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Round Penning

This is a discussion on Round Penning within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
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  • Does everyone need a round pen

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    01-21-2012, 04:06 AM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieH    
"I too don't like the idea of 'round penning', as some do it, forcing a horse to run 'away' from you in circles until it 'submits'."
Proper use of a round pen doesn't entail chasing your horse until it submits. ;-D
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Well I'd have to agree with you on that too, but not everyone does
     
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    01-21-2012, 11:24 AM
  #12
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
I don't personally get the hype with having a pen sans corners.


I just don't get what's so good about a round pen - what is it about them that you think would make for less effort from you?
Personally.. I love a big big big round pen. Like over 50 ft in diameter. But it's hard to get close work (like handling, teaching to yield, etc.) done.

I like round pens because there is better flow. I don't feel boxed in.. I feel like I have more space. My horse and I do find in rectangular or square enclosures too.

But to me a roundpen is useful because the horse can see where you are, the horse has enough room to move but not excess that he can avoid you at all costs. To me it's just an efficient working space. But I mean I do just fine working with my horse in the large indoor or the outdoor.. but at first we did spend a lot of time in the round pen.

Does that make sense?
     
    01-21-2012, 12:09 PM
  #13
Trained
I never had a round pen until we moved here and put one up and I love it. The one I have is 50' which is great to ride in, but I would dearly love a smaller one for working with the babies.

I love using mine for free work, to be able to desensitize without having hold or restrain them. I LOVE the fact that there are no corners, it means that we don't get 'stuck' in a lesson, but keep forward movement.

I like it when I'm riding a youngster or a re starter because again I don't have to worry about a runaway, so I can concentrate on forward.
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    01-21-2012, 08:31 PM
  #14
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Personally.. I love a big big big round pen. Like over 50 ft in diameter. But it's hard to get close work (like handling, teaching to yield, etc.) done.

I like round pens because there is better flow. I don't feel boxed in.. I feel like I have more space. My horse and I do find in rectangular or square enclosures too.

But to me a roundpen is useful because the horse can see where you are, the horse has enough room to move but not excess that he can avoid you at all costs. To me it's just an efficient working space. But I mean I do just fine working with my horse in the large indoor or the outdoor.. but at first we did spend a lot of time in the round pen.

Does that make sense?
No, doesn't make any sense, actually.

A square or round pen can be any size, one does not box you in more than the other. A horse can see where you are regardless, unless you are directly in front of him or directly behind him, which can happen in any shape of space.

Round pens are made for the ease of the human, not the horse. It is difficult on a horse's body to be turning every step of any entire workout. Ideally, a young horse should be started on the trails, not in a round pen. Mine was :) It's easier on their joints, their body, and their mind.
     
    01-21-2012, 08:40 PM
  #15
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroticMare    
but I can't stand to see people "round penning" their horse, the horse is bent to the outside and not going correctly, sometimes legs and body parts are hitting the rail. It's sloppy and not doing anything to help the horse.
Just because you see someone "round penning" their horse in a certain way you aren't fond of, doesn't mean that's how everyone does it.

I do not run my horse around and around and around. He isn't pinned to the "rail" he is free to move wherever. I use it as one space to sack him out. Sometimes I would take him in there to teach him something new like to yield to pressure, to do a turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand, a sidepass, leg yield, backing up, etc.

Now have I lunged my horse in a round pen? Yes when he wasn't my horse. Now I either lunge him on a lunge line for 15 or so minutes or free lunge him if I'm going to in the indoor, outdoor, open field, on a hill, whatever.

I don't care if you don't like my opinion. I'm not here to please anyone. But I like a large roundpen and my horse doesn't seem to mind it. I rather be on trails but we have an indoor and days like this, I use it.
     
    01-21-2012, 10:20 PM
  #16
Banned
I love a round pen, I recommend if you do get on to get a 60 ft round pen. Being on the bigger size will help when you use it for riding.
I would not start any round pen work until a year old, you want to let them be a foal and allow the bigger horses to teach him things.
I would do any work before that in the pasture, just the normal halter lead stuff and basic ground work.
     
    01-21-2012, 10:54 PM
  #17
Trained
Firstly, not trying to debate whether people should or shouldn't use/like round pens at all, just telling what I personally feel...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Personally.. I love a big big big round pen. Like over 50 ft in diameter. But it's hard to get close work (like handling, teaching to yield, etc.) done.
I don't get why you need a smaller or round area to do that. Why is it hard to do close work in a large area? I actually start handling & teaching yielding in the paddock or a large area at least & only move to a small enclosure once I've established some good trust & understanding first.

Quote:
But to me a roundpen is useful because the horse can see where you are, the horse has enough room to move but not excess that he can avoid you at all costs.
Never had a problem myself with horses seeing me or having room to move when there are corners or a big arena or paddock. I would personally take a horse avoiding me at all cost as information suggesting I may be approaching things the wrong way. I wouldn't want to be in an environment that it wasn't possible for the horse to tell me how he's feeling in that way. I don't personally like an environment that forces a horse to stay close to you regardless of how they feel about it & tend to avoid these environments where possible until such time as a horse is trusting & understanding of you enough that it's not an issue.

Oh, but re people wishing they had a small area, for practicality, portability and cost, don't reckon you can go past a bit of elec fence tape & some tread-ins! We can all have a round - or square pen for well under $100 then.... so long as you don't live on rock or concrete anyway!
     
    01-21-2012, 11:21 PM
  #18
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
I don't get why you need a smaller or round area to do that. Why is it hard to do close work in a large area? I actually start handling & teaching yielding in the paddock or a large area at least & only move to a small enclosure once I've established some good trust & understanding first.
I see where you're coming from. However I haven't used a round pen in a long time. I actually do all of my work in the large indoor or the large outdoor. But at the time, when I used a round pen, I found it more useful. I was learning how to lunge, I was learning how to read a horse. A smaller area worked for our purpose because after handling the horse, I could let them loose without too much space for there to be any confusion. When I did use them, I found the round pen useful. I don't "need" a smaller or round arena, I just preferred it at the time. Now that I have a better grasp of what to do and the horse understands my body language and what I ask (we have an understanding) we can flourish in any size arena with or without a lunge line.

I was taught in a round pen. I spent the summer days learning how to keep my body in line with the horse's shoulder and ask them to move on. That is where my trainer put me, until I had my own horse then I taught him wherever the heck I put him. I only went back to the round pen if there was a problem like bolting (my trainer made me ride in there until it was better) or if there wasn't any other space to work in (the barn we moved to was very crowded.) Anyway I'm not going to justify myself. My horse is structurally sound, mentally healed, he's very smart, and we are both fine. I do what works, not what other people like though I am very open minded.

Quote:
Oh, but re people wishing they had a small area, for practicality, portability and cost, don't reckon you can go past a bit of elec fence tape & some tread-ins! We can all have a round - or square pen for well under $100 then.... so long as you don't live on rock or concrete anyway!
I board, I can't go building up fences and whatnot on property that isn't mine, so that isn't an option. I use what I got and I do what's best for my horse and myself. Maybe one day when I have my own property :)
     
    01-22-2012, 02:03 AM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
I board, I can't go building up fences and whatnot on property that isn't mine, so that isn't an option. I use what I got and I do what's best for my horse and myself. Maybe one day when I have my own property :)
Ditto to my horses not being on my property & this is precisely why I use tape & tread-ins rather than a more permanent affair. Takes literally 3 mins to put up/pack up, wherever you like!
     
    01-22-2012, 09:42 AM
  #20
Showing
If you are planning that the mare and foal will live in the pen rather that out in pasture, the foal won't develop it's muscles and balance as it should. If you are separating them from other horses, the foal doesn't learn valuable social skills. If your mare is approachable, then take her a few treats and ignore the foal but let it check you out. Try sitting on the ground. This is the time to offer little touches. He'll likely scoot off but at least it's experienced your touch and nothing bad happened. If you do this daily you will soon be able to touch it all over and foals always seem to have itchy spots. As part of your time with the foal get it used to wrapping your arms around it's chest and also hindquarters. This is laying the groundwork should it ever have to be restrained. If you do all this in a big pasture where it can run off then return you are building trust which is much better than compliance.
     

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