The round pen is an essential part of working a young horse. It gives the trainer control over the colt without physical contact. As it has learned from its mother and herdmates, the colt learns to respond to the trainer's movement and attitude.
Initially the colt is told to make outside turns and to move in a specified direction. He is then blocked to a stop. The third movement is the most important part of round pen work; the youngster is invited to make an inside turn. This is the first time the horse responds to a suggestion rather than a command.
This training is refined until the horse can move in 3 gaits with good transitions, stop and turn with minimal command from the trainer.
Respect on the ground is vital for the trainer to bring the best out of a horse when riding.