footing to use in a round pen?

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footing to use in a round pen?

This is a discussion on footing to use in a round pen? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • 60' round pen base
  • Barrier for keeping sand in round pen

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    03-07-2011, 12:17 PM
Talking footing to use in a round pen?

Hi I am a new horse owner. We currently have one horse and have a 1/2 acre paddock for him and just added electric to another acre for grazing when the weather is nicer. We live on a small 7 acre farm and we are thinking of building a round pen now! Probably between 60-80ft in diameter. I was wondering what kind of footing should be used in this kind of pen and what my options are. The pen will be used for lunging and riding. I haven't had lessons since I was 14 (I'm now almost 25) so I will also be having an instructor come and give me lessons in this pen as well. Let me know what you all think about the footing or any input you have, since this is all new to me! Thanks!!
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    03-07-2011, 12:39 PM
A nice medium sand is the best.
Sometimes it is called 5/16ths minus.

If the sand is too fine it can compact too much and become hard over time and also the wind can blow it away.

If it is a bit too course it is a bit rough on the hoofs.

If manure is left in the pen the sand will mix in with it when the rain comes and make a mess.

Check with your local gravel plant or hauler for the availability in your area.
It should take a full truck and trailer load for the size you are planning.

You want good drainage and plan for a crown in the middle and something to keep the sand smooth.
    03-07-2011, 02:41 PM
Depth is important to, right? Does anyone have advice on that as well? :)
    03-07-2011, 06:16 PM
I would say 8 to 12 inches depth depending on the material and compaction.
    03-07-2011, 08:05 PM
What about rubber mulch or shreddings?
    03-07-2011, 08:32 PM
Originally Posted by emwiss86    
what about rubber mulch or shreddings?

They are expensive and they float if it rains and that means that they can float away and make a mess.
They also mess up the ground if you ever want to grow something there in the future because the ground is full of rubber.
    03-07-2011, 10:49 PM
You don't want anything much over 4" for a big horse. Anything over that is too much work and can pull muscles and tendons. At 4" you can use it for basic RP work but it's too deep for riding. As far as size, 60' is norm. Big enough to canter comfortably and small enough to be able to put pressure on your horse in a nano second. 80' allows your horse to get too far away from you. As the horses get smaller they need less depth of footing. (a mini would die working in 4")

When I did mine, after grading, I put down 3" of road base, packed and rolled it. Watered it and packed it again. Added 4" of the largest grain sand (call it different thing different places). The road base makes a barrier and doesn't allow the dirt underneath to work up to the sand. It also sheds the water by stopping it from soaking down. The footing is always good, never have any wet spots and other than harrowing it, it has stood up to 10 years of use. To figure out how much sand you need, 1T covers 220 sq ft 1 inch. Roadbase is about the same.

building, footing, round pen

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