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Round Pen Fundamentals – Base & Footing


By:El Landers


Sometimes you get so excited about working on a project that you forget about the fundamentals and inevitably find out halfway through the project that you forgot to do something basic.

Building a horse round pen is no different - there are fundamental steps to follow to make sure you build a safe, secure and long-lasting roundpen for your equine friends. Let’s look at one of the fundamentals necessary for a quality-built round pen: your round pen base and footing.

One of the first steps is to make sure that you have a layered base and level ground. Why is this so important? Well, for starters any structure will last longer when it is properly leveled and constructed. Secondly, a well designed base provides the necessary drainage. You don’t want to go outside after a heavy rainstorm and find that you have a nice, new round pen pond!

If you are extremely lucky, you will have a level piece of ground to work with and a sand base. Unfortunately, for the other 99% of us out there, we’ll have to work with what we have and make it suitable! There are several methods to leveling the ground and providing the proper drainage with suitable footing. These vary depending on budget and amount of work you want to put into it.

A properly constructed round pen base and footing resembles a layered cake. By sloping your base layer, adding mixtures of coarse gravel, stone dust and landscaping cloth (if desired), you will build up a layered sub-base and base that will provide excellent drainage. While this is a lot of work up front, the benefits will pay off over time.

The icing on this layered cake is the footing. Remember, the footing is what provides the support for your horse and also adds to the safety factor. This final layer will vary depending on your climate and conditions. Some of your footing options are: sand, wood mulch, or shredded rubber. You can also use a combination of sand and shredded rubber, for example.

Depending on the material you use, you may need to replace it every so often as well. When you experience your first rain or storm, some of your footing will inevitably seep into your base layer. Keep this in mind when you are purchasing your footing – you’ll likely need to order approximately 10 – 25% extra depending on the footing type and your climate conditions.

So remember, when you start your round pen project, build from the bottom – up and you’ll be on your way to a safe and long-lasting horse round pen.

© 2006 E. Landers

Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/

El Landers

Round Pen


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