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Re: [RC] Reason to round pen - Stephanie E Caldwell

Well, in my case, I round pen Tanna to get his attention focused on me and
not on everything else in the world.

Do you roundpen before every ride? Here lately, since I'm not riding enough
to keep Star listening really well I usually take about 5 minutes either in
the arena or in my pasture just getting her listening and behaving, it's
easier than fighting the first 15 minutes of a trail ride.

It's the coolest thing for him to start lowering his head, licking his
and pricking his ear to me. Then when I kiss to him (my cue of choice),
he'll turn and come to me, alert, happy, and free. I stand and rub on him
for a bit, then proceed with my preperations to ride or go feed him or
him back into the field.

How do you get him to do this? I was taught by German trainers, my horse is
not allowed to set foot inside my lunge circle. I have a hard time
understanding *wanting* the horse to come in. If I want her, I go out to

Anyway, so I put Tanna in the round pen as soon as I
got it arranged. And I retaught him the kiss cue. Now I can go get him and
he'll stand still, even when he's back in the back pasture with Serts
also since separated them during the night, so that helps). He'll let me
come right to him. And if he starts to turn to leave, I'll kiss and he'll
turn back to me, ears pricked, looking all cute. And if he's in the front
pasture alone, he'll come right to me as soon as he realized I want him.
then he'll follow me all over the front pasture until I release him.

My horse comes to me... Matter of fact, she knows the sound of my truck and
is at the gait before I can be out of my truck and to the pasture... I never
taught her that, it seems like as our relationship grew she wanted to be
with me and it started. Now that she lives alone and there's no other horses
around our bond is even stronger. Do your horses talk to you? When Star's
down in the barn and I'm doing stuff, cleaning tack, etc.. on rainy days
she'll nicker and I'll whistle back and we can go on for hours like that.
Even some nights that I'm doing maintenance around I bring her down and
stick her in a close stall for company. When I had an indoor arena last year
she'd come lay by me while I cleaned tack. She and I have an amazing bond
and she's a really special horse. My landlady says she's never seen anythign
like Star and I in her 40+ years of being around horses.

Oh, and by the way, I don't use a whip. Freaks Tanna out and destroys the
communication I'm trying to re-establish. A hand pointing in the direction
want him to go and stepping towards his hindquarters with purpose does the
job very nicely. If I ever feel I need more, I pick up the lead rope and
toss the end half-heartedly at his butt. Any more and he starts into his
flight response. Not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for trust, not

My horse had pretty severe agression issues (this sounds awful, but...) and
when I first taught her to lunge I used a PVC pole because she'd charge me.
This was the only way to keep me from being trampled and it did work wonders
to direct her. I got kicked in the face when I first taught her, that was
the day I learned that she charged people. As our relationship grew, the
aggression quit. She has no flight response, it's fight to the death. And, I
have to be very careful not to invoke that fight response, because she will
fight until I either bring her down to the ground, tie her legs together
(read emergency hobbles), or I leave, none are good options. I assume this
goes back to her abusive start. She trusts me enough now to go to the ends
of the earth for me, but until we had a bond I got hurt alot.

I can remember learning how she was trained; I was having such severe
problems with her I was considering putting her down. Everyday was a fight,
she was lame from all the fighting and poor saddle fit, so I called the
horse trader who brought her here. He's an old country trader and when he
told me how brutally she was trained I started crying and went out to where
I was boarding about 10pm (way after barn hours! LOL) and cried in her mane
for a long time. That was really a turning point for us. She was head shy,
would go over when a curb chain was placed on her, couldn't pick her feet,
couldn't stand in front of her without being pawed, etc... When I realized
that she had never been taught and this was her way of dealing with fear...
it became alot clearer why she acted like she did!

For Serts, my very well trained (not by me) free lease Arab, round penning
is stupid. He already listens and already is well-trained. When I first
him, I thought he had to be round penned, so tried to teach him. He
I was an idiot. After 3 or 4 sessions I thought, what the blast am I
What am I trying to accomplish? When I thought, communication is what I
want, I realized he and I already had that because of his previous
So Serts hasn't been in the round pen since.

That's about where Star and I are with lungeing now... I lunge only if I
don't want crazy horse running around the pasture when I let her out, or if
I'm too unbalanced to ride her antics out in the pasture before we ride... I
lunged alot right after I got hurt last summer, just because I couldn't
walk. LOL Much less ride!

I think it's a good thing to analyze my training and tailor it to the
I'm working with (not that I'm any great trainer or done that many
Not to just blindly follow something just because. I think people should
able to explain what they're doing and the goal they're trying to
accomplish, at least to themselves. :-)

That's all I look for... If you can't tell me why *you* do it, why should I
do it? LOL You live in redneck country I'm sure you can understand!


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[RC] re: hobbling to saddle, Teresa Van Hove
Re: [RC] re: hobbling to saddle, superpat
Re: [RC] re: hobbling to saddle, Sullivan
Re: [RC] re: hobbling to saddle, Stephanie E Caldwell
Re: [RC] Reason to round pen, April Johnson