Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Nobody likes to be told to get a trainer, but it is almost impossible to critique what is going on without at least a video.
For example, if you are 'driving him forward' with a stick, but your bellybutton is out of position, then you would cause confusion and even anger in the horse. Also, how much pressure you apply and how quick you are to release it is critical in round pen work. I've probably got around 100 hours of either watching a pro do it, or doing it while she watched and commented. And after that, I feel confident to do the bare minimum of basic groundwork in a round pen. I don't mind doing the basics with a willing, largely submissive horse. If the horse is fearful or aggressive (and those often combine), then I'm just not good enough at reading their body language to make a round pen productive.
How well you read the horse's body language, and the signals you are sending with yours - intentionally or not - are the difference between the round pen work being very effective and counterproductive. Done wrong, a round pen can turn a good horse into a real problem.
If nothing else, you would learn more from a pro spending a couple of hours with you than you would from spending $300 on DVDs. The lady I've worked with charges $30/hour, so it would be a steal compared to buying a DVD series.
"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."