Monty Roberts Equus Online University
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• Horse Training • Round Pen Lessons • Performance Horses • Join-Up

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My Join-Up® Experience

The Third Time was the Charm!

Hello! 100 lessons completed

Well, we did it! We got Join-Up!
My first time, I got Skipper (my 11 yr old Quarterhorse Mare) to make the 5 loops in one direction, but when I turned her, she just faced the fence and wouldn't move.
The second time, she made all the rotations, turned fine, gave me all the signals, but wouldn'g folow-through. She was more interested in eating some grass!
But, yesterday, our third try, she finally joined up. It wasn't as pretty and smooth as when Monty does it...but it was fantastic! I almost didn't believe it when she followed me! What a rush!

Miriam (Holland&Germany)
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed 400 lessons completed 450 lessons completed 500 lessons completed 550 lessons completed 600 lessons completed 650 lessons completed

Good job! It proofs Monty's theory that horses learn in series of 3, new issues are new in the first lesson, get more familiar in the second and the real learning is done in the third round.
I guess you own the horse for some time already, you've developed a certain routine together, she needed her time to understand that it was something new you asked of her. Give her time to think it over and then maybe do another Join-up later. Passive-learning is very positive if you give them time to let it settle. Watch if you see your relationship with Skipper change, now that she's done the Join-up, or maybe your own attitude, now that your trustlevel has increased. Tell us about your progress, we can all learn from it.

Cavalli Runner
Hello! 100 lessons completed

Thanks. I just got Skipper in the spring of this year. She has been a bit stubborn for me...really trying my nerve! She threw me off once. I rode her for a couple of hours after that, then she tried to buck me off again, but that time I stayed on. But, I have not been back on her since then. Everyone kept telling me I HAD to ride her. But I had lost my nerve. I couldn't even go into the paddock with her. When I touched her, my hands would just shake. I was already familiar with and had done some research on Monty's work. So I spent the summer watching the Univ. videos and doing research on how to overcome my fear. All the while trying to ignore those who were trying to push me to do something I wasn't ready to do, and making the siuation worse. Well, I have learned that my instincts are good! I SLOWLY started to do more and more with Skipper...but always over the fence. While she ate grain out of the bucket, I would pick burrs out of her mane. Then I'd pat her and mess with her ears. Whenever I did something new, she would jump a bit, but then she would settle and let me do it. One day she stuck her head over the fence while I was taking care of the sheep. I went over and petted her, and she started nuzzling me. It was as if she was telling me "Okay, I'm ready to be friends now". That gave me the confidence to start going into the paddock with her. After that, the next time I went to put her halter on her, she stood like a dream and didn't move away from me,as she had always done in the past. This really built my confidence. Then I knew I was ready to try Join-Up and make a new start with her. I kept asking my husband to put a round pen up for me. While my daughter and her family were here, he and my son-in-law put a temporary one up for me.
I plan to do join-up one or two more times before i start doing other ground work with her. I want to teach her to come to the mounting block. I think I will be riding her again in no time.


congrats! it is such a good feeling. it doesn't always have to be pretty, just watch and listen and the horse will show you join-up. i have done it a few times with my horse...even months later when i feel like we need to trust each other again. it helps me live by the principles and and renews our bond. i hope you continue to follow your instincts with Skipper! :)