When I first started learning about horses, pressue was such a buzz word. I was told that horses move away from pressure, which I have finally learned is not true. Instead, I believe they are programed to move into pressure, we TEACH them to move away from pressure and some of us are better at that than others.
So I orginally thought about the pressure of my hands on a horse on the ground or my legs when riding, but now I think about pressure in terms of ALL the things causing a horse to do what they do. The rattling flag, the panels of the round pen, my direct stare, the dogs running behind them in the field, all create pressure on the horse.
So lets say we use two forms of pressure, our body and the panel of the round pen. A horse can feel trapped trying to go between the two. I have seen it plenty in the way I was first taught to use a round pen and even tonight. So, now how can I use a tool like the round pen to help my horse learn about the maintenance of gait without feeling panicked or pressured?
I think it is about observation and experimentation. Tonight, I found the liberty of the round pen was too much pressure for Zapa who was panicked. So I actually put him back on the lead where he immediately became comfortable, so next time I will put him on the 22' lead to experience the round pen without so much pressure. I'll let you know how it goes.