna follow me anyway. Anyway the type I describe can be done at a trot, and isn't stressful, just letting your horse know he doesn't want to run away from you.
Also the grooming was a great idea. When I first got my mare, she'd been abused and I used to mosey her (halter and lead around the farm eating the grass on the outside of the pastures. I always took my massage brush in my back pocket and brushed her while she ate.
No stall rest, but I can only work him at a walk and brief trot. I'm just doing ground work right now as he's very green.
Put him in a pen, grab a chair and good book and just hang out with him. The idea is to pay no attention to him, no agenda in your mind. He may get nosey and come check you out. Ignore him unless you feel he's getting pushy. Back him away as tho shooing chickens, move your chair a little further away and resume reading. He's developing a sense of you so this is important time.
I think you've gotten some very good advice here from everyone. When you have a unique opportunity to be able to start a bond with your horse that doesn't require 'work' per se, but a chance for him to get to know you in a non threatening way don't throw it away. I don't know the circumstances of why he can only walk and trot some, but like most everyone has said, you can do some very important work right now with him on bonding/joining/whatever without round pens etc. I love saddlebag's idea of a book and a chair. I used the mounting block to sit on when I was just 'being' in the arena with my horse, and had my mp3. That BO had all kind of things in the arena, was a big PP person, so there was a big ball, a step thingy for the horses, don't know why I'm trying to say but they walk on it with their front legs and stand there. My mare seemed to love that, stretched her back or something. Sometimes I'd ignore her and go play with the ball, lying on it to stretch MY back, LOL. She soon followed where I went, might not be head on shoulder but watching me and seeing these weren't monsters. Sometimes I'd clean up the arena for the BO and she saw the wheelbarrow, shovel, pitch fork, etc. She was very 'jumpy' when I got her, and considered everything a predator, especially humans. She'd actually had some pretty awful owners, not by design but through ignorance.
Thank you all for the wonderful replies. I'm sorry I didn't fully explain his situation- thought I did in my last post, but must have been having brain farts that day lol).
He is restricted due to tendon injuries in the spring. The injuries are healed, but I am reconditioning him very slowely to make sure I do not reinjure his legs.
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Good for You!!!!!!
good advice on here all around, good on you for taking it slow!!
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