Using round pens to train horses
The old system of round penning has been glossed over by fancy words. I remember when I was a child, I was told that a round pen was used for breaking a horse's spirit. Then it was shortened to "breaking a horse," and today it is said to be a way to start a horse that would "develop a bond." Round pens and ropes are wonderful tools but the most misused. Ropes are many times used to jerk a horse into submission. Round pens are too often used as a tool to gain a horse's trust by the horse running himself ragged into submission. The round pen was designed so that the human can always influence the horse and the horse can never escape his handler's influence. This is too much pressure on a horse to start a proper relationship with him. The bond gained from the inability to escape is created from a dominant leadership pursuit. This is not natural or easy on a horse. I clearly would not use one to start a relationship with a horse. It isn't easy on a horse nor is it natural.