The round pen will help your horse develop forward motion. The round pen is a gentle, intelligent and effective tool for establishing a good working partnership with your horse. If used correctly, the round pen will not only help you catch your horse, it will also help to catch your horse's attention so he is more prepared to listen and learn.
The round pen is the place where your horse will begin to seek you out as his herd leader. Leadership is a concept horses understand very well in their natural herd environment. Horses naturally seek leadership, are naturally curious, and will flee if they are afraid. Using a round pen effectively will reduce your horse's urge to flee while heightening his natural curiosity. A round pen gives a horse options without force. It is the combination of understanding the horse's natural instincts and the proper use of pressure and immediate release that will cause an initially fearful horse to stop, turn, look at you, and volunteer to approach you as his herd leader.
Round-penning is beneficial for young horses but is also very effective with older horses that have never been handled or are badly frightened. If you are working with a horse that is either frightened or very sensitive, your presence alone may be enough to drive him out of the pen. When working with this horse, start slow. To learn round pen techniques, it is best to begin with gentler horses.
Developing your skills in the round pen first will enhance and refine all your ground school and mounted work.
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