In the Round Pen

I don’t like round penning equines except as a punitive consequence of them being disrespectful, but I needed to working on getting Ocho and Trinity to work on the lunge line without coming in to me. I’ve spent a lot of time teaching them to come up to me, so it’s a little bit inconsistent to suddenly be sending them away. Chasing a mustang is a pretty questionable thing to do in any case.

So I got help from the trained horses. Ocho worked with Chaco, and Trinity worked with Cisco. I had the trained horses (both older mustangs) doing roundpen turnbacks and whoas at the slowest calmest pace we could get (not too slow at first) and I rewarded both team members after each whoa/stop with a horse cookie. Pretty soon the young mustang was stopping quick and staying out on the rail where he belonged. Then, both times, the trained horse decided to join up with me. I couldn’t bear the thought of chasing them back out to the rail when they were just trying to be loyal creatures. Despite my best intentions, suddenly I would have a young mustang on one side of me and an older mustang on the other. We would be walking and trotting, stopping and turning as a trio…. all a lot more fun than what we set out to do. Made me feel kind of like Lorenzo, the flying Frenchman.

ps. feeding treats and roundpenning are totally conflicting activities. A horse cookie totally negates all benefits of roundpenning as a leadership discipline practice. Not a good mix when what you want is a punitive consequence.

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