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My Join-Up® Experience

Go away, go'way, go'way, go'way

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After 40+ years I realized my dream of owning a horse and now I have two. One on each end of the spectrum.1)Isaac,a rescued gelding is all tight nerves-bolt & run. 2)Freeman was raised as a puppy and would be a lap sitter if allowed.I have wanted to do join-up from the moment I first read about it. After constructing a round pen inside an old square pen I planned to join-up with Freeman. First,he destroyed the pen. I rebuilt. Ready to go again, I attempted to send him away. He would not leave my side. I waved my lead rope, waved my arms and made myself appear"big". Freeman looked around to see what I was waving at and stayed by my side. I thought if I ran around the pen with him and then cut to the center, I could keep him going around long enough to get the process working. We ran around the pen-I dropped back and zipped to the center to take my position of authority. I turned around and saw no horse running around the pen. A sniff at my right shoulder told me Free was again at my side. My next bright idea was to cheat! I rolled a tennis ball across the pen in hopes that when he went to investigate I could get him to go around the pen. He went after the ball-stepped on it and squashed it, pooped and came back to my side. I decided we had joined enough for one day. Day two, pen estroyed...will report progress when there is some.


First of all, congratulations on having your dream come true at last! I too have recently had my dream come true also with my beautiful 2 1/2 year old Dales gelding, "Ben", and its just magic! I really enjoyed reading about your join up experience, and its lovely to read about your wonderful bond with Freeman. I think you are both already well joined up without doing anything else and have a wonderful relationship to build upon! I wish you lots of happy times with your two lovely horses!

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This was so cute ccruise. I hadnt laughed this loud for a few days so thanks:-) I agree wtih Rachael- I say you two are joined up alright:-)

Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed

Yep, the sniff at the shoulder could be the join-up. Maybe next time see if he'll do the follow-up....

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was pretty funny

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You just made my day! Very funny because we all can relate to our horses getting the best of us. My first attempt to lung my horse Harley resulted in him standing in the center while I moved around the outside of the circle trying to get him to move. He was lunging me.

Safety first. The horse must first respect you, love comes next. If you can not get your horse to move away from you when asked it's not safe. They are big animals and we are not. What would another horse in the wild do? Add more pressure and discomfort until he moves away. In the wild one horse will ask another to move away with his ears, if that doesn't work he'll lower this head, then bite then kick and gradually add pressure and discomfort until the other moves. Then the dominate horse goes back to eating, the deal is done, no hard feelings, that's just the way the communicate. As soon as he moves away release the pressure. Horses learn on the release of pressure.

Please upload your photo 100 lessons completed

I agree with Kazza, maybe you should try follow-up, it almost seems like your horse already trusts and wants to be with you. You'll definitely figure that out with follow-up

Hello! 100 lessons completed

I am new to this forum. It's so wonderful to hear your story. A few years back we had the same problem with my daughter's horse Dakota. He simply would not go away! We felt that we could get more respect from him if we could get him to go out of our space when we asked. We had to be very persistant and assertive, but we somehow finally got him to go away--but never real fast. So we were able to institute "join-up" with him. It has made it easier to teach him skills like backing from the ground, etc. Also, it was just wonderful to join up with him!

Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed

thank you soo much for sharing this with us, i haven't laughed soo much in ages, and scott when i read the beginning of your reply tears rolled down my face with laughter, as an image popped into my head of you running around the round pen with him standing in the middle watching, after reading the rest of your post it has certainly reminded me of that fact that yes a horse in the wild would indeed "up the pressure" which is where i think i went wrong with a little miniture horse i am trying to work with at the moment,
thank you once again, for this very funny, very informative post
karen and co