I watched all the join up lessons for weeks. I practiced without a horse in the round pen several times. I did my first join up on my most agreeable horse. It worked....kind of. When I got to the part where I needed to see all 4 actions ( ear bent to me, smaller circle, head down, lick and chew) I only really got the ear and the smaller circle. She was relaxed with her head in line with her body but no lower. Her circle got smaller and she kept wanting to come in to me. I kept her going around waiting for the head lower and licking and chewing. I suppose we went around an extra 5 times slow and relaxed but I never got the licking and chewing. I decided to do the last part of join up and cross over putting my shoulder at 45. She stood there for a moment and I heard all sorts of licking and chewing and then she came to me. I praised her with the
My Join-Up® Experience
My first join up-suggestion
Monty and You...
Subscribe to Equus Online University and become a part of Monty's worldwide mission to leave the world a better place for horses and for people too.
Students automatically gain access to special rewards, such as exclusive discounts at the Monty Roberts Online Shop. Visit Monty Roberts Online Shop.
Sorry, hit the wrong button, here is the rest: I praised her with the head rub, she then did follow up, I praised her again and we quit for the day. So hear is my question: Was I successful? Should I have kept her going around until I saw the licking and chewing? Thanks for any suggestions you can provide.
Congratulation!! You were successful because she did join up with you and followed you.
You won't always see the four signs in the same order, and some times the horse won't lick and chew until they are coming to you. Each horse is different, so pat yourself on the back cause you have done a great job :-)
Don't worry! You are - as all of us- not yet the world expert of Join-Up. Just continue until you will get more experience.
Hi, when I first joined the Uni i thought that every Join-up should be as Monty does them, school examples - with all four signs usually one after an other in order, like Monty explaines in From My hands to yours. Then, I went to Hungary to Monty's Certified Instructor Kata Pataky (she is absolutely GREAT) and I did 3-4 Join-ups, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM was DIFFERENT! The most important thing is the comunication, horse's willing to joinup with you! You don't have to get the school example of Join-up :)
Thank you for taking the time to respond. It sounds like I am on the right track!
Hi, gratz on your successful join up! You certainly gave yourself an advantage by actually practising beforehand, that's great! Mustang.girl is exactly right- each join up is unique, some very much so! I did 3 difficult join ups yesterday and thought I should share them with everyone :)
At the stables where I have my horses there is a lovely sandy round yard. A friend of mine takes her horses into this round yard every day and "free lunges" them. This has been a daily routine for over a year. She will put the horse in the yard, stand in the middle with a whip in her hand, and ask the horses to run around to exercise themselves. As she does this I or another friend might stand there and talk to her. After a few minutes of running around the horse will start to walk around, and my friend will inevitably be facing the gate talking to someone (she loves to chat!), not paying attention to the horse by this stage. If the horse starts to come in, slows down or asks to come in (drops its head eg), she will shoo it away and tell it to exercise itself some more. If she is so distracted by her conversation and suddenly realises that the horse is standing right behind her, she will also shoo it away and tell it to keep walking.
As an observer who can "speak" a smattering of Equus, this interaction is quite comical. I have also observed the horse learning to speak "human", as they all do because they are so intelligent! Rarely do they now ask to come in because they know the answer will be no. It is almost automatic now- they think "OK, here we go, exercise time, I have to go around this yard until the human comes to me with the lead rope".
I have mentioned a little bit about natural horsemanship methods to my friend but she is determindly uninterested. Yesterday though, I asked her if I could "free lunge" her horses and she said sure whatever, the more exercise the better lol. Of course my intention was to join up, and I did it when she wasn't there!
As you can all imagine, it was SO difficult! They all took off instantly and their adrenaline was high. I didn't need to throw the long line, and I even decided to do the join up without it so I dropped it on the ground. I did this because I figured that it was going to be hard to get them to come in and if I had no rope or whip in my hands I might make it easier for myself.
Monty says that it shouldn't take more than a few minutes, but after maybe one or 2 minutes of cantering then trotting, I would have had them walking around for another 10-15 minutes. I wanted to share this experience in case someone else is experiencing similar difficulties. I made a judgment call that- because of the way that these horses have been "exercised"- this join up was going to have to be extremely different. The main thing was to make sure that they did not become stressed, so the whole thing was pretty much done at a walk.
So after I got them to calm down and walk (which I just had to do by standing still in the middle and waiting) I keep my eye on theirs, body language open and waited patiently for signs. There were none for what seemed like an eternity, but eventually circles got smaller and heads dropped. As soon as I saw a tongue flicker out I instantly stopped and turned my back and they came in. Actually... I think one pony never put his tongue out but I accepted his head being lowered. Basically what I was looking for was a request from them, of any kind. Only after that request has been given can I answer it, and that process needs to happen in order to join up.
They didn't step all the way towards me, I suppose because they weren't sure if they were going to get sent away again if they did, so I "helped" them by walking in arcs towards them. Follow up was pretty solid. It was interesting though that as they were going around I didn't really get a good ear lock. I put this down to them possibly thinking that they already knew this drill, they didn't need me to tell them what to do- they did it every day so they were kind of 'zoned out'.
As I was doing follow up with the mare, she stepped away from me. I instantly turned my head and looked her in the eye and she just flew off! I wasn't expecting such a reaction! She high trotted around, violently tossing her head, which apparently means "I'm sorry I made a mistake!" She did this for a full revolution and then the head quickly dropped and she started licking & chewing. It had taken me 15 mintues to get that from her the first time, but now that she realised that I 'got' her & that she didn't have to speak human, the communication just came in torrents! So she apologised, asked to come back and I quickly let her and we were cool :D
It was a lovely experience, extremely educational, and I just had to share it!
Wow! Great! I had same problems with a horse who "speaks human" because he doesn't pay attention on my body language... It's great when they finally realize that we speak Equus :)
I'll tell you the experience I had with some join-ups I did...
First join-up I did was excatly like monty describes propper Joinup! All for signs at the propper time, join up "like it should be" - couple of days ago the same horse was in the field and I decided to check my body language. Well, I guess I did a good job because he joined up with me from trot! And stopped near me :)
Monty is a very good teacher and gives exact details how to do Join-Up. But obviously there are big differencies between individual horses. I can tell you of a "nervous" horse doing show-jumping. He was so full of energy that he cantered around me for about ten minutes. Next day he was much calmer.
Hi eternal_student I was interested to read your account of your join up but I was a little confused when reading it. Did you try to do join up with the three horses all together? This was the impression I had when reading your comment or am I missing something? I think it would be very difficult if not impossible to join up with three horses at one time as join up is specifically one to one from my understanding of it.
Oh! Lol no, I did them one at a time! Haha, yes I reckon that would be pretty tricky!