Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
The big, scary round pen...aka-"I don't want to work!"
Well, my "perfect" two-year-old has a hang-up. He refuses to walk to the round pen. Once we get in, he's fine and listens superbly, like he always has, but getting there is a nightmare.
I've tried swinging the lead rope at his butt (worked the first time and then he gave me the "Whatever, lady" look and just stood there after that). I've tried backing him up until he wants to go forward again (we backed all the way across the driveway in front of the barn at one point, which is a good 50 yards). I got the BO to help me the first time it happened and he took his lariat (which he leaves coiled) and whacked him on the rump with it (it worked, but I nearly got run over in the process because Aires came to me for "protection"). I got the trainer to help me the next time and she took her fiberglass whip/carrot stick thingy and tried working at him with gradual pressure (started by swinging it up and down behind his butt, then if he didn't move she tapped him lightly, then harder and harder until he moved forward, then she stopped...yeah, she got all the way up to whacking him as hard as she possibly could before he moved forward an inch). Today, my friend helped me out and neither of us could get Aires to move (we used the same method the trainer did). The BO finally took pity on me and came over to help. Aires actually jumped in the air and halfway bucked at him, then came running to me for protection again (which I don't protect him at all...he runs to me and I move away, which in this case my moving away was moving toward the round pen).
This is getting out of hand. It should not take three people fifteen minutes to get a usually well-mannered horse into the round pen. NOTHING bad has EVER happened to him in the round pen...ever. Yes, he has had to work, but he never objects once he's IN the round pen. He just settles down and works.
There are only two paths to the round pen. The first is the way we usually go, which is around the front of the barn stalls from the hitching rails, down a little alley/driveway (it's about 20 feet wide or so) and into the round pen. The second way is down the barn aisle and straight into the round pen. The second way is not an option because Aires REFUSES to go into the barn. Trust me, I've tried.
He also will not lunge on a line, so lunging him in the driveway until he wants to go toward the round pen isn't going to work. The trainer spent almost thirty minutes trying to get him to lunge on his lead rope in the driveway that day she helped me and he refused to do it, even when she had the whip in her hand and was using it to turn his hindquarters away from her (not hitting him with it, just nudging him out). I tried training him to lunge on a line, but he has this mental block that if there is a rope or line attached to him and you are holding the end, he is supposed to be right next to you.
Does anyone have any USEFUL suggestions on how to get him to go into the round pen willingly without having to whack the crap out of him? He will do anything else I ask without hesitation. Please, if you don't have a useful suggestion and just want to nit-pick at me or whatever, don't bother responding because you will be ignored. Thanks!
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show
you that I can.