I did join-up with a friend's horse, Hobby. She is beautiful, with clear blue eyes and a paint coat. (brown and white). It was my first time, and it was amazing. I feel like I have a bond like I have never felt before with another horse. It wasn't her first time doing join-up, and she came to me 2 times before she gave the 4th signal, which is licking and chewing.
Before Join-up, she was a horse very much inside her shell--she didn't feel too great with me touching around her head/neck area. I sensed that. but she didn't bite or anything.
when she started chewing and licking (she had given the other signs: smaller circles, ear locked, and head lowered, already, but I wanted the fourth signal before joining up)
I had the most amazing, humbling feeling, and I turned right away from my aggressive stance. she came to me, and it was wonderful, the trust. Her owner commented that her eyes looked very soft at that moment. I felt that I had reached her. but she was the real hero! I am just excited to be a part.
After follow-up, she followed me on her own will in the round-pen, I could touch Hobby everywhere freely--and she was comfortable! I sensed a total change in her attitude, and she became very affectionate, rubbing her forehead on my shoulder, it was so sweet.
I will certainly never forget my first join up.