Monday, March 26, 2007

Libby in the round pen

I mentioned in a recent entry that Cliff watched me working Libby in the round pen and pointed out things I was doing wrong. Somebody asked in my comment section what, in particular, I was doing wrong.

Well folks, almost everything! Because one of the websites I used for instruction said to use a rope to get the horse going and keep her going, tossing it toward her or twirling it; and also because I don't have a lunge whip yet... I used Libby's lead rope. Cliff pointed out that I should have been aiming it at her back end, and I was aiming it more at her side. This confused her.

You need to know that I'm very uncoordinated, and my reaction time is slow. So part of the time the rope didn't go where I intended. One time while Cliff was watching, Libby turned her butt toward me and kicked out. I was in no danger, because she was at a distance. But Cliff reminded me that I cannot allow her ever to turn her backside toward me. He is not a horse trainer, but he's watched a lot of Clinton Anderson and other shows on RFD.

Yesterday I watched Adam lunge his horse, Tude, and got some much-needed advice.

Today I took Libby to the round pen; this time I borrowed Adam's lunge whip. It's much easier to keep it at her rear end then the rope was. By the way, there is no "whipping" done. I just more-or-less wave it behind her and she goes.

Adam had explained to me how to get her to change directions, and it worked every single time. The instant I would drop the whip to my side, she would stop, face me, and come to me. The whole session was a total success. And it didn't work me nearly as hard as my previous attempts.

Can you tell I'm happy?

1 comment:

Midlife Mom said...

Thanks for the info. I am always wanting to learn more about horses and how to train them to go better. I don't have a round pen yet but I'm wondering if I could use the same methods in the smaller indoor arena at the stable where my horses are till spring. My arena here is too big for that and would mean LOTS of walking for me in the sand to keep them on the rail so I don't want to do that. I do use a lunge whip but like you say I never touch them with it, just snap it and they know what that means. My young Welsh/T cross needs work and I am too big for him so I really need to do some serious and disciplined lunging. Thanks again for the input!