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Necessary or just a nice extra? I have the opportunity to go ahead and get one if I want (the husband wanted some fishing equipment so he owes me the horse item of my choice, lol). I am leaning towards a round pen but am not 100% sold on "needing" it. For those with round pens, how often do you use them?
 

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I use my round pen allways. If I don't round pen my 14yr old QH before I ride he wants to act up. I also have a paint mare who will be 4 in two months I wouldn't even think of riding her unless I round pen her first. I like it better than lungging my horse. She is verry well manered when you put the halter on her. She acts up a bit other wize at times so round pen seems to give her better maners with out having her on lead rope.
 

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Due to the weather I haven't used mine all winter. You can certainly get by without one but if you start alot of young horses then you will probably use it alot. If you only ride you well broke horses then don't bother and go buy a new saddle.
 

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I use my round pen quite often in the summer--almost daily. Since I do not have an enclosed arena, I use my round pen for lunging, grooming areas, training, separating horses, etc. It is nice to have, especially since it is portable, but it is not very good for riding in--there isn't much that you can do in it. I have been considering setting it up in an 'L' formation in a corner of one of my pastures (secured with posts so it doesn't tip) so I could have an arena.

All in all, I am glad I have one and that it is so versatile. But if you have an arena, I can't see much reason in needing a round pen, unless you wanted to pursue free lunging or needed something that was portable.
 

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I LOVE the round pen at my barn, and dont know what I would ever do without it!!! Every single time I go to the barn, I use it. So about 3 times a week. Its so easy, great for many things!!!
 

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I don't use one at all, but I don't need to lunge my horse either. When I do lunge my horse, I free lunge her in the arena.

I guess it depends on if you need it for very specific training that requires a round pen. I could certainly think of better items to spend $900ish on. (that's what they cost around here)
 
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