October 2019 Horse Report

…enough to start riding again, than he developed some minor soreness in his suspensory ligaments (possibly from some exuberant bucking in the round pen). Right now, he is on stall rest, with 30 minutes of hand-walking daily. That can be a bit of a wild walk with a young horse…

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Issues From The Ground: Round Pen Revealed

Question Category: Issues from the Ground

Question: Why should I use round pen work with my horse? And why is round penning so synonymous with natural horsemanship?

Answer: The round pen is one of the most commonly used tools of Natural Horsemanship (NH). NH is a generic

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Issues From The Ground: My Horse Charges Me In The Round Pen

…have been killed when charged by a horse in the round pen. There has been at least one such death this year with a Mustang in the round pen, that I personally know of, and that involved someone that was experienced with Mustangs and with round penning.

This is…

Cultivating a Connection with Horses

…and training lead plus a free ground manners video that gives you step-by-step instruction on teaching ground manners to a horse.

Establishing boundaries and communicating your clear expectations to the horse should happen right away upon your first interaction with the horse. The precedents you set on that initial…

Fresh Start

…I think the horse really needs to blow off some steam, due to excessive confinement or extreme emotionality, I’d rather use the round pen or turn him loose in a bigger pen (assuming re-injury is not a concern).

Cleared for Take-off

Once I swing a leg over the

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Issues From The Ground: Aggressive In The Round Pen

…is the main reason I will not allow a horse to turn toward me in the initial stages of round pen work. This is also the reason why you should never work a horse in the round pen without a rope, stick, whip or some kind of “weapon” with which…

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Attacks In Round Pen

…should never work a horse in the round pen without a rope, stick, whip or some kind of “weapon” with which to defend yourself. This very subject is addressed thoroughly in my Round Pen Reasoning DVD.

In the round pen, we are using natural herd behaviors to teach the…

Back to Basics (Part 1)

…be around, doesn’t happen accidentally. It comes from systematic training, consistent reinforcement and high expectations.

Step One—Control Space My first concern, if I am handling an unruly horse from the ground, is always about me and my space. Does the horse have deference for my space? Will he move…

July 2020 Horse Report

…the days I do not ride).

Annie, my cute, fat little mare (14.0 hands and round as a barrel) has become my go-to horse, now that Dually is retired. She’s pretty reliable when we need her, but she can be a bit of a silly at times—busy-bodied…

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Extended Trot Instead Of Canter Cue

…to run. Some people think round pen work is simply a time to run a horse around in circles– to wear him out before riding. But the truth is, there is a lot more to round pen work than that. In that scenario, the horse may learn to run around

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The Difference Between Lead Line Circling And Longeing

…only possible, but likely that the horse will kick out, strike or become defensive.

As demonstrated in detail in my groundwork video called Round Pen Reasoning, the round pen process involves herding the horse, controlling his space and thereby establishing authority over the horse. It is accomplished in five…

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Canter Hacks | Part 2: Canter Hacks for Advanced Horses & Riders

…riders, in terms of controlling and collecting the canter.

The natural gaits of the horse are walk, trot and gallop. The canter is a slow, collected gallop, developed over time, through training. Rarely do you look out into a pen full of horses and see them making slow bendy…

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Horse Illustrated – Julie Goodnight Q & A

Cheating the Circle During Round Pen Work; Following the Herd Hierarchy at Feed Time

Q: How can I get my horse to longe or round pen in a complete circle? He keeps cutting in to the middle and making his circles too small. –Amber Verbena

A: This

Feed-Time Aggression Fix Q & A

pen full of horses with feed—either by laying out the feed before the horses are turned-out, or while they are out of the pen or stall or by putting it over the fence. But I realize in some situations you may have to enter the pen with the feed; and…

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Horse Behavior: Quiz: Is Natural Horsemanship Right For Your Horse?

…common tools of the NH trade.

The round pen is a 50-60 foot enclosure with high rails and good footing. The round pen is one of the first tools used to help establish the leader/follower relationship and encourage the horse to team-up with you. Basically you will drive the…

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My Horse Spooks And Lacks Focus

…best accomplished with groundwork, both lead line and round pen. It sounds like you have done a lot of this already, but I have seen a lot of people do ground work without succeeding in getting the horse’s total focus. For instance, the horse may run well around the round

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Issues From The Ground: Hard To Catch In Stall

…is not allowed in the stall with the pony.

Once she is caught, she displays a slave-like obedience. She is very easy to lead. I have taken her into the round pen twice now. It seems that she hasn’t had much if any previous round pen work. I am…

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Starting Over With A Fractious Horse

…is certain that’s the answer. And she was right.

It only took a fifteen-minute session in the round pen before Lux was hooked on and followed me around the pen like a puppy. Of course, that was after he threatened to jump out of the pen, bucked, kicked, snorted…

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Issues From The Saddle: How To Deal With A Spooky Horse

…the round pen and do turns and stops, etc., but if his total focus is not on you almost all the time, then the round pen work may have been meaningless chasing of the horse.

Once the horse is moving away from me well in the round pen and…

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Home From The Oregon Horse Master Shoot

…was right.

It only took a fifteen minute session in the round pen before Lux was hooked on and following me around the pen like a puppy. Of course, that was after he had jumped out once, bucked, kicked, snorted and tossed his head in defiant gestures. He was…

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Riding Skills: One-Rein Stop

…and trainable, especially due to the progress we’ve made, and his sweet temperament on the ground and in round pen/lunging. Any thoughts would be hugely appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Sincerely, Jude

Answer: Jude,

I am glad you enjoy the website as much as I…

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Cantering Help: Resistant To Canter Cue

…suspect there are some other areas where he might display this resistant behavior but maybe you have not encountered that yet.

One thing I would do is address this issue of obedience from the ground. I would put him in the round pen and put him through his paces…

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Resistance to Canter

…become aware of this yet.

Work from the Ground One thing I would do is address this issue of obedience from the ground. I would put him in the round pen and put him through his paces and see if I could make him canter from the ground. Chances…

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Issues From The Saddle: Refusing To Trot

…direction or another to unstick his feet. I would probably want to do some groundwork with the horse to see if I have problems moving him forward from the ground. When you get back to mounted work, you may want to proceed in the round pen with some competent help…

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Dominance Rehabilitation

…needs. Of course, to really gain respect and trust, you’ll need to build a relationship through groundwork. I would definitely start with round pen work, focusing on moving him away from you. I would not let a horse like this turn toward me when I ask him to turn around;

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Issues From The Ground: Rearing When Leading

…with blind faith and trust.

If possible, I would start in the round pen with this filly, driving her away from me and controlling her direction and speed. She is a little young for round pen work, so I would be very careful not to physically stress her. Once…

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Building A Better Relationship: Correcting Aggressive Behavior

…through groundwork. I would definitely start with round pen work, focusing on moving him away from you. I would not let a horse like this turn toward me when I ask him to turn around because he may have a tendency to charge you; instead, emphasize moving him out of…

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The Barn Building Process

…to the ground and it has helped to watch my neighbors barn run off when we do have rain (to see how the ground will handle all). If you are in a more boggy environment or will keep horses inside, I think it is important to build up the ground

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Issues From The Ground: Ground Manners For Draft Horse

…is just so big that it doesn’t seem to matter. I would like to ask you a second question regarding my PMU foal Percheron Paint. He is a very laid back horse and when working in the round pen I find that he just doesn’t want to move forward. I…

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Grieving The Loss

…needs to relearn his manners and respect. I would do this first with round pen work and then with some lead line work (see Julie’s Round Pen Reasoning and Lead Line Leadership DVDs at www.juliegoodnight.com.products.html). To establish dominance and respect from a horse, you need to control his space and…

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Catching Your Horse From Pen Or Pasture

…patient and wait for the transition. This is a critical juncture.

When your horse stops, faces you and drops his head, it’s time to stop walking and turn your back to him. This body language—much like that used in round pen work—will release the mental pressure your horse feels….

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Issues From The Saddle: Pulley Rein

…it would be useful to longe the horses or turn them out to play before riding. In this instance, I prefer to work a horse in the round pen or free-longe in a big pen, to take the edge off of him. In the round pen, I can also gain…

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My Horse Is Herd-Bound And Barn Sour

…Lead Line Leadership and Round Pen Reasoning (available at JulieGoodnight.com or 800-225-8827). If you invest some time in groundwork, your horse will learn to accept you as a suitable leader. Once he begins to accept your authority, do your groundwork further and further away from the barn so it becomes…

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Horses Low In The Back, Swayback

…uses his back and abdominal muscles more and that is what keeps his top-line muscled.

You may want to work your horses in a round pen to condition them in a rounded frame. Most people like to use side reins for this but I prefer to use an “elbow…

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How Working Cattle Helps Your Horsemanship

…movement makes you a better horseman too since horses and cattle behave the same way in this respect. Whether you are working a horse in a round pen, on a lead line, in a pen full of horses or even riding in a group, it is useful to know how…

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How Can Cow-Work Benefit Your Overall Horsemanship

…one step at a time and control their every movement makes you a better horseman too since horses and cattle behave the same way in this respect. Whether you are working a horse in a round pen, on a lead line, in a pen full of horses or even riding…

July 2018 Horse Report

…the round pen for the first time. I’m very specific about what I ask a horse to do in the round pen, so he had to work at understanding what I was asking. Fortunately, he’s smart as a whip and a real thinker. In a few minutes, he was doing…

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Riding Skills: Emergency Stopping Rein

…person and listening to your CD and reading your book Ride with Confidence!, have gone away! I am still riding him in the round pen, but hope to soon feel good enough to ride him in the arena and then beyond! I was wondering if you have a video or…

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Shut Down

…website that detail my opinion of cantering a horse (unmounted) in a round pen, which is closer to a 20 meter circle. For most young horses and for all un-athletic horses, this is very difficult, even when they are at liberty. A much smaller circle and the interference from the…

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Talk About Tack: Understanding Bits– Myler

…supposed to be. The reason I’m asking is my horse Montana is in a D-ring snaffle. I have noticed at times him pulling the reins and opening his mouth. Even when I put him in the round pen with saddle and head stall on he does the same thing and…

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Building A Better Relationship: Training And Learning Natural Horsemanship

…ground will carry over to your riding as well. If you can only buy one of the groundwork dvds, Lead Line Leadership would be most beneficial for you, because it involves your routine, day-to-day handling of the horse and instilling good ground manners; Round Pen Reasoning is important too and…