When it comes to training or exercise, round pens are a valuable tool. They can provide a controlled environment for working with horses, allowing for training, longeing, and building a bond between you and your horse. But make sure you prioritize safety when using a round pen. A solid training session can quickly turn sour in an unsafe environment. Check out these simple tips to keep this space a safe and productive place for your horse.
9 Easy Steps to Ensuring Round Pen Safety
- Inspect the integrity: Regularly check the integrity of the round pen walls or panels. Make sure there are no loose or broken parts that could pose a risk to your horse.
- Secure fencing: Ensure that the fencing material used is sturdy and free from sharp edges. Check for protruding nails that could potentially harm your horse.
- Proper footing: Maintain the footing of the round pen by regularly leveling and removing any rocks, holes, or uneven surfaces that could cause tripping or injuries.
- Consider using safe fencing options: Panels with rounded edges or smooth materials can reduce the risk of injury if your horse comes into contact with them. Wood round pens are a great option as long as you maintain the wood and check often for cracks and rotting wood.
- Avoid obstacles: Remove any unnecessary objects or obstacles from the round pen area to minimize the chances of your horse colliding with them during training or exercise sessions.
- Place hardware on the outside: If using hardware such as hinges or latches, make sure they are positioned on the outside of the fence. This helps prevent your horse from getting caught on them.
- Adequate size: Ensure your round pen is appropriately sized for your horse. It should allow enough space for movement and turning without feeling confined.
- Stay alert: This space can be a great space to turn your horse out to roll, or play. However, if you’re in the middle of a training session, doing groundwork, or riding, stay alert and aware. In a small space like a round pen, dangerous situations can arise quickly. Expect solid manners from your horse. Understand that a young or green horse might feel confined and anxious in a small space.
- Regular maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain the pen to address any potential safety hazards promptly.