Monty Roberts Equus Online University
Horse Training Video Instruction Program

Learn all about Equus • Dually Halter • Shy Boy Mustang • Jumping Horses
• Story of a Horse Whisperer • Riding Horsemanship • Dressage Horses • Willing Partners
• Horse Training • Round Pen Lessons • Performance Horses • Join-Up

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My Join-Up® Experience

On the road to join up

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Bought my girl (Hague - Dutch Warmblood/Thoroughbred) in Aug 09 after break from horses for many years due to slipped discs (gardening!). She was aged 12 yrs. She only wanted to be with horses and not humans. She would hide from me in the field, didn't want to be caught and didn't like being touched (especially around her face), groomed, tacked up or ridden, snorted and spooked at everything and her eyes looked kind of defeated. My heart went out to her in her misery. I had her back etc checked and her Atlas was out - she must have had one mighty headache all the time. Had her teeth done, saddle fitter out, did ground work using dually and long line. I follow Monty Roberts work via Intelligent Hormanship (UK)demos - hope to one day afford a course. It has not been a quick fix, but she now meets me at the field gate when she sees me coming, stands like a rock when mounting, loves being groomed and fussed and having her face stroked and her eyes are now so kind and soft. Ridden work is improving all the time and I reward her by getting off her back when she does well. I am hoping to have one of Intelligent Hormanship RAs out sometime this year to show me join up. My cup runneth over and I love her to bits.


Glad that she's doing well now, makes you wonder how many horses are in pain and we just don't notice! I haven't had any formal training, just what I've watched on dvd's, attended a couple of Monty's demo's and read in his books, but I have successfully used join up. I still feel like a total novice at it and don't like people watching me but the fact that it works everytime gives you the confidence to carry on without an instructors help. That's not to say I wouldn't need an RA to help me improve, I would love it if I could afford it! Even better if I could attend a course ;-) It'll be a bit like riding I guess, you know you can ride and do get results but along the way you can develop undesirable habits, which an instructor will pick up on and help you to overcome, giving you better results much more quickly than you could've imagined possible.
Initially I had to make do with a round pen fashioned with electric tape (could've gone wrong I know but luckily my boy had the utmost respect for the tape) now I have access to a 'proper' round pen it makes life easier and safer. Best of luck with your girl and let us know how it goes when you do use join up.

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Thanks Jayne. I agree with you about horses being in pain. I often wonder how many horses out there are just slapped in stronger bits and worked harder because they are "misbehaving" when the horse is trying to tell its rider that it hurts. You are lucky having access to a round pen. I realised a long time ago that I will never be rich in money having a horse, but am rich in so many other ways with one.

Kicki -- Sweden
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Congratulations halfhalt! That is a real sunshine story. Of course her eyes are kind and soft now! :)
It is my firm belief that 90% of all horses that acts up are in pain one way or the other. Or afraid to get hurt.
Sure, some are just of a sly disposition due to bad breeding/upbringing (not necessarily of human origin; the foal can imprint from a "mean" spirited mare ), and others lazy by nature, but if you just look in the right places you will probably find a physical cause.


It's the first thing I look for now if any horse I'm working with is playing up, then if pain is ruled out we go back to basics. I find it really sad to see ridden horses who are clearly uncomfortable in some way but their owners are convinced that they are just taking the mickey and need to be shown who is boss! Just glad there are people out there who are finally seeing the bigger picture :-)