Round Pens and Relationship Building
If you have any questions about setting up your round pen space, the professionals at Cashmans are a great resource for providing this information.
Round pens are a versatile tool for anyone that works with horses. The circular construction allows the horse to express freedom of movement, while containing them in an area that is manageable for the handler. There are many exercises that can be performed in the round pen, but one thing that resonates across disciplines is the connection and relationship that can be built with your equine partner in this space.
Kim Cardeccia MA is a licensed Professional Counselor who has run Hidden Promise out of Howell, Mich., for the last 12 years. The program seeks to strengthen the human/horse relationship and create positive changes in the lives of both the individual and the animal. Prior to starting this program, Cardeccia noticed that her riding students had an ease of opening up and experienced positive life experiences outside of their barn that directly linked to the things they were learning when working with horses. Cardeccia decided to bring her practice to the barn so that she could utilize the connection between horses and humans to help her clients.
When asked about her thoughts on utilizing round pens for her practice, Cardeccia explained, “In my experience, the round pens provide both support and freedom in our interactions with the horses, in many ways the circular shape is symbolic.” From focus to wholeness and centering, Cardeccia explained, “Our ground rules for interaction with the animals are those of basic safety. The clients are taught to avoid areas of the horse that could be dangerous. For example, I don’t tell them exactly how they have to lead the horse, it’s important they create their own way of connecting and communicating, the round pen allow this interaction to happen in a safe way. As a therapist, I am concerned with both the emotional and physical safety of my clients.” …