A round pen offers a conducive training environment for horses. Choosing a suitable round pen for your horses can be a challenging task. You have to consider the size, type of footing, and material for the pen.
The ideal size of a round pen is typically between 100-200 square feet. Round pens that are too large may be difficult to control and manipulate. On the other hand, round pens that are too small may not allow enough space for your horse during training.
It’s also important to consider the type of footing in the round pen. Ideally, the footing should be a combination of dirt and sand. The dirt serves as anchor that prevents the sand from shifting, while the sand provides cushioning for the horse.
If you’re going to be using your pen outdoors, it’s important to choose a material that can withstand the elements. Wood is always a good choice, but plastic or metal may also work well.
Round pens, essential equipment for horses
A round pen is an effective horse-training tool. It is a circular enclosure used to work or train horses. Round pens allow horses to move in circular paths. The circular motion prevents the horses from getting stuck at the corners as would have been the case if the pen has edges.
Trainers use round pens to control horses by keeping them focused in a single direction. The circular motion can help to expose a horse’s weak points and make it easier for the trainer to work with them.
Round pens are an excellent location for in-hand groundwork and lunging because they limit “escape paths”. They’re also convenient for riders who are taking the first few rides on new or young horses.
Not only do round pens keep horses from getting sidetracked on rides, but beginner riders can also use them to improve their horsemanship skills.
The features of a round pen
Horses need to learn how to properly bend and turn. A round pen is a great place for training horses in controlled settings because it allows you as the trainer to see everything the horse is doing.
The shape of the pen also matters – it has be round so that riding and training practices can be targeted specifically at areas where the horse needs improvement.
As Garn Walker, a trainer from Bartonville, says, a series of arcs make up a circle. So the further and faster you take a horse from one point to another, the tighter those arcs become.
If you want to train your horse in an area with short grasses, the best place to build a pen is on level land that has an excellent drainage system.
You can make the training space more comfortable for your horse by softening the top layer of soil that doesn’t have grass. Some people prefer a layered arena footing – so using gravel, wood shavings, and sand to cover the surface area of the pen.
Usually, the gravel is the base layer followed by sand or wood shavings. Gravel covered with an extensive layer of sand is ideal for wet climates due to its good drainage.
On the other hand, if there is too much rain, wood shavings can become slippery. Adding a layer of sand to these materials will reduce how slick they are. No matter what you choose for your footing material, its purpose is to decrease the chances of tripping and injuring yourself.
The Ideal Size of a Horse Round Pen
The standard diameter for a horse round pen is 60 feet, which is large enough to comfortably ride in. Some trainers however prefer an even bigger pen with a 80-foot diameter. But if you’re just looking to do some groundwork or lunging, then a 50-60 foot wide round pen will work perfectly fine.
The maximum and minimum recommended diameters for round pens are 100 feet and 30 feet respectively. Round pens are usually 6 to 8 feet high; however, the needs of trainers can influence the size of a round pen. Those working with bigger horses will need more space than those handling smaller ones.
Materials for Building a Round Pen
If you’re looking to construct a round pen, metal panels are the most popular choice. These types of panels provide more versatility if you decide to move or adjust the size of your pen in the future.
You may need to add or remove panels from the enclosure for different training purposes, and some horse owners prefer permanent fixtures. Solid material panels are also safer as they limit the risk of hanging accidents.
Another option is to build a pen using pipe panels that can be easily connected and disassembled. You can then use wooden or metal rails to cover the panels and make a solid enclosure.
For those with smaller budgets, pre-made round pens can be purchased from many online retailers.
You’ll need metal posts to support the panels, and they should be 8 feet tall. Use metal bar bracing or wooden braces on the outside of the pen.
Types of horse round pens
Round pens are an important tool in the horse world. They provide a safe, secure, and comfortable environment for your horses to exercise, socialize, and train.
With so many different types of round pens available on the market today, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you and your horse.
Let’s take a look at the different types of round pens and what they have to offer.
Metal Round Pens
One of the most popular types of round pens are metal round pens. These are typically made out of galvanized steel or aluminum and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Metal round pens offer a low-maintenance option that is both strong and durable.
They can also be easily installed with minimal effort, making them ideal for those who don’t have much time on their hands. The only downside to metal round pens is that they can be quite expensive compared to other options on the market.
Wooden Round Pens
Wooden round pens offer a classic look that is sure to complement any barn or stable setting. Wooden round pens are usually made from cedar or pressure-treated pine wood and come in various sizes and shapes.
Wooden round pens are relatively easy to install but require more upkeep than metal ones due to their vulnerability to weather damage such as rot or warping over time if not properly maintained. Wooden round pens tend to be less expensive than their metal counterparts.
Portable Round Pens
Portable round pens offer convenience for those who need something that can be setup quickly when needed and then taken down just as easily when not in use.
Portable round pen panels are typically made from either galvanized steel or PVC plastic panels connected by hinges or clips so they can be folded up into a more compact size when not in use.
Portable round pen panels can come in various sizes but tend to be more limited than permanent versions due to their limited durability and stability when compared with permanent installations.
No matter which type of horse round pen you choose, it’s important to remember that all horses need regular exercise in order to stay healthy both mentally and physically.
By investing in an appropriate type of horse round pen, you’ll give your horses the opportunity for plenty of exercise without taking away from time spent training them or caring for them during other activities outside the ring.
With a lot of options on the market for metal, wooden, and portable round pens, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you and your horses.
Regardless of the type of round pen you choose, it will be a great addition to your stable and will help your horses stay fit, healthy, and happy.