Round penning refers to working your horse in a circular pen usually measuring 40-60 ft. The benefits of a round pen is that it encourages forward movement, so the horse is not tempted to stop and brace in a corner.
Round pen work is done without a lead line or lunge line, but rather by using your body and voice cues to communicate what you want from your horse. It’s important that you and your horse already have a basic understanding of body language and pressure, otherwise you risk confusing your horse, scaring him, frustrating him and potentially putting yourself in a dangerous situation. If you are new to round penning, have an expert show you and then watch you to make sure you and your horse are communicating well.
Round penning is not chasing your horse around a pen with a lunge whip until he “focuses” on you. Have a specific goal in mind and be quiet and patient with your horse about that goal. You eventually will want your horse to: transition into different gaits and speeds, change directions, and stop and face you.
You should engage your horse’s mind, not his flight instinct and also be sure to reward him when he does the right thing!
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