We Have a Round Pen!!!  

Posted by Serenity

It didn't take me too long to decide that I may be in over my head with the colts.  I am not as young, fast, or skinny as I once was.  I often find myself asking "What was I thinking?  Will I really be able to ride these horses before my son leaves for college?"  The answer I initially come up with is no, but then the former horseman in me takes over and convinces my skeptical self that I have done it before and I am more than capable of doing it again.  This time I have a skill set that I never had before.  Something that can only come with age and experience.  I rarely ever use this skill, but all I need to train these horses is a little more patience and understanding.  HAH!

I have been patient trying to warm my way into their hearts through their bellies, but spring is almost here and I still can't even pet them much less get a halter on.  Time for a more aggressive approach.  Hubby has been threatening to just rope them and prove who is in charge.  Perhaps it's time to let him give it a try.

So we marched out to the nearly arena sized corral with our rope and grain bucket in hand.  Now I must say that I have never enjoyed the thought of roping a horse though I have done it once before for the horses own protection so I was a bit apprehensive about this decision.  I trust hubby, probably more than I should, but I want him to be a part of this.  That was my first mistake.  Who in their right mind trusts a roughie to gently train a horse?  The decision was mine and mine alone being the one with the most experience breaking, riding, and showing horses.

We decided on Doc for several reasons. 1) He is the smaller one of the two. 2) He is the stud and we need to have control of him before food is no longer his main driving force. 3) He is mine and I wanted to start with him.  Getting the rope on him was so much easier that getting the rope off.  The ensuing battle is one that I will not easily forget.  After watching my beloved baby thrash around and fall to the ground numerous I didn't feel that I could call myself a horseman any longer.  I had become little more than an old time cowboy.  With little regard for my horse and the trusting partnership that we so desperately needed to create.  To put it simply I LOST MY NERVE.

Doc fell to the ground one last time and I saw an opportunity for redemption.  If we could just get on his head we could hold him down and show him he had nothing to fear all the while taking the rope off his neck.  Enter my second mistake.  I honestly thought hubby knew what he was doing.  He always acts like it.  When I yelled out to get on him he started heading to jump on his back.  Doc is way to young to actually be ridden yet.  I pushed myself in the way and called out to get his head.  By that time it was too late.  Doc was able to get up and I was the only one holding the rope.  Not for long.

We chased that poor baby around our overly large corral for another hour or so before I decided that we were complete morons and deserved what we were about to get.  A horse that would never trust us again and the loss of one of the ropes that hubby inherited from his grandfather.

That night hubby went out and purchased two 10' panels to try to make a catch pen.  The very thing I suggested in the first place, before the rope debacle.  Early the next morning we attempted to force Doc into the rather small pen and after 3 hours with no sign of success, only more stress to my poor horse.  Hubby decided that it was time for a proper size catch pen and immediately left to buy more panels.

He returned a while later with several 12' panels which we craftily arranged in a circular fashion just outside of the corral.  We placed it in just such a manner to allow us to use on of the corral gates as a gate to the round pen and the corner posts as anchors for the panels.  Now we have approximately a 35' round catch pen that we will add panels to as we progress through each properly executed training step.

My story does have a semi happy ending.  I was able to work with Doc enough to get the rope off his neck and convince him to take some grain from me again, but it will be a long time before he trusts me again.  I guess I deserve that.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at Wednesday, January 12, 2011 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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