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Discussion on Round pen dimensions

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Barbara A. Hockemeyer
Member
Username: Toad

Post Number: 15
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, Nov 22, 2002 - 10:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Please, could someone tell me the proper dimensions of a round pen? I would sure appreciate it.

Thanks, barbaraH
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Holly Edwards
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 203
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Friday, Nov 22, 2002 - 10:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, Barbara. If you are going to be working with young horses, you want at least a 60 foot diameter. If the horses get cantering around the pen for any length of time, a smaller than 60 foot circle will put undue stress on their leg joints as they lean into the smaller circle. If you are only going to use it as an exercise pen for older stock, 50 round will work.
Holly
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Melissa Boschwitz
Member
Username: Amara

Post Number: 30
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Friday, Nov 22, 2002 - 10:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

if your horse is between 15-17 hands (and an adult), then a 60 ft. round pen would be appropriate... smaller for smaller horses, larger for larger horses... a 12 hand pony would be fine in a 40ft round pen... size is important, as the correct diameter roundpen induces the 15 degree bending in the spine, which is necessary for central nervous system effect...
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Nancy Herbert
Member
Username: Gemtwist

Post Number: 139
Registered: 5-2000
Posted on Friday, Nov 22, 2002 - 11:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The comment about the 15 degree bend in the spine is interesting! I hadn't heard of that before. How about if you're using the pen to free jump in?
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Melissa Boschwitz
Member
Username: Amara

Post Number: 31
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 - 5:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

if i were jumping a horse in a round pen i'd probably want a larger round pen, just to reduce the stress on my horses legs, unless the jumps were small...
obviously if you increase the size of the round pen you'd lose that 15 degree bend in the spine (but save your horses legs...)..

but in the ideal world, get that 15 degree bend... when the horse develops his relaxed pace and that spine is correctly bent, you limit the amount of brace and resentment induced, and encourage acceptance of the procedure..
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Nancy Herbert
Member
Username: Gemtwist

Post Number: 140
Registered: 5-2000
Posted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 - 9:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

One of my winter projects is to put in a round pen, but didn't have any idea what size to put in either. I guess I'll be putting in 2 (grin). The 60 footer for sure and then try to figure out how big I need to go to free jump a horse in. I've worked in a 90 foot round pen, but even that didn't seem big enough to jump in. I'm just afraid if I go much bigger than that it will be too big to have much control and I haven't found any material that acts as a good rule of thumb. Barbara, sorry for horning in on your question! Thanks for the quick response Melissa! Is there a book anywhere that you found out about the 15 degree spine bend? I was just thinking it might have additional info.

Thanks again!
Nancy
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7337
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 - 1:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Barbara, as you can tell from the above posts, it depends on the intended purpose of the round pen.
DrO
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Melissa Boschwitz
Member
Username: Amara

Post Number: 32
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 - 2:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

i learned about the 15 degree bending of the spine by a clinician...useful for haltering, grooming, saddling, etc...it helps to promote relaxtioin and acceptance of the procedure...
no, it does not mean your horse will relax and accept what you are doing, but the 15 degree bend does allow the CNS to react, whereas a stiff, straight spine inhibits CNS response..

good luck with that 90 ft round pen.. i cant imagine having to move around that much (course, i'm used to the 60ft round pen, so perhaps its not that bad...
how high are you planning on jumping?...H/J's consistently school over fences on a circle, so perhaps 90 ft. is ok...
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 7340
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2002 - 6:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I must insert here that the 15 degree business is conjectural and not based in any science I am aware of. While it is true that a horse 8 foot in length must bend 15 degrees to perfectly bend to the circle with a diameter of 60 feet, there is not an effect on the CNS response if we are talking about nerve transit time.

The most important factors are: is there enough room for the horse to maintain balance (or not so off balance that he cannot learn) but at the same time small enough to communicate effectively at all times. I do believe that learning to travel in a short circle in a balanced way is learned and part of that learning is to bend. 60 feet is traditional for ground working trained horses. I like smaller for ground working unbroke stock.
DrO
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JANETTE MCDOWELL
Member
Username: Westks

Post Number: 13
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 - 11:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I also prefer smaller pen for young horses. However I do not use panels I prefer 3/4 inch plywood stood on end. So the walls are 8'high and do not like round configuration. I use 40' for young horses, 60' for horses I am riding. I prefer square because it supples and teaches to bend instead of lean also gives me corners to start turn on forhand and pivot training, shoulder in shoulder out etc.
I attach a 2x4 stud along each long side of plywood and door type hinges that you slip pin in. 3 of those on each 2x4. I also put 3 2x4 across center (horizontal) of plywood between side 2x4's, at top, center, and bottom. To make it last forever I paint twice 1st painting mix 50/50 mix oil based paint any color with equal portion of linseed oil. I paint both sides and ends it is best to paint 2x4's prior to attaching to plywood, especially center braces precut to go between outer 2x4's. 2nd painting I use 50/50 mix 0f same oil based paint with equal portion of turpentine. This is easily taken apart, moved made square or round and horse cannot see over top with out rearing up. Yes it is heavy but durable , no legs through panels etc. On piece that I open I put gate latches that have the bar that slides into holder and then holding hook slides down over and attach rope to hook of each of three of the hook latches(top, center, bottom) so I can just pull rope to release all three latches and open that one plywood sheet. If painted in this manner paint will never peel, crack, chip, will last at least 30 yrs. Will send picture of gate latch type if not clear on what type. Just email me :-)
Janette
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Laura Swain
Member
Username: Swainl

Post Number: 41
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Friday, Nov 29, 2002 - 6:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just built a round pen for my young dutch horse to work in. He's 16-3 and I built a 60 foot pen with 8 foot walls. My walls are solid wood planks to about 5 feet and then 3 feet of planks with spacing. I'm pretty confident that he can't jump out when I'm free lunging. I don't know what I did before I had one!!!!!
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Susan Cline
Member
Username: Scline

Post Number: 15
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003 - 11:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Any pictures of the homemade wood pens available?
I'm more visual so it would help to see what they look like up.
Thanks
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Jane Besel
Member
Username: Janieb

Post Number: 15
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003 - 1:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

When the 60 foot dimension is noted, does this mean 60 feet in diameter or circumference? Is there an advantage to the "isolation" provided by having a plywood enclosure over a panel type pen? Also, what is the proper and recommended diameter of the metal tubes in a panel? I too would appreciate pictures of any homemade pens!
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George Taglioli
Member
Username: Tagloili

Post Number: 30
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003 - 11:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have always used horses panel to build a round pen. Start out with at least 40 feet of string, find your center. I use a large screw driver to put into ground with string around blade, take string out 30 feet and basically just draw a circle at length of string.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1291
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Monday, Jul 24, 2006 - 12:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Resurrecting an old discussion:

I am looking for a round pen for training purposes to put up at our new farm. I have always been in favor of a Lyons's pen for safety reasons and because the aluminized paint that guards against rust.
I came upone a book about building round pens . . .
For you folks who use a round pen for training, what can you recommend? At this point, mine will be out in the weather. I want to be able to put it together and take it apart myself, and safety for the horse and trainer are key.
Thanks for your suggestions.
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Shawna
Member
Username: Qh4me

Post Number: 169
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, Jul 24, 2006 - 12:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Holly,

I bought a High Qual 60' Round pen and I love it. I believe it is very similar to the John Lyons round pen actually. I can put it up and down myself, plus, I can take it apart and use it as temporary stalls. The panels come in 12' lengths and 6' tall. I have worked babies, and adult horses in it an no one has ever challenged it.

A clinician used my round pen at an event one day to work a 2 year old that had never been handled. He said he was so glad to see the HiQual roundpen when he showed up. He said it was one of the best portable round pens he has ever worked with.

The way the tubes are build make it very safe and reduces the chance of injury. It is connected using rubber type ties, which make it very quiet (no clanks and squeeks) if the horses happen to run into it. I was concerned about the rubber fasteners, but it has been 4 years now and they are as good as new.

4 years now outside and it still looks like it did the day I bought it.

You can check them out on the following web site.

http://hiqualmfg.com/equine/round-pens.html
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1296
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Monday, Jul 24, 2006 - 3:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you, Shawna. I will visit the site. I've never heard of rubber fasteners. In fact, most of the pens I've seen available at the ranch stores here all fasten with chains. Thanks, again.
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Shawna
Member
Username: Qh4me

Post Number: 174
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, Jul 24, 2006 - 5:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly,

I will take a pick of the fastners and you will see how they go together and will understand why the pen is so quiet and how it fastens so tightly. I really like the idea and that was the main reason I bought this pen.

I looked at a number of pens before I bought this one, and they mostly fastened with pins and if you moved the gates a bit, they were very clanky and noisy.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1297
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Monday, Jul 24, 2006 - 8:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Shawna . . . What luck!!! There is a HiQual Pen dealer in the next town from us, so I will call them tomorrow. I had worried about huge shipping costs, but if they have one in stock, we can pick it up ourselves. Thank you, again. I'll let you know more if I get one. The advertisement certainly stresses safety for horse and trainer, and those are my main concerns.
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Shawna
Member
Username: Qh4me

Post Number: 175
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 25, 2006 - 12:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly,

That is excellent. Let me know what you think when you go over and see it. As I said before. I love mine, and I love the versatility of it, and that I can do it myself if I need too.
When I work babies, I actually take a few panels out of it, and then increase the size later.

I found that 60' is just too far away from the little ones.

The panels are a bit awkward to handle yourself as they are 12', but I struggled and managed. It definitely is easier with 2 people, but all in all, I think you will be happy when you have a look at it.

I tried to take pics of the rubber connections, but my camera/computer wasn't co-operating last night. I will try again this evening.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1541
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Sunday, Oct 22, 2006 - 12:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Shawna, I want to thank you for telling me about the Hi-Qual pen. It is the best and safest round pen I've ever seen. Mine is up, finally, and I wanted to show photos of the rubber fasteners so other members can see what makes this pen so special.
HiQualfasteners
Insidefastener
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1542
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Sunday, Oct 22, 2006 - 1:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ooops! Clicked on "post messege" too soon. Also wanted to show the ride-through gate (12 feet high) and the shape of the pipes in the 6 foot high panels.
Panel
I am impressed by the safety and construction of this "Made in U.S.A." round pen. In the past, I have worked in many different round pens both manufactured and homemade, and I have set up many for John Lyons's Symposiums. I have never seen such a great quality round pen as this Hi-Qual one and highly recommend this brand to anyone who asks.HiQualGate2
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