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Monty Roberts Equus Online University
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My Join-Up® Experience

Backing up after Join Up

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Hey All,

I just got a beautiful 5yo mare who is amazing at join up, only issue is whenever I go to walk towards her or move to her side, she backs up so shes about 1metre away from me. I try and correct it by pulling her until she takes a step forward back into position but it seems to be constant? Am I doing something wrong? 
conniemacklill
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Hey back!!
It sounds like you're having a lot of fun with the new mare.
I'm new at the UNI but Monty has  a video that's in his Join Up sessions. It's called My Horse Won't Draw to Me.
He  makes the comment in that video for us all, him included, to look in the mirror each day and say, I'm the problem. He points out that repetition and consistent training will eventually work and also to  check all your moves and body language to make sure you're not doing the wrong thing when she backs up.
 I have 5 horses and believe me, I make mistakes every time I take one to the Round Pen.
But I just keep trying and eventually I figure out that it's me and not the horse.
Also, have you tried using the Dually halter during you're training session. I use it so much, I often forget to bridle my horse and find my self riding with it.
I hope someone with much more experience than me helps you and that you and your new mare work things out.
Bless You
Kicki -- Sweden
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed 400 lessons completed 450 lessons completed 500 lessons completed 550 lessons completed 600 lessons completed
Hi Keela,

I'm sorry I can't tell you right off the bat as I can't see you working with your horse. (Very possibly, I wouldn't be able even if I were! LOL) but we know so far that your horse is trying to tell you something.
Connie is definitely on to something mentioning body language. How are you approaching? Where are your eyes looking? Directly at your horse, at her front feet, in her eye? 
I recently learned from watching French freedom dressage trainer Jean-François Pignon that horses look where they want to be (I am ad-libbing here so maybe not the exact words) So if a horse wants to great another horse it directs attention to its muzzle because that is how they say hello. If a horse stares at the other horse's body, that usually means "go away!" Staring at the ground in front of its fore legs usually means "step back out of my space!" Eyes to the flank means "move that butt or I will nip you!" (Or slap a hand there.)