Round Pens – my opinion

You (someone I was talking to) mentioned not having a round pen.

It’s not necessary for any training, to be honest.

For me/us – it’s been a catch pen, a quarantine pen, a feed pen and a training focus.  Again, I have a large number of ponies from young to old.  I have, over the years, given many riding lessons to children as well as beginning adult riders.  It’s a smaller area for them to be in that allows them to concentrate on what they need to learn and develop both balance and control while riding while lowering fear.  I did a lot of bareback/bridleless riding in my own (parents’) roundpen while growing up to develop my own balance when I had no instructor handy.

In a driving/young pony/horse – it is a focus for training.  Both for the driver and for the horse.  It contains the horse – his reactions – and “improves” concentration.  It contains the horse in a smaller area while a “newbie” driver gets the feel of driving – making it MUCH LESS frustrating for both!  Trust me – it takes time to learn to handle lines when first ground driving and getting the horse NOT TO TURN and face you.  A round pen (OR ANY SMALLER FENCED area) can HELP.

Just to get used to the lines – a 12×12 stall can be helpful.

A “round pen” for focus can be as simple as a few boards on the ground – marking the boundary of a circle.  Sure – the horse can “escape” – but while in side the “ring” it gives you/her the ability to focus on doing some circles, x-ing the ring, practicing stops & reinbacks (backing up) etc.

I have had or used round pens that were:

-solid walled and 8′ tall
– made out of tires (again solid or semi solid walls)
– made from t-posts with cattle/combo panels;
– wood posts with cattle/combo panels
– steel panels meant to be used as round pens
– wooden post set in the ground w/ rope or light weight chain – 1-3 strands
– boards on the ground delineating the whole round space
– boards/bricks/tires on the ground  – giving an idea where the round pen is.

About lppaintedponys

Husband and wife team raising shetland ponies, rescuing dogs/cats & becoming self sufficient.
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