About Join Up®
Join Up is a newly defined way to communicate with horses using their own body language. Discovered, pioneered and trademarked by Monty Roberts, it uses horses’ natural language and psychology to establish a relationship based on trust and respect that forms the foundation of the work we do with horses and their owners. Although join-up as a specific process isn’t something we need to do in its entirety all the time, we use the underlying principles all the time in our work with horses, both on the ground and in the saddle. Pressure and release, advance and retreat, blocking and allowing, energy projection and intention – these are all part of the way horses naturally interact, and you can learn how to do it too.
We have not described the process in detail here as there are so many sources of this information, most notably in Monty and Kelly Marks’ books, on the Monty Roberts online university at www.montyroberts.com, and elsewhere on the web.
We learned to do Join Up by attending the Monty Roberts Preliminary Certificate of Horsemanship courses, on which Nicole has taught since 1998. We are fully skilled and qualified to train your horse with this method. However, we do not teach join up at Moor Wood. We recommend that you attend Kelly Marks’ courses in Witney, Oxon if you feel it is necessary for you to learn this aspect of our work. You could attend Monty’s courses in California, or learn through his online university. If you are planning to become a professional horse trainer, we consider this to be an indispensable skill that should be learned properly from the best source possible- Monty himself, or his top student, Kelly. Both of their courses lead to potential certification.
We regard Join Up as the foundation of our work and the best start point ever conceived in horse training. However, it is more a start point than an end in itself, and we have found that it works very well for us to do a horse’s first join ups. We then facilitate owners to continue to have the same kind of conversation with their horse, when catching in the field or stable, and handling when attached with ropes, without needing to learn how to apply this skill in detail with an unknown horse. Most people will also benefit from investing in everyday skills like long lining.