There was an article on anti round pen usage... Here is my perspective/response:
I find 95% of folks misuse a round pen, whether under the guise of "exercising" or teaching conditioned responses, such as the lesser of two evils is to turn, face the human and be caught; which is a bullying tactic.
One of the greatest negative contributors in the horse industry (to both the human and horse) is the misperception of Horse Training.
Looking ahead to the upcoming riding season, whether you ride for pleasure or are a competitor, you can strive to offer a supportive partnership towards your horse. I will touch on two concepts that you can start considering, without even having to battle the outdoor winter conditions!
The first is addressing your mental focus. Often we think of riding as an escape from the everyday challenges and stresses of life. The horse on the other hand can immediately recognize if the person is not mentally present or if they are distracted, stressed, tired, etc.
I suggest folks learn how to mentally “leave reality at the door” when they are heading out to ride. My perspective is that the ride begins when someone thinks about going for the ride. Mentally separating other aspects of life from the time spent with the horse allows a rider to offer the same level of consideration, conversation, and focus they are asking from their horse.
Most people using this type of halter are not tying the knot correctly. Often the halter slips and loosens after a short while. This can become dangerous if the bottom section gets "stuck" around the horse's jaw and he panics.
This makes the halter not only ineffective for the initial purpose but also creates continuous unintentional pressure elsewhere, leading to defensiveness in the horse.