How to make a round pen

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How to make a round pen

This is a discussion on How to make a round pen within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    06-23-2009, 08:04 PM
How to make a round pen

I am possibley getting a very fearful horse soon and I believe that he would really benefit from the round pen technique. However the problem is we don't have 1.
We do have a menage which is 80 foot x 40 foot. I thought if I can block half the school off with tape attatched to a few jump stands would this work. It would make to pretend round pen approx 40 foot x 40 foot.
Opinions greatly appreciated.
Kind regards
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    06-23-2009, 08:38 PM
That sounds like a decent alternative. You really just need that enclosed space, more than the shape, although round does help more.
    06-24-2009, 04:14 AM
Originally Posted by Kate1982    
I am possibley getting a very fearful horse soon and I believe that he would really benefit from the round pen technique. However the problem is we don't have 1.
We do have a menage which is 80 foot x 40 foot. I thought if I can block half the school off with tape attatched to a few jump stands would this work. It would make to pretend round pen approx 40 foot x 40 foot.
Opinions greatly appreciated.
Kind regards
I wouldn't do that. With a regular horse, fine. But with a "very fearful horse"....nope.

A horse that's fearful will think BOLT and that means that there's a high chance for the horse to reel and try and bolt through your makeshift "wall" of tape (that can tangle him up and frighten him) while the jump stands fall over (and further freak him out)

If the horse is "very fearful" then I wouldn't advice getting him until you can get a real round pen, don't skimp or you may regret it....


Simply go without. You don't need a round pen. Actually, with a fearful horse, if you're not in a big hurry to get things done (shouldn't be anyway, right?)... then your 80 x 40 should work out just fine (as long as the walls to this is at least 6 ft high and solid, nothing that can break if the horse hits it,...should be high enough if the horse thinks to jump it if you pressure him too much, by accident)

You can simply start slow in the 80x40 area....lots of approach and retreat....talking hours worth....days worth....of approach and retreat....til you can walk up to the horse without his leaving....and halter him and then rub him down with a training stick or a whip, etc....
    06-24-2009, 04:51 AM
This may not be suitable in your situation, but I read somewhere that a cheap way to make a roundpen was to use hay bales.
Sounds pretty neat but...
A) would it last? The hay might rot over time, idk
B) is it stable? Most horses won't hit the sides of a round pen voluntarily, but a fearful or problem horse might and the bales might tumble.
C) your horse might stop for a munch , but I suppose this would be a good opportunity to teach manners around food.

Anyway, just thought I'd mention it. Good luck with the new horse!
    06-24-2009, 05:38 PM
Thanks for your help. I must admit that him bolting through it was my main concern. However I live in England and we really don't have many round pens at all. In fact there are definitely non near me. As for buying 1 it's not my yard so I can't put a round pen there. The 80 x 40 school that we have only has a 4 foot fence (not solid) around it and I don't want him on a line at 1st as he is a kicker and don't really want him that close while I have hold of him. Also if he pull away on a rope and he manages to get away then I will have a whole other problem on my hands.
I'm going to see him on Monday to assess if I think I could cope with him. But I'm limited to where I can work with him.
    06-25-2009, 10:40 AM
Hey there...
I think I have to agree with the others...If this horse is fearful it will want to go through anything to get away from the source of fear.
I am not sure how expensive it is to get the pipe fencing for this but I think CA uses one that is 50x50 or 40...can't remember. I do know that a good heighth of the round pens fencing is a must so that the horse in a fearful state will not be so inclined to want to go up and over the round pen fence.
I know that CA talks about doing RP excercises in a square pen but for the fearful or inexperienced horse I would say the having one made with pipe or pipe and wooden walls may be better.
Certainly not everyon can afford these things. Is there a neighbor that has a round pen you may be able to hand walk too...?
Just a thought.
Sometimes you can find people getting rid of their RP's in certain types of papers or on bulliten(sp) boards...
Good luck. Try your local feed store and estamate the cost and or check there advertisement board....
Half pass
    06-26-2009, 05:09 PM
Thanks again for your repiles. Unfortunately there is no one near that has a round pen. I have just got the gaining respect and controlon the ground series of CA. And it's to start for people who don't have round pens. So although I think he would extremely benefit from round pen work i'm just going to stick to following the exercises on this dvd set which is fantastic btw!!
    06-26-2009, 05:28 PM
Hey there...
I think this is the same set of dvds that I have...I just watched the first disc today! I enjoyed it and although I have worked with horses since I was a child and I am already very familiar with some of the excersises I still find myself making the common handler
There are sever differnt round pens at the ranch where my horse is.
Two of them are 50's and then there are two smaller ones.
If you like I could try photographing them so you can see how they are made. Have you tried to find any books or internet searches?
I tried a quick search and found lots of info on how to build one on a budget.
I did not read the entire article ut it seemed pretty cool.
I too am going to start to do some of the ground work excerises in different areas at the ranch where my horse is. I am going to do this to cahnge up the sceenery he works in and to keep his mind stimulated etc.
Have you enquired about the Round pen building at your local ffed and or hosre and farm/ranc supply company/store.? I find that these folks are pretty knowledgeable about these things and even though they might not be as popular in your area, it may spark their interest enough to help and research how to do so. It seems to be an ever growing tool in training and working with all types of horses used for many types of activities....
Hoep this helps and please Pm if you need to, or would like a phot of one of the simpler RP's at the ranch where my horse is...
Half Pass
    06-26-2009, 07:46 PM
Yeah I have looked into building one but i'm looking at bout 1000 which I just don't have and the lady who owns the yard proberbly wouldn't be 2 happy anyway. There are no round pens for sale anywhere that I can see. But as I said round pens are just not done in england at all. Maybe one day we wil catch you guys up. Hehe

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