There is a common misperception that round pens are specifically designed for “alternative” training methods, but this is far from the truth! In this article I am going to case study 2 breeding facilities.
Our first facility is a stud farm focused on AI standing Thoroughbreds and Sport Horses, and our second facility is a home breeder standing Connemaras with live covers.
Facility one is a large operation, standing 10 Thoroughbred and Sport Horse stallions and several broodmares. They also offer stabling for mares during the breeding season. They only offer AI and no live covers.
They have several 1/2 acre paddocks as well as a jumping arena. Their current issue is that their stallions can not be turned out together, so the paddocks get used for broodmares and foals. The arena is full of jumps, and therefore is not suitable for turn out.
They chose to purchase 4x50ft round pens comprised of 2 heavyweight and 2 lightweight pens. They took one of their 1/2 acre pastures and had a sand surface put down over a 125ftx125ft area to accommodate their 4 pens.
The plan is to use the lighter weight pens for turnout of the more docile stallions, injury recovery, and mares. They also planned on using the extreme portability of the pens to make smaller areas when needed, move them around the facility and open them up and join them together for a 100ft riding ring/loose jumping ring.
The heavy weight pens will be for the larger more challenging stallions, as well as training and backing the young and upcoming stallions.
These 4 pens will allow 4 stallions to be turned out at the same time, and by working on a rotation basis, all stallions will receive several hours of turn out every day, including the winter. The sand will make poo picking very easy, saving the integrity of the pastures through the winter.
Facility two is a home breeder standing 2 Connemara stallions and 3 broodmares. He has stabling and pasture but no arena. He only offers live covers, and currently holds the mares and stallions in the yard for covering.
He has chosen 1x50ft heavy weight pen lined completely with stock board. The plan is to use this pen for his live covers as well as winter turn out for all his horses. He has decided to have the pen covered with stock board to prevent injury to mares that may decide to kick out during servicing.
To save money, he has decided to put down wood chip in the corner of his pasture for a temporary footing solution, with a plan to put in a sand base at a later date.
Both facilities are very different but have found the use of their round pens invaluable in their daily routine. If you want to know how a round pen can work in your individual situation, be sure to contact us. Prices may be found here.