The discussion that I have been having the past few days with some folks has brought up the subject of round penning. There are some that feel the use of a round pen is not the best way to teach a horse to be caught or to teach a horse who the leader of the herd, human and horse, is. Personally, I don’t think you need a round pen or a pen at all, round or square, to teach your horse who the leader is or to teach your horse how to be caught. I have taught folks how to catch their horse without the use of either of these pens. However to make a blanket statement that the use of a round pen, or any other type of device, is in it’s self wrong or bad, shows a lack of knowledge and experience on the part of the person making the statement.
The round pen, or round corral, has been used for a very long time and has been use to teach horses a lot of things, good and bad. The biggest thing that I have had to deal with is people that don’t know how or what to use the round pen for. I get horses from time to time that come here who have been worked in a round pen and their owners, or trainers have taught them how to run in a circle and that’s about it. Because of this some trainer who meet horses and owners with this problem, blame the round pen instead of whom they should.
I use a round pen for two things. To teach a horse who the leader is, and teach the horse how to be caught or how to catch me. Once we have learned those two lessons we move on to other things. It is true that some, because they don’t know what else to do, will keep their horse in the round pen two long. It then that they start to teach the horse how to run and run and run and, well you get the picture.
I think that we, sometimes, blame the method or the device, because we can’t do it ourselves or we don’t understand how to do use the method or device. But is much easier to blame then to learn.
Thanks god our horses don’t have these discussions among themselves. They would never let us get close to them.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.