A few weeks back I did some round pen sessions with Z that were videotaped for another person to view. For some time, I have not felt totally comfortable with the “how and why” of the round pen. I felt that it provided too much chance for abuse, placing psychological pressure on the horse to the point that he had no choice but to submit.
After doing those sessions, I thought about it long and hard and decided I would never go back to doing traditional round pen work ever again. I knew that I did not want my horses to do things because they had to… but because they wanted too please me.
This may seem like a subtle difference but it’s a difference that changes the dynamic of the horse-human relationship from slave-to-slavemaster, to friend-to-teacher.