I have been a member of the university since 6 days now, I am quite new to this but I am really willing to learn. I have watched all about Join Up and felt this afternoon (not so) ready to try it.
I am taking care of a horse whose owner doesn't have much time. It is a young (4 year old) Irish Cob gelding. I went to catch him the pasture today for the first time, to grom him. It went well but he was really nervous, his head was hold high, quick steps, short breathing.
And to be honest I was really impressed by him and a bit anxious too.
Her owner is used to dominate him using force and violence (yelling at him, hitting him).
I knew this was not how I wanted to do it, but I was afraid that our current relationship of mistrust wouldn't allow him to stand still the time I groom him.
So I decided that the best thing to do was a Join Up.
I was surprised by how easy it is. The orientation first, then at 2 o'clock the sending away. I watched a lot of it in the lessons, but I always thought it would be stressful for me. It has nothing to do with a freaked out animal running around and a human struggling to control things. It was quite peaceful.
After the 5 lapses in each direction it took 4 more lapses to get all 4 signs. He didn't join up a first, I had to walk a few steps in front of him to cross his axis again, but he came to me eventually. We had only a few meters of follow up, but I am really happy with it.
He was all sweaty, and me too, but we were both relaxed, deeply breathing and walking really calmly. We got to really know each other, we created respect, trust and communication. As we walked out of the pen (in which we spent about 10 minutes only) we were both totally different. I believe that we discovered each other and we discovered ourselves. I couldn't imagine a better way to start to a relationship.
Thank you for reading,