Monty Roberts Equus Online University
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My Join-Up® Experience

Freeman and I try, again

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I decided to give Freeman another try at join-up, after our less than stellar initial attempt. This time I did get him to go around the pen, altough I think he thought it was a game and quickly tired of it. So I ran to his hip waving my long line and he moved away around the pen. However, to keep him moving, I had to run around the pen as enforcer or encourager (not sure which). I am at a certain age that jogging around a 60'pen swinging a rope over my head, making kiss noises and breathing is a tad bit like exercise. Do you know how long a long-legged quarter horse can jog around a 60'pen without getting winded? I think it's four days, but we quit after 25 minutes. I swore I saw a lick or maybe a chew and his head bobbed part way down once or twice. With all these pseudo-clear signs, I dropped my arms (of lead at this point) did my 45 degree stance..could have been 46-47. I tried to breath calmly without blacking out, as oxygen was at a premium. I movement into my sightline. Then I heard a grunt and sounds of activity and got excited it was all working. I had to turn abit to see my great success story, which I did as it rolled in a patch of muddy dirt! After Freemen got up and shook, I think he gave me a dirty look. He walked over to me and rubbed his nose on my shoulder and turned his rump to me and went to the gate to be let out. The entire afternoon, when I walked in his direction, Freeman turned his back on me. Do horses pout? And, do I need to try this again? I'm not sure our relationship can take it!

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You are so funny. I cant read your entry with a straight face. Have you considered keeping a journal and publishing it? I am not joking you, these are hilarious. Every night I check the forum for your entry or shall is say another healthy laugh!!
Should you try again, I say yes only so we can read more of your entries:-) Good luck and why dont you send us your pic with Freeman so we can have a good visual too:-)

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I just left a comment on your Nov blog about adding more pressure. You are a gifted communicator for sure. It seems to me you have a big spoiled kid on your hands. Children may love their parents but we all know how they turn out if there is not enough discipline involved! Did your parents ever spank you? Did you get over it without trauma? I would use the end of the lead line and ask the horse to more by tapping the air, then the ground, then the rump if needed. As light as possible but as firm as necessary to get the job done. You need to establish respect as a leader. Respect, trust, leadership. Good luck.

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What I would do to ask for more speed, which I have to do with my stubborn mare, is to cask out the line towards the horse's rump. Make sure you hold the shank part in your hand so that you don't hurt yourself and your horse. If you have a long line with a stopper on the end, make sure you don't cast it out too far because you don't want that hitting your horse. You will have to walk in a circle so that the line lands directly behind/beside the horse. Also what I do if the horse refuses to increase their speed, I might stomp or hit my boot real hard to make a loud noise, I even say "yhaw" (not "yehaw"). Your horse also might think that you joking because you look so funny. So try your best to stay calm, cool, and collected. Keep eyes on eyes, shoulders almost square, and every now ans then you can lift your hand (The same arm that the horse is going: left arm with left lead) and open your fingers and make the motion of pushing the air like Monty. Remember you want the horse to form a trust (like scott said) and maybe not exactly leadership, but more partnership than anything. Hope that helps!
P.S. If your horse roles, I would square up and send him away, not a little but a lot, and communicate that the action he took was not acceptable. Maybe then he will realize that you really mean what you're saying and then he will elect you the chairmen of the meeting.