Saturday, March 29, 2008

Round and Round Reasoning

6 X 8 Oil on Masonite $125
shipping and insurance included
SOLD to a Texas Collector
Round pen reasoning - if you've owned horses for more than a day, you've probably heard of this training method. I've used it personally for 20 years and found it useful for both training horses and other mammals (I'll let you use your imagination as to WHICH mammals!)
The basic concept is to let the animal himself choose which avenue to take - the easier one to compliance or the more difficult one which results from non-cooperation. No punishment is involved - but a reward of comfort (or safety) is used when the asked-for behavior is attained. And ultimately, the animal comes to associate safety and relief with the trainer. I have had horses that responded in 5 minutes and one that took hours in the first session. (I no longer own THAT horse!)
On the surface, this method looks simple, but the trainer still has to have a good sense of body language and animal behavior as well as the ability to follow through consistently. And being in reasonably good shape helps, too, because this usually happens in a pen full of deep sand which not only tires the animal, but the trainer as well!
This painting is of my friend Ken, and his good gelding, Doc. Ken is relatively new to the horse world - at least the full time ownership part. He searched for a long time to find this fellow and I appreciate him sharing this image with me to paint.
Proverbs 13:21
Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.


rick nilson said...

My wife tries this on me all the time, and I ain't havin' it. I will just run in circles all day. Comfort or not! I'm not afraid of that rope.

Roxanne Steed said...

Did this for years with horses....but duh, I never even thought to try this with my husband! (or at least not so overtly! hehehe)

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

happy birthday by the way ;)
I linked you.