Horse Join Up

 Join up is a way of getting your horse to trust you as well as establishing yourself as the leader of your own herd. It was first done by people like Monty Roberts and Kelly Marks. Here is a good way showing you how to do it.

1. Get the horse you are planning on doing join up with into a round pen or another small area like that. Make sure that the horse has a head collar is on and that all the other horses are out of sight. If the horse you are doing join up with can see any other horses it may want to be with them and not you.

2. Once you have done these things, go in the round pen with the horse and stand in the middle of the ring. Now, get the horse moving. You can do this in anyway, just don’t harm the horse or traumatize it in the process.

3. Now, you need to keep the horse moving around you in a circle. To do this, square your shoulders and stare hard at the horses wither. This makes you scary and intimidating to the horse. Basically, in horse language, you are saying, Stay away from me! I don’t want you to come close to me!. The horse will pick up on this and keep on moving. If he or she starts to slow down, wave your arms at the horse and resume your aggressive posture.

4. As soon as you have chased the horse away, you must start watching him or her for signs of wanting to be with you. The first is the horses ears. When the horses inside ear becomes focused on you, it is listening to the sound of your voice. This means that the horse is starting to want to come back to you. However, you must not let the horse join you in the centre of the ring yet. Continue to drive him or her away.

5. Once you have seen the first sign, watch for the second. The second sign of join up is the lowering of the horses head. The inside ear should remain focused on you and the horse will lower its head, showing that it is submissive to you. However, you must be assertive and send the horse away again.

6. The horse should now give you the final sign. This is the licking and chewing of the mouth. If the horse really wants to be with you, he or she will begin to make licking and chewing movements with its mouth. When a horse does this, it is saying, I don’t want to run away from you anymore. Please let me be part of your herd. When you see this final sign, drop your aggressive posture and turn around so your dropped shoulder is facing the horse.

7. Now that you are turned away from the the horse, stay like that until you hear the horse come up to stand behind you. When the horse is slightly behind you, begin walking around the round pen. The horse should follow you. Walk around the ring for several minutes. If the horse is still following you after that time, stop, turn to face the horse and pet him or her to tell the horse that it is accepted.

8. After the join up, you should take the horse to his or her stable and give it a gentle grooming. Don’t be alarmed if the horse doesn’t follow you first time off. You may have repeat the sending away process several times before the horse joins up.

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