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My Join-Up® Experience

Join up with an "accent"

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Attended a clinic in NH this past weekend with my 2.5 year old, Nalle. (Some of you may have seen him mentioned here as "Mr. Smartypants".) ;)
The guy holding it - Jan E. - has worked a lot with NH and his methods are a mix of several methods, although Parelli and Monty Roberts stands out a bit more. I'll get back to that.
On Saturday we worked (indoors due to the weather) in rope-halters or Dually (me!) with leadership and learning how to move the legs of the horse and other basic stuff.
On Sunday we went to his place to work in the round coral.
He worked with each horse loose, performed more or less a Join up, and then continued to work with the horses from there to show how they "listened" to his body language and persuade them to communicate with him and accept him as a leader.
It was very interesting to see how differently the horses reacted in there. They all responded, though, and came around more or less.
When it was our turn, I got a laugh out of my boy as he sought me out on the outside of the fence and parked himself there.
But once Jan got his attention, he sort of had to start in the "wrong end" as Nalle immediately waddled in to him and said "here I am". No problems with trust there! *LOL*
As he was a bit sluggish in his responses in general, though, Jan suspected he had some issues with respect instead. But, as it turned out, once Nalle started to communicate, it was more of an issue of him being a bit too comfy. He doesn't see any consequences in not paying attention unless he wanted to. So we worked on getting him to find Jan - or me for that matter - worth listening to.
I had a great time and it was so satisfying to get it confirmed that Nalle and I already have a Join up. What I need to work on is to be more firm with him so he pays better attention, because when he does, he is very responsive and willing to oblige. :) :) :)
Back to Jan's personal philosophy and methods.
I noticed the likeness between him and Monty, and we talked about it for a while. Jan said that while he understood Monty's principle, he didn't like to have the horses run around for quite as long as he does. He preferred to be more "horse" than "predator" in his body language, and not chase away the horse more than another horse would.
It was an interesting pov to me, as in all other respects, the method were just the same - and from what I could tell it worked just as well.
I would have loved to listen to him and Monty discuss it further.
To me the important thing was that although the "dialects" was different, the language of Equus was spoken, and spoken well too.