Free Pet Classifieds at Petmanacs.com

Pets Articles Complete List of Pet Articles @ PetManiacs.com | Home

Round Pen: The Great Equalizer


Although many horsemen and trainers extol the virtues of the round pen, many horse owners still overlook just how powerful such a pen can be in developing or maintaining a relationship with a horse. This is a shame because it is truly what I call the Great Equalizer in a horse-human relationship. Perhaps that bears some clarification?

I've found many horse owners to be concerned about their physical strength as opposed to that of their horse. They fear they simply cannot firmly establish themselves as the alpha, or leader, of the relationship because the horse is so much stronger. Thus when their horse displays poor ground manners or commits an inappropriate action they are more prone to ignore it and hope it doesn't develop into worse behaviors. After all, what choice do they have? The horse is just too strong.

The reality is that, except for the youngest of foals, a horse will always possess more raw strength than a human. Any attempts to overpower a horse with sheer strength are doomed to fail. Techniques such as raising your voice towards or slapping a misbehaving horse do not rely on strength - they are psychological. The horse does not want the conflict to escalate as it is uncertain exactly what your capabilities are, therefore it submits.

Of course there are exceptions, and truth be told such techniques are best used on already-trained horses or in situations where you cannot properly establish your authority due to lack of time or proper surroundings. The best way to instill respect and discipline into a naughty horse is by incorporating the Great Equalizer: the round pen.

Whereas many people view a round pen as a means for exercise (and it is true that it's a great exercise tool), the true power behind the round pen is its ability to establish dominance in a completely non-forceful method. In the round pen, physical strength means very little. It is a quick and easy (as opposed to other methods) technique to make your alpha status known.

Allow me to share an example that will better illustrate why a round pen will serve you better than strength.

I once owned a willful young colt raised by a first-time mother, so unfortunately the mare wasn't all that familiar with the need to discipline her colt. In fact although the colt was really quite a nice horse, he was unruly and tended to do whatever he wanted from day one. An experienced mare would not have permitted such antics, and had she "laid down the law" better from the first day the colt would likely have been a little less rambunctious.

Soon it came time to provide halter and lead training to this young upstart, and true to his form he made sure the task was trying. Although more than willing to walk with you, he felt there was little need to do so in an orderly fashion. If he "accidentally" bumped into you, or strayed so far from your side that you had to cling to the lead line with an iron grip, so be it. Snapping or jerking the lead line didn't impress him much.

Even worse, as a colt develops into a mature stallion they often can become very "nippy." This one was no different at first. Just as he did with his mother, he would sneak tiny bites and nips when you weren't watching, and although there wasn't mean intent behind them let's face it - they hurt!

Anytime a horse strikes at you (and a nip should be considered a strike) it's important that you retaliate with conviction so they think twice about doing so again. But when I would give this colt a fairly light slap he would almost smirk to himself and try to nip me again! Was he being mean-spirited? No! This colt grew up with no significant discipline from his mother and no fear of humans - we imprinted him from birth and thus he trusted us. Since he did not fear me, he thought I was engaging in some horseplay as any other colt would do.

A slap, as harsh as it sounds to us, is not always about force. It generally does not cause a horse much pain, but rather it is intended as a shock technique for a horse that already recognizes you as an alpha. Since this colt saw me as a playmate and equal, he possessed no fear of my slaps - my choice was to either escalate the physical force (which is generally not my first choice) or establish my dominance in a gentle way via the round pen.

Once I established that slaps or verbal growls would not have any effect on this colt, anytime he would nip at me or try my patience with his rebellious ways we would march straight to the round pen or enclosed paddock. While this colt found the notion amusing for the first five minutes or so, eventually the round pen will drain the "oats" from nearly any horse and he was no different.

With consistent round pen work, this colt soon learned that I wasn't a simple playmate - I was his leader. Although we could still enjoy each other's company, it had to be on terms that were agreeable to the both of us (no more black and blues!). Due to consistent round pen work, the leading, nipping and general disrespect issues became a thing of the past.

I hope my example of this young colt showed the folly of depending upon physical force to achieve your goals - "outgunning" a horse is not easy, practical or desirable. Never accept poor behavior and do not feel your authority is measured solely by your raw strength; both are mistakes that are all too commonly committed by horse owners. Instead consider the use of a round pen (or in a pinch you can use a longe line) and find out how easy training and discipline can be when using the Great Equalizer.

Jeffrey Rolo, owner of AlphaHorse and an experienced horse trainer and breeder, is the author of the above article. You will find many other informational articles dealing with horse training and care as well as games and other horse fun on his website: http://www.alphahorse.com


MORE RESOURCES:
RELATED ARTICLES
5 Surefire Ways to Show Your Dog You're The Boss
You Must Be The Alpha DogFirst, let's take a look at what a "pack mentality" means. Dogs are born into packs - in the wild, packs are the essential social order.
Housebreaking Dogs and Puppies - A Step by Step Guide to Potty Training Your Dog or Puppy
If you're reading this I think it's safe to assume that you either currently own, or are about to buy, a dog or puppy and don't want to come home to nasty "surprises" on your living room floor. That's why I'm writing this step by step guide to potty training your adult dog or puppy.
Pets Looking for Humans, Humans Looking for Pets
Attention breeders, livestock owners and pet lovers! *Pets looking for humans, humans looking for pets!* A website has been formed to show your classified for buying or your just wanting to search for a specific kind of pet. You have plenty of space for writing what is special about your pet or what it is that you are looking for in a pet.
Heartworm Treatment for Cats and Dogs
The treatment for heartworms is different for cats and dogs. Do not ever give medicine intended for a cat to your dog or vice versa.
Facts You Need To Know About Adopting A Dog
Mum, dad, can we get a puppy? Its a plea that may parents will know only too well. How do you go about adopting a dog to make suure that the dog is happy and there isn't too much upheaval in your home?If you are thinking of adding a dog to your family, consider adopting your new best friend from an animal shelter or humane society.
Ten Tips for Cats Who are Forced to Relocate with Their Owners
For realistic tips for humans who are moving with cats, read Making the Big Move: How to transform relocation into a creative life transition and visit other relocation resources on this site.1.
Bird Cage Stands
Like us, birds need variety in life. To be happy and healthy, they need socialization and exercise.
Home Hazards That Can Affect Our Pets
Is your home safe for your Furr Kids? It might surprise you to know how many hazards there are in a typical home for the pets we love.Most everyone is aware that anti-freeze, pest sprays, rat poison and the like should be kept where no pet can get to them.
Scottie & Westie - This Mistake is Perfectly Understandable
Show an uninformed dog lover a photo of a Westie, and they'd identify a Westie as a white Scottie. This mistake is perfectly understandable, since they do have similar physical attributes and both originated from Scotland.
Dog House Training
Dog House Training can be simpleTo start your dog house training, the first thing you'll need to do is buy your best pet friend a nice dog training collar, lead and dog crate. You should choose one made of nylon or soft leather.
Need a Low-Maintenance Pet? Try a Tarantula!
If you're like me, then you don't really have the luxury of keeping a high-maintenance pet such as a dog. Even a less demanding pet such as a cat might be beyond your time constraints.
Mommy, Can I Keep That Stray Dog?
How many times have you seen this situation where a child comes through the door with a dog in tow? It looks skinny and skittish and is in need of a good meal and a bath. The child is looking with big eyes imploring, pleading, and desperately wanting a yes.
A Dog Day Care Business Can Be A Lot of Fun!
If you love dogs and you enjoy making money then a dog day care business may be a very good fit for you!Let me ask you a question, "Can you imagine starting your very own dog day care business?" If you asked yourself that question and still aren't sure, let me give you a bit of dog day care business advice..
Does Your Boston Terrier Want To Be With You?
This may come as a surprise..
Is Your House Killing Your Dog?
You love your dog. You would do anything for your dog.
Bringing Home a Puppy - Be Prepared!
So you just loved that sweet little puppy that you found in the pet shop. It will keep you company, and give you kisses, and guard your valuables.
Using Dog Leash Training to Control Your Pooch
Many pet owners don't like using a leash, for a wide variety of reasons: "My dog stays right next to me." "He pulls the leash too much.
Analysis of Cat Behavior
The most important thing to remember in analyzing the behavior of your cat is that your pet is not a human. Cats are not rational beings and their actions are not based on emotion.
Dog Shock Collars: Teaching Your Dog Basic Obedience and Breaking Bad Habits
Dog Shock CollarsDog shock collars are a touchy subject among animal owners. While their goal is to train a dog to follow a set of rules, many people feel they can be cruel to animals.
Seeing Past Cuteness When Selecting the Best Dog Breed For You: Part 3 of 3
Are there so many great dog breeds out there that you just can't decide where to begin? If so, let's break it down and sort through all the options. In Part 3, the final article in this three part series, we'll continue looking at the seven Groups of dogs that are acknowledged by the American Kennel Club.



PetManiacs.com's Free! Pet Classified Ads
Click here to Post your ads | View by Location | View by Subject
Click here to Post your ads | View by Location | View by Subject


Pet Website Owners Wanted





Pet Maniacs home | site map | Pet Article List
© 2013