Building a Round Pen
I'm looking into building a round pen (on a budget).
I have read several articles on round pen construction and materials and have decided that I will be using all wood (except for the gate).
I would like the pen to be not too large and not too small; preferably some where in between. Any suggestions on how big to make it?
I already have about 20 or so 4x4 pressure treated posts. I would like to use those posts if possible (to save a little money).
I think I want each post about 8 feet apart and use 3 2x4's between each posts.
Anyone who knows anything about the construction of a round pen... PLEASE HELP!
Your footing is more important than your walls. I know people who have used something as flimsy as electric fencing for the walls and the horse stays in. You need to get the ground level. For wetter areas, dig it out, get a truck load of pea gravel and put about a 2 inch layer of pea gravel, cover with a dirt/sand mixture. Our pen is made from corral panels but its more important to make it actually round.
As Corinowalk said, footing is very important, but so is size. A round pen needs to be at least 6' high, and IMHO 60' diameter. The 6' height discourages horses from trying to jump it, if you push them too hard, and the 60' diameter is big enough for most horses to lope comfortably in, but not so big that you're running all over creation trying to use it. Material wise, you could use 6' welded wire fence with a 2"x4" at the top only. I would also suggest using a 2"x12" treated lumber at the very bottom to help keep your footing inside the round pen.
We have a nice level area and reasonably good drainage. We plan on tilling up the soil and compacting it, then adding a layer of dirt/sand mixture.
This may not be of any help, but our round pen is portable tube panels. We thought of building a more permanent one but since we have had it (9 years -+) we have reconfigured it many times. Sometimes we use it just round, sometimes we use it as a lane to the trailer. We have even used it as a squeeze chute when meds needed given to a quarrelsome horse.
Just a thought :D
Great minds think alike Vida...LOL thats what we use too. Works great, is mostly portable and is versatile!
I am a firm believer in using pipe panels, not only are they portable but they are also sturdier and safer than wood or wire. There was a person, I think a member here a long time ago, who posted pictures of their horse after breaking one of the 2x4s in the corral it was in. The horse ended up impaled through the back leg/butt with one of the boards.
You might ask around to folks in your area. I found a guy around here that deals really good pipe panels that are 6 feet tall and don't carry the risks of some of the others (no gaps where they meet for a horse to get a foot hung, no bracing that reaches out to grab your saddle, etc). They are 10 feet long and they only cost a little over $50 apiece. I could probably call a friend and find out what company makes them if you would be interested.
Here is a pic of my roundpen (I use a different size and shape than most but I have my reasons).
I know someone posted on here awhile ago who built a round pen out of tires. They had a company dump old tires at their house for free. They drilled holes in the tires so they wouldn't collect water. Then placed them on their sides. It was big, cheap and made to where if the horse went through it neither the round pen or horse should be injured. It also looked sturdy enough that the horse wouldn't think of going through it because it looked like a wall. I was thinking of doing it as I need a round pen but can't really afford panels at the moment.
I would love to build a round pen, but to the poster who mentioned getting panels for $50 apiece-is that normal? they seem to cost 100 each here (KS)
No, it isn't normal. As far as I know, this is a nationwide company but it is cheaper if you and a bunch of other people can pitch in for an entire semi-truck load (that's the way the dealer here does it). I was very fortunate to find these because they are actual pipe, not the aluminum tube panels that you find at your local co-op or farm/ranch store. These won't bend every time a horse bumps into them. For anyone who is interested, I am sure I could find out what the manufacturing company is and a number they could contact.
Odd that the flimsy little tube panels you buy at the store are about $95 for a 10 foot panel that's 5 feet tall, and these are virtually unbendable by any size horse and they are less than $60 for a 10 foot panel that's 6 foot tall.
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