"Round pen him until he can't run anymore"

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by bellalou, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member

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    If I breed my mare for a mule (breed her to a donkey) she will never stand for a horse again. :rolleyes:
    If I would take my chargie, energetic horse out and run him until he doesn't want to run anymore every day, he will calm down.
    Mules can't founder.
    Donkeys don't over eat.
    And on and on and on...............................
     
  2. PiaffePony0412

    PiaffePony0412 Senior Member

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    It wasn't recently, but the worst piece of advice I ever heard was told to one of my US students which came from the trainer she worked with right before she started with me.

    This person was some goofball with lots of ribbons hanging in her barn (WP and HUS), which was complete with a 'time out pole' (covered in egg foam) and all the necessary sadistic gadgetry to puppeteer one's horses into the champion circle.

    My student's horse is a wonderfully sensitive and intelligent QH mare (Leo). This woman she was working with told her that in order to ride her mare (who was already well educated to accept a rider by her previous owner), she would have to...

    "get all the bucks out".

    She proceeded to do this by putting a bucking strap on her, with the saddle, and chasing her in a roundpen until she was exhausted enough to quit bucking. :crazy:

    This went on for a couple months. The horse owner wound up breaking two lumbar vertebra in a riding accident (shocking, I know) during a lesson with this woman and then decided to start working with me instead.

    It is a crying shame because I knew and had ridden this mare before, under her previous owner and it took a lot a lot a lot of work to get her even half as easy and quiet as she was after this ridiculous and traumatic charade she went through.

    -Piaffepony0412
     
  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    "round pen him til he can't run no more".

    I thought this was a fixed part of the round pen curriculum, I hear it so often, LOL.
     
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  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    No. Just no. This is what happens when people watch Clinton Anderson roundpenning a reactive, unhandled horse: they see the horse running like a maniac. He lets them go if they choose until they start to get their brain into gear, then he works with them.

    Roundpens are NOT for exercising horses at ANY gait and they're not for chasing horses around. They are for HORSEMEN to teach a horse that the Horseman can control the DIRECTION that the horse moves. Then the horse gives up trying to run hither and yon, stops and turns to the handler. That's the horse saying: Okay, what's the deal?
     
  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I was hearing that 'advice' long before Clinton Anderson was born, unfortunately. Pre-internet, the exact same things were said, and distributed to the public just as effectively. On any given Sunday it was easy to go out and watch Joe Blow running some horse into the ground in a round pen. That has a very long tradition.

    We also had a 'Horse Whisperer' that made the rounds and threw horses down on the ground.

    Sometimes these things even made the TV news. Like the 'horse trainer' whose 'new innovative' method was to put a 'wild horse' into a horse trailer, then filled the trailer with grain - and I mean FILLED IT. The horse is completely encased in grain. Trailer's filled up so even the horse's head is pretty much surrounded. The horse is removed hours later, dripping with sweat, freaked out, exhausted, legs trembling, suffering from heat stroke and dehydration. Voila. Horse training.

    'Horse whisperers' and 'guru' trainers have a long, long history. Now they have CDs, 150 years ago they got around just as well.
     
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    The worst advice I got was from a local H/J gal who wanted to snatch up some dressage students.

    "Bring your horse over to MY barn! We'll get him ready for show season for ya, we'll put draw reins on him!"

    Okaaaaaay!

    Or perhaps it was the dressage trainer recommendation I got for the gal who ''Doesn't TAKE lessons, she GIVES lessons!"

    (It's fairly traditional in dressage, actually, for dressage instructors to....continue taking lessons, ya know. No matter how 'good' they are).
     
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  7. StarPattern

    StarPattern Senior Member

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    As far as I'm concerned, there's a time and place for a round pen. I love my round pen and I use it before I ride my QH, every single time, without fail. Why? She can be a tiny bit cold backed and I'd rather warm her up with my feet firmly on the ground. I usually trot her around the round pen for a couple minutes in each direction, and then do a circuit or two of loping. If she hasn't acted silly within that ten minutes, then she's not going to. The round pen is an invaluable tool to help me figure out if she's feeling anxious, hyperactive, or sore before I get on her. But I never, ever round pen because she's acted up.. that seems counteractive to me.

    The dumbest advice I ever got was to "kick her back". I was working with a horse at the track who had a tendency to cow kick because she was ticklish around her flank area and under her dock. We all knew it and could avoid the things that would trigger this horse to kick. A newbie came in, ignored our instructions and got nailed in the knee. The first thing he did was boot her in the belly. When we intervened, he told us we needed to show her who was boss by kicking her back, like another horse.

    Or, you know... gently ease her tail through the crupper like we'd been doing for months without incident.
     
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  8. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Well, now you get to REDO all those months of work over again! Isn't that FUN!?
     
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  9. StarPattern

    StarPattern Senior Member

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    Fortunately, the mare was extremely forgiving and she never tried to kick anyone who would be gentle about the whole crupper business, so there wasn't a whole lot of retraining that had to be done. We eventually found out that she was less ticklish when we kept the hair at her dock trimmed very short. Once we learned that little trick, it was like the skies opened up and angels started singing, because she was no longer ticklish. It was the strangest thing and she looked absolutely hilarious with her practically shaved dock, but whatever worked for her.
     
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  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    That was brilliant, really. There was actually a school horse I rode who would have a FIT if any of her mid-length tail hairs touched her backside when she lifted her tail up really high, and she perpetually lifted her tail really high. 'Oh! We're TROTTING! How utterly exciting!' It was unnerving to watch her pack the little kids around because I always thought she would lift that tail and then go off bucking like Five Minutes to Midnight. The horrifying solution was to put a kid's sock over her tail, but it worked.
     

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