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Working Ranch - November/December 2017

that’s an improvement BY TERRYN DRIELING THE ROUND PEN ADVANTAGE Starting colts in a round pen offers the advantage of being able to get the horse moving out naturally and using the help of the fence to earn trust and get them caught. Horseman, stockman, and clinician Curt Pate credits a lot of his success in colt starting and staying out of the dirt to his use of round pens. THE IDEAL ROUND PEN Size depends on the horse. For a dull horse, a larger round pen may be in order to help encourage the horse to really move out. For a horse with more spunk, something big enough to release pressure but small enough you can get them caught may fi t the bill. “I like to start a colt in at least a 50 foot round pen, so they can move out natural. I use a rope a lot starting colts, and 50 foot is small enough to get them caught with as little stress as possible,” Pate says of his ideal round pen. Safety is also an important factor to consider. “Panels need to be set up tight with no gaps, so the horses can’t get a leg through and injure themselves. A round pen needs to be semi-solid – moves but doesn’t break,” said Pate. A handy trainer can make a lot of progress within these circular confi nes Priefert Whether you’ve got the gentlest horses around or some straightup broncs, a round pen can be an invaluable tool in building a solid foundation and setting your colts up for ranch horse success. TAMMY PATE “I put on colt starting demos for 15 years and never got thrown off. Now, that could be luck. But I believe it’s because of the advantage of starting in a round pen,” said Pate. (Editor: Here’s hoping your luck holds out, pard, mine ran out decades ago.) 24 I WORKING RANCH I NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017


Working Ranch - November/December 2017
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