The Join Up - Difficulties & Questions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-11-2010, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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The Join Up - Difficulties & Questions

So I firmly believe in this method as I've done it before with several horses but there are a few questions I have.

I just today tried it with Rebel because he's been a bit mistrusting since his recovery. Well, it worked but not exactly what I was going for.

1) So normally the horses I work with will put their heads down and lick and chew. Rebel doesn't chew, he just drags his nose in the dirt. Is it okay to stop if he's not chewing?

2) What if they don't come to you? I turned my back on Rebel and he just stared at me. He started following me when I walked away, but he didn't actually choose to come to me. He wouldn't leave my side after that, which was encouraging for me. Is that acceptable? If not, what should I
do?

Normally my join ups go very smoothly and I feel like I'm Amy in one of those Heartland books. But Rebel is differant than the others....Just want to make sure I didn't screw anything up.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-11-2010, 07:54 AM
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Not sure about the chewing, but as far as coming to you, (and please, others can correct me if I'm wrong) I seem to remember when I was reading Monty Robert's books LONG ago, that he said that some horses don't come to you and then you should walk backwards towards them (keeping the back of your shoulders directed towards them) then stroke them on their forehead and walk off and see if they follow. I could be remembering wrong though! Its been so long since I did Join-Up.

But I remember my mare was the same as Rebel. She would stop and look at me, but if I approached her, stroked her and then walked off, she would follow me so I left it at that.

Sorry I cant be of more help!
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-11-2010, 08:04 AM
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I tend to look for the ear locking on and then 1 or 2 more signs that the horse is really paying attention to me. I don't hold out for all 4 of Monty's signs, because some horses just won't give them to you.

As far as them not coming in to you. When the horse turns in to you and stops without actually coming in, try walking across in front of them in big arcs, on a 45 degree angle to the horse preferably with all your energy dropped. 9 times out of 10 you will pick the horse up on an arc while you are still some distance away and then you can proceed with the horse following you. Otherwise what Munschk posted usually works too.

Gosh I hope that actually made sense

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-11-2010, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the help. I think yesterday was a success, I just wasn't sure what to do if they didn't do everything by the book....But I also didn't see what was wrong with the end result with Rebel because he seemed just like the others after that.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 12:47 AM
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I've heard about approaching a horse and stopping on an angle from it's shoulder. (Approaching semi-head on, but off to the side enough that you're headed for the shoulder so it alleviates the pressure or stress on them). And then they should turn their head toward you or at least lock an ear.. Something that says they acknowledge your presence. And that's a welcome greeting and you're welcome to enter their circle from there. Not sure if you find that alright or not.. just a strange fact that it's more welcoming for them than walking right up.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 09:26 AM
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I actually have a problem, but i feel like i don't need to start a new thread:

My horse keeps changing directions on me during join-up. She'll change directions when i ask, but sometimes she changes when I never expect it- randomly. IS that acceptable? Should i just let her "get away with it" and keep telling her to move forward?

Another question I have:

Is trotting acceptable? Or do they have to be cantering the whole way through?

My horse was abused, and doesn't trust anyone. I think join-up will help me get her into the trailer.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 09:57 AM
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If she changes directions without you asking her too, turn her back the way she was going.

I also accept a trot for a join up, but only if it is my idea, not the horses. If I have asked for a canter and they drop back in to a trot, then you betcha they do that join up at a canter.

Be prepared for a longer session with a horse with an uncertain or troubled past. Be very, VERY aware of your body language. With a sensitive horse even a flick of your eyes at the wrong moment can set you back. Be consistent and don't expect the picture perfect Monty join up at first.

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post #8 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 10:28 AM
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For me its not the actual gait that a horse needs to carry. They just need to get the message. For me, in my head, it goes from "Go" to "Go Away" to "GO AWAY NOW AND FAST". If I tell them to go away now and fast and they just amble away, Ill make my presence bigger by waving my hands and broadening my shoulders.

Sometimes the signals are there they are just so subtle, you can't tell. For a horse that has been abused for him to drop his head 2 inches is a head drop to me. Its a start. Monty has been using his method since dinosaurs roamed the earth. He is an expert. If it takes a while to get a good join up, then it takes a while.

As far as the not chewing thing, be positive that he is not. Some arent outward chewers. They just kind of lightly grind the teeth. Ofcourse you want him to be licking and chewing like a mad man. Some just dont.

Nico would never come to me. I tried the arcs but he just wasnt getting it. Instead, I pick his opposite direction in the round pen, keep my eyes down and my body soft. I walk the rail slowly. One step at a time. He usually will follow and then touch me.

Of all the NH stuff, Montys makes the most sense to me. Always did like him.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 10:30 AM
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Yea, I must stress that any movement the horse makes without your command must be dealt with immediately. Such as them turning away from you and going in a different direction, of if they stop, look at you and turn away, than get after them and make them run/trot some more.

- If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday?
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 12:48 PM
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Should i change the direction back to the way they were going before they changed it? or should i just stress "MOVE"
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