I often say to horsemen that once Join-Up is accomplished, we should live by the principles of Join-Up throughout the life of the horse. To explain that statement further, I think it is fair to give the reader two examples: one, the box stall; and the other, an outside enclosure such as a corral, paddock or small field. When you enter a box stall to catch a horse and remove him for riding or handling of any kind, you should use the principles of Join-Up through- out the procedure. If you enter the stall and the horse moves willingly toward you, you should drop your eyes to a point near the horse’s forefeet and turn slightly to a 45-degree angle, thus inviting the horse to come near. At this time you can place the halter on the horse if you choose.
If you enter the stall and the horse is facing away from you and is reluctant to come to you, you should bounce the lead rope on your leg, square up on the horse, look him in the eye, and make moves as if you were trying to drive the horse away from you. Within a few sec- onds, the horse should turn slightly and look at you. With this, you should drop your eyes, turn to a 45-degree angle and invite the horse to turn off the back wall and approach you. If the horse is reluctant, you should repeat the process. If two or three of these episodes hap- pen without the horse joining-up, you should consider returning to the round pen for an- other session. This procedure should be used in the box stall throughout the life of the horse.
In the Field
In an outside enclosure, you should utilize the same procedures as described for the box stall. In the larger enclosure however, you may have to walk some distance to effect the same result. Again, if the horse is not cooperative in two or three attempts, you should return to the round pen for more Join-Up training. Like the box stall, these procedures should be used in out- door enclosures for the entire relationship that you have with the horse. My students often tell me that they believe these Join-Up sessions are even more important than the round pen session.