How does he look in the round pen?
I am working with my 8 year old gelding in the round pen. I am trying to establish my verbal cues of walk/trot/whoa. To ask for a turn I step in front of the driveline and point with my hand the direction I want. It didn't go as well as I would have liked, I was trying to focus on both him and the camera and I wans't where I should have been all of the time but for the most part didn't do to badly.
How does he look to you?
Do you see anything that I need to work on more? (please keep in mind he hasn't worked or been ridden for about 2 years, and this is only our 7th session working in the round pen this year. Last fall I did start him on it and we got in about 10 sessions)
Any info would be great on what I am or am not doing wrong. I don't canter him much in this pen because its only a 35' round pen.
In the video, when I ask for him to turn he is coming in farther then normal, and sometimes even stopping. When I don't have the camera in my hand I have a lunge whip in hand while giving my hand cues. But since I do not have a second hand to help me on this I can only give hand cues (which is my next step to work on)
Here's my thought proces while watvhing the entire 4 minute video.
Neat looking horse! Love his Roman nose and coloration! Cute little body, too
She is speaking all commands in exactly the same tone of voice, whether it's an up transition or a down transition.
Oh, there's something wierd about his hind legs, he stumbled there, is that all?
No, he isn't reaching under very far at all, and his right rear, barely flexes at all at the hock.
Now, she asked him to move along briskly and he kind of jumped but struggled there, just for amomemtn. Hm m m, I dont' trust my judgement entirely about seeing "offness", I hope someone else will watch and tell me if I am seeing things or seeing things (know what I mean?)
Oh, she did use a falling tone for the down transition to the halt.
I wish he would keep more of an ear and eye on her, I would want to check in peridodically to see that he was really with me and not zoning out.
Wonder what he looks like in canter?
I could tell a lot more about this person's style of Round penning if SHE were in the video.
She sure did a good job of getting him to follow voice commands.
SO, make of that what you will, ok? Thank you for letting me chat with you.
Not much of a critique from me but he does look a little "off"
Absolutely NO sign of lameness in that canter.
His conformation is actually very nice. I like the way he's built, seriously.
I don't think you were doing ANYTHING wrong. I don't use Word cues much at all. I kind of think that the horse mostly understands our tone of voice anyway. There's only two choices ;up transition or down transition. So, I tend to use a rising tone with up transitions and a falling for downs.
What I meant by having his eye turn back would be, for example walk along your inner circle (oh, that's another thing we might do different; I don't stand in the middle. I walk a smaller circle so that I am always with my body front facing the horse, in line with his cinch area.) Sometimes , if you are walking with the horse and you get a bit more behind them than in line with there cinch, and you slow down a tiny bit, you can kind of check to see if they are connected. If they are connected, then they will roll an ear back, bend a little at the head and look back at you, maybe even slow and turn back toward you. You are "drawing" them but not enought to stop. If you did, you could slow your feet, then actaully back up and your hrose should curl around and draw toward you. Or, just begin that process of drawing , only to the point of having him look more at you, then don't let him stop, but move him on forward. for a minute there you will have your horse moving on a really nice inward bend, which is beneficial to him. You are just checking in to see if he's paying attention to you.
I would also work on varying the speed of the gait within the gait. See if you can get a faster walk, then slower, then faster, slower, then trot, etc. Trot can vary a lot between really slow and almost a canter. That really keeps your horse engage. With a nervous horse, do it very, very lightly and not a lot and if you are asking for a speed up, if he give it to you, maybe just take all the pressure off and let him coast , then come in and get a pet.
let him rest regularly and walk over and pet him or get him to walk ALMOST all the way. I mean up to the place where he is near but not invading your personal space. a couple of easy pets or a shoulder scratch and then move him off to the rail and on again.
it's the process of moving him off and drawing him back, and changing the gait that keeps it interesting.
My old instructor said all learning takes place during the "change". so make lots of changes.
i use clucks = faster and woo = slower. it's good because it's not gait specific, for example if we're turning sharp and i cluck it doesnt mean trot or canter, just means turn faster/harder.
Again I thank everyone for their input. :-)
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