In this article I will case study 2 busy livery yards and explore the requirements and uses of the round pens that would be most suited to each.
We will call our yards livery yard A and livery yard B. Both yards are similar in many ways. Each provides livery for 20+ horses, and each find that their arenas are particularly busy at peak hours, mainly weekends and between 4pm-8pm.
Livery yard A is primarily a show jumping yard. They have an indoor arena and a large outdoor arena as well as an electric walker. The indoor arena has a course of jumps built and the outdoor has a single warm-up jump.
They are interested in a round pen to be used primarily for turn out and as lunging ring. During the busy hours, owners lunging horses in the arena while people are trying to jump poses a potential danger. If a horse gets loose, or is behaving badly, it can be very disruptive to those trying to jump.
Turn out is also a problem for yard A. They have very limited pasture, and in the winter it is completely unusable. The outdoor arena has been used in the past, but this has made the footing muddy and removing the manure on a regular basis is very time consuming.
Yard A has chosen a 60 foot round pen. They are planning on setting it up in the corner of the outdoor arena. This negates the need for additional footing or digger work. Side panels can easily be removed for dragging, and removing manure from the turn out horses is much easier.
By choosing the 60 foot size, it can be ridden in without undue stress to the horses.
Livery yard B is also a jumping yard, but in addition to livery and training, they also breed and start young horses for professional show jumping.
They have a very large indoor arena, a large outdoor arena and a smaller outdoor arena. They have been using the small outdoor for turn out, lunging, backing young horses and loose jumping.
They have also found that the footing in the small outdoor arena has become sloppy from turn out and manure. They have also had problems with horses breaking the fencing during first attempts at loose jumping, and although the arena is small, its not quite small enough to back a horse easily.
Livery yard B share some of the same problems as Livery yard A, such as peak hours causing problems with lunging and turn out.
They have also chosen a 60 foot round pen, but have opted for the premium professional heavy weight pen. The 6 foot high sides will accommodate their desires to train 3 year olds for loose jumping competitions, and the inconvenience and possible dangers of broken fence rails will be a thing of the past.
They have decided to put the round pen in a new area of the yard, and will be putting down proper footing and drainage, making it a permanent fixture.
This will allow them to dedicate the small outdoor arena to turn out only, and move all other lunging and colt starting activities into the new round pen.
Both yards had similar but different requirements, and have chosen the right round pen for their needs.
If your yard is in need of help determining which pen would be most suited, feel free to contact us.