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Spooking / round pen work

Sandy wrote:

> Some people need that time in the round corral/arena in order  to build
THEIR confidence...seems to me a large amount of what Parrelli does  is
aimed at building the humans' confidence...hours and hours of asking the
horse to do different things helps the person to figure out how a horse
reacts to various stimuli...there are allot of people out there who have an
extremely difficult time interacting with horses because of a deep seated
fear...the success of the natural horsemanship techniques has as much to do
with gaining the owners confidence as it does the horses'.>

I have been mulling over this, and wondering why it makes no sense to me,
and I think I've finally found it.

Sandy, your assumption that round-penning builds confidence in the rider is
based on the assumption that you will be transferring what you have learnt
about your horse in the round pen to your riding.  I just don't believe this
is the case.  Riding confidence is only learned by riding.  If a rider is
not confident, and the horse makes a "spooky" move - even if it is only by
stumbling - then the rider's natural reaction is to make every green rider
mistake : lean forward, grab on the reins, grip with the knees, brace the
back, etc, etc.  Nothing you learn in the round pen can teach you not to do
this.  It is a knee-jerk reaction that must be "unlearned".

You can learn to be confident handling horses in the round pen, but again, I
honestly believe that it is a false sense of security for horse and rider,
and that nothing can compensate for experience out on the trail, and that,
even in hand, if a horse spooks or misbehaves on the trail, a nervous
handler will not be confident in such a situation, just because he or she is
confident in the ring.


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