Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The beauty of round pens

So today I round penned the snot out of this little pony. I've started closing the doors behind her when we tack up so when she backs up she can't just run backwards. And so she went up, and high this time. Its a good thing she isn't malicious because if she wanted to come at me and strike out when she goes up she could seriously hurt me. I also tried putting the tie down on before trying to put the bridle on so that I could keep her from going up, but she figured out how to rear with it still on. I decided to switch from the halter into a rawhide side pull bridle with a chain curb underneath to attach the tie down to. I took her out to the round pen and sent her around until she was ready to accept the bridle. It took about four tries of her stopping, me trying to bridle her, and then if she backed up I sent her back around the circle. I used the limited knowledge I have of round pen work to drive her forward, and change directions, and pace without using a whip or even noise. All my work with her today was based on body language, and establishing my position as the "alpha male" in this herd of two (her and me).

After the fourth try she finally let me bridle her without much fight. I showered her with praise and patted her all over body. Some other issues I have found with her are that she has a tendency to cross canter to balance herself in the round pen. She also refuses to pick up her feet, and will lock the leg that I'm trying to pick up. And if she does give to it, she begins to fall over so I drop it.

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