Post-frame Covered Equestrian Round Pens
Reader DAWN in MARRIETTA writes:
“I know that there is a standard width of beams for roofs and I’d like to fall into that over custom size. I’d like the size to be 80 x 80+ as a covered structure to work horses within. Is this size doable? And approximately what is the cost. Thanks.”
Our oldest daughter Bailey (https://www.instagram.com/baileymomb/?hl=en) is a professional horse trainer in Shelbyville, TN. She is a multiple-time World Champion as both a rider and a trainer. Many of my past equestrian articles have relied upon her expert input.
Round pens are used for establishing a relationship, understanding body language, and to facilitate groundwork and respect with a horse. Those smaller confines of a round pen and lack of corners make it a safe space for longing, liberty work, establishing trust, and desensitizing to new and scary objects.
A standard round pen is usually around 50 to 60 feet in diameter. If it’s riding you want it for, you will need it to be at least 50 feet, but 60 or 65 feet is better, as this creates less bend and therefore less torque on your horse’s inside joints.
A 40-foot round pen is ideal for lazy horses or for where you are doing a lot of footwork. Too big of a pen and you are expending energy and just not going to see results. Larger sized round pens, 50, 60, or 70 feet, are generally used when riding. They give you more room, and it’s not too tight of a bend so a horse can actually canter or lope.
While an 80′ x 80′ (or even up to 100′ x 100′) is totally doable, it may be more than what you actually need and your investment per square foot of area covered is going to gradually increase once you cross 60 foot clear-spans.