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- - Round Penning (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/round-penning-108626/)
At what age (if ever) do you round pen your horse(s)?
I don't have one but have considered putting one up before 2013 when my mare will foal. I have 2 fairly large pastures and would like a smaller area to keep mom and foal in when the time comes. I
ouldn't be round-penning to foal, but halter breaking, desensitizing and catching before letting them out into the bigger areas. Then when the time comes, working on saddle breaking.
Horses can be worked in a round pen probably at around 2 months. The only difference is the intensity. Also round pens weren't designed to chase horses around till they get tired and give in. Use it to make them think. The only difference in a round pen and a square pen is that round pens don't have corners for horses to get hung up in. Round pens are good for any sort of work with any aged horse, even if its used as a place to just brush them off in.
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Personally, I like to use a roundpen if I have access to one with good footing and one that is a decent size.
They;re good for introducing new things, practicing things, dealing with behavioral issues under saddle, foals, backing/starting horses, auto-pilot, etc.
I don't lunge them in the round pen until they're much much older.. like 2-3 yrs. But that's just me.
Reading the responses. I don't have a round pen. So if I do have to do something like round penning it takes a lot of physical effort on my part. :lol: Would like one, makes life easier.
I don't have a roundpen myself, but I do have permission to access one on a neighbor's property if I should need it. I've never had to take them up on the offer. I've always done groundwork with my own horses on a long line in a regular arena or open field, or at liberty in an arena.
I can imagine that a properly set-up roundpen would be very helpful in the earliest stages of colt starting. It'd provide a controlled environment in which to introduce the tack and rider; small enough that the horse can't run away, large enough to get his feet properly moving when the time comes. For an older or better broke horse, most anything that could be done in a roundpen can be done equally well on a lungeline.
Circles are very hard on young horse's growing joints. I used a very large round pen when my boy was younger (2ish), but would never do that now that I know better. I do not use round pens now, period.
I will use the roundpen with my long yearlings, I don't do anything more than a walk but I introduce them to the concept of moving around/away from me. I also will teach them to move their front and hinds separately and eventually start the side pass at this age. I use the roundpen as an area to introduce new things, halter breaking, sacking out etc. I don't start free lunging my horses at more than a walk until they are late in their 2 year old summer and even then I keep it very short and simple.
Like I said before, you can use a round pen for a horse of any age, as long as you don't work a horse the is 4 months like a 4 year old. Putting a young horse in a round pen doesn't have an adverse effect on any part of a horse. Joint issuse most likely arise from over stress to the joint. As well as muscle, tendon, and other bone issuses. Round pens don't have to be intense work out with sweat dirt and hair flying. Correctly used, round pens are great tools.
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I don't personally get the hype with having a pen sans corners. Having corners just means you have to be more careful to be clear about your signals, so they don't get 'hung up' in them:wink:. Come to think of it, think I prefer corners, yards with obstacles, etc for that reason too. 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'.
I agree, that if you're not running a horse in circles, then a pen is fine for a horse of any age, but if you're intending to lunge your horse, I'd wait until it's reasonably mature to do more than a little slow trotting, build up to hard work gradually & be conscious of & careful to avoid too much wear & tear from work that is hard on joints... & mind too, in unhelpful ways, IMO!
"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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