While tracking wild mustangs in Nevada as a boy, Monty observed a nonverbal communication between the horses, a silent language he would later call “Equus.” Monty incorporates “Equus” into his nonviolent training approach called Join-Up.
He developed Join-Up to stop the violence that is so generally accepted in traditional horse breaking. Being sure there has to be a more effective and merciful method, Monty made up these constant and regular set of principles using the horse’s inherent methods of communication and herd behavior. The result is incredible showing an eager feeling of partnership resulting in a full potential of the horse’s performance and not just existing in the boundaries of obedience. These principles are valuable tools to understanding what motivates horse behavior and increasing effectiveness in any application.
These kind of methods are most simply expressed in the process of starting raw horses. You do not use pain or force to persuade a raw horse to accept a saddle, bridle and rider. Working in a round pen, you begin by making large movements and noise as a predator would and begin driving the horse to run away. Then you give the horse the option to flee or Join-Up. Join-Up happens when the animal voluntarily makes the choice to be with the human and walks toward him accepting his leadership and protection because the horse understand that no harm will be done upon him. This process of communication through behavior and body language and mutual concern and respect, can be a valuable tool to strengthen all other work with horses.