and it said ...."If you don't know what join-up is... It is basically taking your horse
into a round pen and chasing them away from you with a rope... Make sure
they are always at a run and change directions every 10 minutes or
so.... You will know your horse is ready to listen when they show on of
three signs of submission.... 1. Suddenly stopping and facing you 2.
Chewing 3. One ear is always pointed toward you... When your horse shows
you one of these signs, turn your back to them... They should walk-up
to you and either nudge you on the back or put there head over your
shoulder... At this point you need to give them a treat and a little
rest... Then walk away... They should follow...If they don't you need to
run them some more... It is important to have lots of time to do this, you should not be
rushing it... If it has been a long time and your horses is exhausted
and sweat, but still hasn't given in .... Give them a rest and try again
later in the day or the next day... Also, if you don't have a round pen available to you... you can use a
riding arena... You just need to take some boards or sheets of wood and
block off the corners, so that your horse cannot corner himself and make
it hard for you to chase him/her... Hope this helps!!! If you need more information you can just google it or watch a video of it on youtube....
****** One important thing to know!!! YOU SHOULD NEVER HIT YOUR HORSE
DURING THIS EXERCISE!! IT IS A NONE VIOLENT METHOD OF TRAINING, AND YOU
WILL LOSE YOUR HORSES RESPECT IF YOU HIT THEM!!"
I am not trying to be mean to the person that wrote this, I am just using her description for what join-up is, simply because I think that this is the way most people do it.
My question to you all is; do you think this is a good thing to do with horses? If so, why? if not, why?
I've been reading this thread with great interest, and have wanted to respond a number of times, but I'd end up writing a novel :o)
The licking and chewing subject is interesting as well. Not only does Monty look for it, but so do the Parellis. When I was taking Parelli lessons, if I asked my horse to do something I was encouraged to wait until the horse started to lick a chew...a sign that the horse was digesting the information and "getting it". Then you moved on to the next task (or game, whatever the case may be). So these quotes would indicate that that is not the correct interpretation. Hmmm...very interesting indeed.
I have recently had an "awakening". Some may wonder what took me so long, but we all catch on at our own pace. Anyway, I realized a short time ago that I can be told what to do with my horse, and I can read about what to do with my horse, but unfortunately, my horse hasn't read those books or been told how she's "supposed" to respond. I find all the info I've soaked up to be extremely helpful, but the realization I had was that I had to quit trying to hard to mimic other people, and just concentrate on what I was doing and how my horse was responding to me. So I've been experimenting with my body language to see how my horse responds to what I do. If we are both calm and she gives me the response that I was looking for, why should I try to change it to look exactly like someone else? This is between my horse and me, and that fact finally dawned on me. I can't pretend to be anyone else, so why should I try? I found out that my mare responds positively to some really subtle movements of mine, so why mess with that? I still have a loooooong way to go in many other areas, and I will continue to read and watch trainers and see if I can figure out what I'm doing wrong...but I don't have to imitate them to death. That takes pressure off me and helps me relax. I feel free :o) Sorry for going off on a tangent. Hope I'm not way off topic.
how sad......"( if this is true and I don't doubt it for a minute, that is sad sad sad that they are licking and chewing and stressed..... when we are interpreting it as something else entirely.... after reading this I did go outside Ellen with my horses to ask them which it was..... were they stressed or releasing stress.... and I just hung around with them and watched when did they lick and chew...... very interesting for sure and thank you for brining it to our attention and for documenting your theory with these behavoirists findings.. so so interesting...
So Ellen, when you have time... will you let us know what you think the horse does when he gets the information?
I remember when I watched a video tape of Chris Irwins and he demonstrated what a person does that bullies their horse.... and I had no intention of bullying my horse but I was..... I think I cried for a few minutes, felt really bad about my lack of education and then trudged on...... made sure he never lifted his head high which was Chris theory of adrenaline rush... practiced and practiced... I've been practicing calming signals too.. now this theory of not wanting your horse to lick and chew...
but honestly, my horses are in my opinion not stressed.... in my own body I don't feel nor do I try and carry stress... but the second my horses see me they lick and chew.... geez, your theory would indicate that the second they laid eyes on me I stress them out... me, the person that is trying so hard to be the calm calmer.....
I must say what Jennifer says here is more how things look to me as I've observed and interacted with horses.
I still believe the more commonly understood idea is more logical .JIMO I have just seen it so many times when a horse is trying to do something new & finally figures it out and right away they start licking and chewing & seeming very contented and relaxed.
I am soon off to another clinic again, so my timing in this thread is not very good. I just wanted to point out that the licking and chewing thing I wrote about is written in a context, it doesn't always indicate stress. I looked at what I wrote and realised that I was very unclear about this, and I am sorry about that.
It's like yawning, a horse will often do that as a stress realeaser, meaning that it indicates that the horse has been tence in the jaws and now it is letting it go. A good thing that it is letting it go, but also shows that the stress/tention has been there, and that's something I don't want to install. That is something I try to avoid in training, at least as it comes to me putting this sress on the horse. If I am working with a horse that is stressed or tence, due to surroundings or other factors, it is something I do want to happen ( I want it to release tention).
But; Sometimes the horse simply jawns for the same reason we do!
So one has to look at the circumstanses, just like the calming signals. Turning around and checking the ground is a calming signal, but how often does a horse do this and it's not a signal, it is simply checking out the ground!?
Chewing and licking is like this. They do it in many circumstanses, and it means different things at different times. The quotes are all from a question about Montys way of roundpenning horses, and what they think about that. Also it was about his interpertation about the chewing and licking that he claims to mean that they are saying "I am a herbovire and you are boss" or something like that. Under those circumstances I, and the people I quoted, thinks that it is a part of the horses stress indicators. It would be followed by a yawn, but Monty never lets up enough for them to get that relaxed, so one doen't see that when he works the horses.
If you are putting pressure on a horse the chewing and licking will often come right after, when you are starting to ease up. I don't think the "I am thinking" is always a very wrong interpretation, but it is not right to think that it means that the horse "gets it" or even is thinking about what you want it to think about (but sometimes it seems that it's exactly what is going on).
If a horse is working hard to figure out something you are asking from it, this rarely comes during the request, the horse is at that point trying to figure it out. If this is done in a nice way the horse is much more likely to get it, that if you are putting a lot of pressure on it. When you pause for a little while the chewing and licking often follows, but not the yawn.
If you are pressuring the horse, using negative reinforcement, the chewing and licking can come during, and you will see other indicators of stess as well. In those cases it's a stress sign, and should be avoided. In the context of this thread, the round pen work, the join up, it is a typichal indicator of stress (in the video with Monty I think that it is not a good thing).
One has to look at the whole picture!
The reason I brought it up is that this is something that is looked at as always a good thing, so when Jennifer mentioned that this is something she always wants to happen when she works her horse on the ground, I wanted to point out that this can be a stress signal. I should have made myself my more clear, though and said what I am saying now :)
I hope this clears up more about what I meant, even if I still think there are details here that I haven't been able to explain very well. I will see what you all think of this while I am on the road, and when I get the chance I will check in and see what you say:)
Have a great clinic... I will put up a video for you to see of me and my Toby and how hard I work him... :) and when you get back we can go over it.... be safe.....
I am glad no matter what the licking and chewing is that when I look for it is because I want to make sure my horse is understanding, thus relieving stress.. in other words my trainer says, wait, don't miss it, let them relax, realize, whatever it is before we move on....
I just want you to know that I really appreciate you coming back in here and further discussing because between me saying I always join up and always wait for lick and chew it seems like I'm a person just over stressing my horses when in fact I work daily on helping them be calm and happy and adjusted...... and try to be that person.... :)
I was really glad to see Ellens comment this morning.
I may not have ever seen my horse 'lick and chew' cause he's stressed. I try very hard to do things with him NOT to him. I have seen him 'lick and chew' when he approaches something new that is causing him a bit of anxiety but his curiosity causes him to want to take a closer look. Or when he was learning to put his front feet on a log pedestal, I was not pressuring him but he licked and chewed once he did it. If something startles him and he spooks or shys a little he licks and chews when that's over. It seems it often coincides with a big sigh. Kinda like people having a "whew" moment. "That was scary BUT I survived, "Whew". "That was hard but I did it, "Whew". "I think I did it right, Mom seems happy too, "Whew". "That was a good work-out , I feel invigorated, "Whew". Whew=lick and chew. Just my theory according to my experiences.
I don't think I ever scare my horse with pressure. Even when I do insist that he do something, he seems to have more the attitude of 'alright, if I have to'
When I read the quotation of Dr. Barbara Schoning, her comment almost seemed to be referring more to the 'thing' that young horses do with their mouths when they are telling an adult horse "Don't hurt me , I am just a baby" Does anyone know if there is a name for this horsey expression? I call it 'yapping' but I don't know if that is a word I made up or if someone told me that's what it is called. ????
Mary Ann Simonds stated that the licking and chewing is a sign of relief rather then relaxation. It seems to me the two feelings sometimes coincide.
I still think much of Monty's behavior in what he calls "join-up" is very stressful for the horse even when Monty thinks the opposite.
Still finding everyone's comments interesting and looking forward to more from Ellen. I hope she will keep us thinking and evaluating for the sake of our horses.
Shirley, I really like your comment that you do things with your horse, not to him!
In Hempfling's newest book (my apologies for always mentioning him, but I find he and Ellen agree on so many things), he comments on what appears to be "Join-Up" (judging by the drawn illustrations). His problem with a predator-type approach like that is that although the horse becomes compliant and 'obedient', it dies inside. When being chased by a predator, the horse will eventually give up and allow itself to be eaten - imo the horse has already died inside at this point. Does the same thing happen psychologically to the horse during Join-Up?
Fanny will lick and chew sometimes, but not too often. I've noticed recently that when I am calmly lungeing her at liberty, she will do one of those relaxed loud wet exhalations through her nose (not a snort). At least she seems relaxed when she does it :o)
Hi Ms. Cydi..... it probly dpends on how a horse is used to the term joining up..... this is how we look at mom when she gets done asking us to hang out with her and join up... to us it means be a herd, hang out, get treats, follow her, if she asks us to go in front, we do, if she asks us to follow her we do..... she never chases us around without asking us to follow...... when we follow she scratches us or tells us we are good.... this is how we look at her..... she became our alpha when we joined up with her and all that meant was that she showed us we could trust her and then we started to trust her... that to us is Joinup... now we listen to her and do what she asks us cuz she got our respect and our trust..... we are NOT dead in side... we are liberated... instead of just being bossed around we are asked first.... it is good..... k? Toby and Oliver... Oliver might have a headache here but he is better now... mom taught him how to relax and she gives him accuressure.....
before we learned how to join up we blew her off and we had no relationship.. now we are a herd......
Have you ever read Linda Tellington-Jones's stuff on telling what a horses' personality is like, based on physical facial traits?? I've not read or even heard much more on her other than that stuff, but what I've read so far is pretty neat.. Toby is a lot of fun to try and read from this picture:) They're so cute--I just want to snuggle their FACES!!
Hi Megan..... believe it or not, yes I have and I am lost on the whole subject..... but Jackie Cochran is very good at it.. in fact, she taught me alot about Toby because he is a romaned nose horse..... and Olivers headaches she diagnosed with me from his pig eye he had in this photo.... her knowledge of how to read horses lead me to an entire discovery about Oliver and his TMJ... isn't that interesting?
my last comment for the moment and my biggest evidence that joining up works is that if they were with you right now, they would not look like this.... only because they don't know you... Toby would be 20 feet away shy and scared and Oliver would be acting like he needed to push you away..... these looks on their faces took time and patience and lots of together time..... even with my trainer, a professional, they do not look the same.... they are so calm and sweet with me... :) I think horses need w a y more time than some people have to give in the relationship... :) my horses are very sweet but they are also very leary of new people... it's so interesting.