Monty Roberts Equus Online University
Horse Training Video Instruction Program

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My Join-Up® Experience

is my horse just trying to be lazy or joining up by skipping other lessons


When working in the round pen I usually have my horse Whoa and then I turn and he joins up nicely. Now he has stopped the practice of coming to a stop when I try to Whoa him and directly joins with me. I am not sure if he is not paying attention to my body language and verbal use of the word Whoa or he is anticipating the join up so just does it now automatically. I question this as a safety issue?


I think this is a reason why monty only likes to join up with a horse max 6 times... they are smart and hate having the same conversation over and over.

julie m.
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed


A couple of comments, which I hope will be helpful: one is that J-U is a non-verbal communication, using only the language of Equus (see From My Hands to Yours). The whoa command isn't necessary and shouldn't be used in J-U, as you don't want your horse to confuse whoa (meaning stop) with whoa (meaning come here). Your horse has now figured out that when you say whoa, he's supposed to come to you, by the sounds of it.

So, I do agree with C. Grant's comment about your horse having the same conversation over and over. Yours has this one figured out and has anticipated what you want by coming to you when you say whoa.

As for it being a safety issue, it potentially could be as you inadvertently have trained your horse to do something other than stop when you say whoa. I would suggest you do some retraining of the whoa command on the ground, where you walk and say whoa as you stop, so the horse gets that clear again. Same in the saddle at a walk, until you are sure there is no confusion.
Good luck!