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General Information


THE ROUND PEN: Calculate What You Need!

One of the most effective training tools in your horse training toolbox is ROUND PEN SKILLS.

The funny thing is, this aspect of horsemanship and horse care is often glossed over or not done at all. So many “my horse is good but X” horses could be described without the “but X” part if they had been exposed to good round pen experiences. Seems silly to us that this aspect of horsemanship is not highlighted more to the general equestrian community (even though many well-known Clinicians and Trainers have spoken about it for years).

It is a good investment of time and effort to utilize the round pen and EFFECTIVE techniques that IMPROVE the MIND of the horse, the CONNECTION between the horse and human and the overall PARTNERSHIP the horse and human share.

Now the question of “how big a round pen should I have” is one with MANY answers. Most of the time is depends on space, use, and budget. The most common recommendation for the average equestrian is to have a round pen that is between 50 – 60 feet in diameter. The diameter is the straight line through the center of the circle, or more simply stated the circle’s width. A well-crafted 50-60 foot round pen gives you enough room to perform a wide variety of groundwork and riding exercises without breaking the budget or wearing out your boots walking in circles.

A simple formula for calculating the number of panels you will need to craft your round pen is as follows: Multiply your desired diameter by 3.14. This will determine the circumference. Then divide the circumference by the length of the panels being used (industry standards range between 10 to 16 foot panels, with 10 foot being the most widely accessible). For example, a 50 foot round pen comprised of 10 foot panels will take 16 panels. The same 50 foot round pen comprised of 12 foot panels will take 13 panels and so on.

Get comfortable working in the round pen with your horse. Establish good ground skills, manners and communication and the investment of time – and resources in building a good round pen – will pay off in BIG ways.