Advice re: size of round pen - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-02-2013, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Question Advice re: size of round pen

Hello. I am new here and building a new barn this year. I was going to build a small barn but have been playing with the idea of building a larger (but not as fancy) building that I could put a round pen in. I live in a climate with very cold winters and would appreciate no wind and snow! Here's the thing, if I go with a 48x72' building (post with metal siding/roof) I think it would allow about 47' for a round pen and 24' for a row of stalls/tack room and an alley. The idea is to have a place to be with my horses in inclement weather. A building wider than that would go up significantly in price. Is this size worth doing at all?
Thanks for any input!!
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-02-2013, 09:53 AM
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Congrats on the new barn! General rule of thumb is that a round pen should be a minimum of 60 foot in diameter. Smaller will have you putting a lot of stress on your horse's joints. The round pen at my barn has a 76 foot diameter to accomodate some big warmbloods, and I'm finding it perfect for working my little 14.1 hand two year old.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-02-2013, 10:40 AM
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If you can't go wider due to percent cost increase can you go longer at less of an increase? 48 X 70 I find workable for a smaller horse and slower work with a larger horse but the tighter turns can aggravate. A 66 round can also work if you are in the saddle but a 47 round is really tight. I find even for a small horse where it is fine for ground work, riding is a challenge.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-02-2013, 11:31 AM
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You can go smaller if you don't do a whole lot of work in there or most of what you do is slow work. I think mine is around 50' diameter and I can w/t/c a horse under saddle in there...but I don't do a whole lot of it. Mostly just the first 3-4 rides and then they don't go in there again.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-02-2013, 11:49 AM
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We have a 50' diameter round pen and I don't particularly enjoy using it, but its workable with the smaller horses. I can work the littler ones (under 15hh) there fairly easily, but with the longer strided horses I find that its worthless to do much more than some ground work and maybe a bit of w-t.

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post #6 of 8 Old 07-02-2013, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hello. Thanks for your posts. I understand it isn't a large place to ride, likely never any cantering around in there. Just thought it would be a nice spot to work/play with my yearling and maybe lunge my grown up horse (14.2) or ride around bareback in, etc when its cold outside. Its just me here, and an arena sounds like overkill. I will have an outdoor space designated as an arena. And trails to ride on. The original plan was a 24x36 wide barn but it was pretty fancy, concrete floors, wash stall etc. I thought mabye it would be worth giving up some of those luxuries to be able to do something besides groom them when its super cold out. Am still waiting on the price for the 60' wide building..... Keep you posted...
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-02-2013, 06:32 PM
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Round yard size varies with what you want to do. For ground work often smaller is better, but for riding bigger is better.

Our round yard is a bit over 14m which is about what yours would be too. It's fine for groundwork and great for trotting, but while horses can canter on free lunge, an unbalanced or larger one might have difficulty and I wouldn't recommend riding at a canter on any horse that wasn't well balanced and used to it being that tight.

Saying that, once you're riding a horse at the stage where you'd want to be cantering in a round yard, you'd also probably want to be riding in a bigger area.

So it depends what you want it for. If it's just groundwork, the occasional ride around maybe or riding a younger horse, then I think that size is fine. For general riding, it's too small and you'd probably want to look at something heading more to arena sizes.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-07-2013, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Hello all. Have decided on the 48x72 building - well, partly my budget decided it for me. LOL Have put another post on here about the layout of the stalls.... so if you're in the mood to make suggestions on that - I'm all ears.
I'm excited to have a round pen for winter. Even if it isn't large. I have an outdoor arena. Can't wait to get it built!!!!
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barn , build , round pen

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