Is a round pen necessary?
Hi I have a 6 yo green gelding that is getting a "refresher" course before summer trail riding, and I am curious if I really need a round pen to get him back into longing? I am not sure how he will react to the whip and im not sure if he will realize that i am asking him to turn into me...
Sorry if this is a dumb question :-| thanks!
It's not necessary (I still don't have one!) but it does make it easier.
Not necessary at all.
We had to stop using our round pen over winter due to lack of snow (no cushion for hooves). Any lunging was done on a line in the indoor arena.
It is not necessary to have a round pen, but like already said it does help. When I first got my QH mare I only had an open space of about a 60ft diameter. I used a 25ft lungeline in the beginning then eventually got enough panels to make a 60 ft round pen.
ETA: Check out the "Liberty Video" thread. Much can be learned from it!!!
It isn't necessary at all, though they can be helpful. I've found that I can free lunge both of mine in their large paddocks/pasture once they decide it's easier to work with me than against me.
A round pen is helpful, but really, if your whole purpose to lunge a horse is to get them to listen to you and be attentive to you before you ride, wouldn't it be PERFECT practice to free lunge? Then you are really getting them focused on you because they don't have a round fence to just auto-pilot along with.
Just a thought.
a round yard is like just about everything else. it'll hinder more than it'll help unless you use it right.
I set one up every Spring for my colts. Makes life sooo much easier.
The simple answer is, no. However, if your horse doesn't know how to lunge it is a great tool for training. Also, depending on your horse you may not need a whip. Horses who are already started on voice commands are relatively easy to train without needing a round pen. If you don't have a round pen, i would start off just free lunging and working on getting your horse to learn voice commands. Good ground manners are vital for teaching a horse to lunge, i see way to many people letting there horses drag them all over. You should never have to constantly have pressure on the lead to make your horse stay in a solid circle. Personally, i train my horses in a round pen. But after they get use to voice commands and lead well, i do all my lunging outside of the round pen. Don't use a round pen as a crutch for lunging, a well behaved horse who knows how to lunge should be able to lunge no matter the enclosure. Good luck :).
I have started hundreds of horses and have never had a round pen - nor would I ever want one. I cannot see the point in chasing a horse around an area whilst it is loose, I like to have control when lungeing via a line and voice.
As far as not knowing how your horse will react to the whip keep it low and there will be no problem.
A horse should not, when lungeing turn in towards you unless invited.
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