Over the past 10 to 15 years, the English equestrian sport has adapted an old Western training tactic: training horses using a round pen. The round pen offers fantastic training opportunities for both young and old horses. Are you interested in learning why your next arena construction project should be a round pen? Check out the following top round pen training techniques.
- Practice free jumping for young and old horses. Round pens eliminate the need to build an elaborate free jumping shoot. Within the confines of a round pen, horses can learn to jump small obstacles, land on the correct lead, and improve their balance. All of thic can be achieved while the trainer stands at the center of the ring and watches the horse's movements.
- Lunge horses in a secure area. Nothing is worse than trying to lunge a wild horse in an area where they have room to run. Round pens are the perfect solution to those days when your horse feels like joining the rodeo.
- Provide a safe and enclosed riding arena for beginners. Round pens instill an additional level of confidence in beginner riders. They can safely navigate the ring, without having to remain on the lunge.
- Practice balance for riders at all levels. To practice balance in a round pen, simply tie your reins safely in the horses mane and practice steering with your legs and weight.
- Confined turnout area, with good footing, that is perfect for rehabbing injured horses. If you don't have rehabilitation specific turnout, then a round pen could be just the solution for your turnout needs.
It is easy to see that round pens are a great asset to any barn, however, not all round pens are created equal. The exterior of a round pen can be made of either jointed metal fastenings or a solid wood construction. Creating a round pen out of metal panels requires little to no maintenance; the round pen is also easily constructed, de-constructed, and moved to new locations. Wooden round pens should be built by a professional arena construction company. Typically a wooden round pen is safer than its metal counterpart. Wooden round pens are also visually appealing and can be painted to match the rest of the barn's fencing.
No matter which type of round pen arena construction you choose, you should always be sure to build a round pen with a minimum of 50ft - 60ft in diameter. Sand or a jumper blend are two of the ideal footings to use inside of your round pen. For optimal footing conditions, round pens should be watered and dragged on a regular basis. Now that you have a basic guide to round pen construction and benefits, as the Old Western riders would say, "giddyap" and happy riding!