This blog is about understanding the nature of the horse and through this knowledge to find better ways to communicate with and become partners with horses
Friday, 11 April 2014
Hooking On / Joining Up – Part One
The terms “Hooking on” or “Joining Up” are the first
terms I heard horseman clinicians use. I
understood it to be an event when a horse first approached or willingly follow
a human. After watching and practicing
the various techniques used by a lot of different horsemen I have come to
believe that this not an event but rather a process. Indeed it is one of the most important
processes in building a relationship between horse and human. The following comments are not intended to
criticize the concepts or techniques of clinician horsemen; they are my own
observations and thoughts about this and are offered to give a bit of a
different perspective on the topic.
This was the young ladies first close encounter with
a horse. I gave her simple instructions
about leading; don`t look at the horse, don`t pull on the lead rope and walk
forward with purpose and focus on the spot you are going to. She followed the instructions carefully and
she was completely relaxed. Kai has been
through the hook on process and understands these human behaviours.
During many of the clinics and training DVD`s I have
watched, this process is given relatively little attention. Especially in colt starting competitions “hooking
on” is usually the first and briefest portion of the event.
The following are the phases of what I see as the
This process continues throughout your partnership
with your horse. It grows and expands
with time and is held together with confidence and trust. Like any partnership it can be broken if you
damage that trust.
Following blogs will expand on each of these phases.