2 Round Pens!
by Samantha Guilfoyle
(Clynderwen, Pembrokeshire, UK)
This spring I will be starting a number of horses ranging from shetland ponies to 16.1hh throughroughbreds, a larger round pen would be unsuitable for working with a 28" mini shetland and so would need a much smaller pen for them than I would for the larger horse, the solution, build 2! I like a round pen to be enclosed so that the horse cannot see what is outside the pen thus minimising distractions during a training session, for the larger horses I will be building a 50' pen with walls of 8' high, for the minis I will be looking at around half this size with walls of around 5'. As for location, the largerpen will be built on a site near our driveway which has already been prepared, the site was excavated and filled with heavy grade gravel, when the pen is erected we will lay a layer of membrane over the gravel and then flood the area with about a foot of sand to ive an all weather surface. The smaller pen will be constructed in a small clearing at the entrance to our woods, the ground is generally clear and well drained but access to the area in a narrow unmade path from our garden, however this would not pose an issue for our smaller ponies. The area is well sheltered by trees and from the elements it is protected as it is a level 'plateau' below a small paddock and above a stream This will e a much easier construction and as the ground here is even and clear of obstruction we would not need to lay any additional surface, however, being in woodland the area gets covered with fallen leaves and conkers at certain times of the year so regular raking of the surface would be required unless I decide to erect a gazebo type roof over the pen, an idea I am very much leaning towards as it would be beneficial in bad weather allowing me to work my ponies in the rain, it could also then double up as a covered corral for ponies throughout the winter months.
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