How to Build a Round (with Images)

Table of contents:

How to Build a Round (with Images)
How to Build a Round (with Images)

A cage can provide a safe environment for your horses and prevent them from running away, as well as helping you to become a more effective horse trainer. Rounds are a great way to build body language skills between you and your horse as you can stand in the center of the horse and direct the animal to work around you. But there shouldn't be more than one horse in the ring at a time.


Part 1 of 3: Preparing the Round Area

Build a Round Pen Step 1

Step 1. Decide his size

A 15 m space is fine for working a horse in the lasso, but if you plan to ride with him and train him in the round, you will need to build one that is 18 to 24 m in diameter.

The most common size is 18 m in diameter, but you can create a round 12 to 36.5 m depending on the space you want for you and your horse

Build a Round Pen Step 2

Step 2. Find a piece of level, high ground

Look for an area that is not subject to flooding. The foundation of the round should be firm, with good drainage that does not trap water.

  • If the terrain is not level, you can rent a bulldozer to remove the rocks and level the ground.
  • You can also try to remove stones and debris by hand. It is important that the area is level and smooth so that the horse does not get hurt when walking on it.
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Step 3. Measure the location

Start in the center of the circle and use the measuring tape to create a perfect circle. Take the gate into account in the measure.

The walls or stakes in the round should be at least 1.2 m high and have a relatively small gate. This must be done to allow a horse to enter and exit in comfort

Build a Round Pen Step 4

Step 4. Add a soft floor to the area

You can use the cheapest option, which is plowing the soil, or materials such as sand, sawdust or chopped rubber, or a combination of materials.

  • To use the soil: Plow the soil with a garden cultivator, releasing at least 10 cm from the surface of the soil. You may need to plow this part several times, as the soil compacts with use and creates a hard top cover that can hurt your horse's legs. Remember that in rainy climates the earth will turn to mud and you will not be able to use the round.
  • To use sand: start by adding a layer of gravel. Use a shovel or rake to distribute it. Then spread a layer of sand over the gravel using the rake. Sand provides good drainage and a soft floor, and is a good choice for wetter climates.
  • To use sawdust or mulch: Start by adding a layer of gravel. Then spread a layer of sawdust or mulch over the top. These materials are good for the floor because they can pad the floor. But if they get too wet, they can become slippery. They also tend to break easily and turn to earth over time.
  • To use chopped rubber: Start by adding a layer of gravel. Then spread a layer of chopped rubber over the top. It helps to drain water and provides a good place to step. Strong winds, however, can blow away the rubber parts.
  • To use a combination of materials: start with a rough layer, such as gravel, to help with drainage. Then throw in a thinner layer of sawdust or chopped rubber to prevent the top layer from being removed. Add a padded layer of sand to the top to create a good place for your horse to step.
Build a Round Pen Step 5

Step 5. Decide what material you will use to make the round

You have two options for the frame material:

  • Wooden posts and fences: These are probably your cheapest option, depending on the cost of the wood at your local lumber shop or logging company. Wooden fences are flexible, in case your horse falls against them. But they will break under a lot of pressure and hurt the animal. The wider the fences, the safer the round.
  • Metal fences: This option is more expensive, but the panels are portable, easy to assemble, and can be sized as needed. They're also very durable and can withstand a lot of wear, but they won't budge if you or your horse lands on them. Most metal panel manufacturers have changed the corner design from rounded to square to prevent a horse from catching a hoof, neck or halter in the gap.

Part 2 of 3: Using Wooden Poles

Build a Round Pen Step 6

Step 1. Determine how many posts will be needed for the round

The number of posts required is pi (3, 14) times the diameter divided by the desired distance between the posts. Multiplying by 3 instead of 3, 14 will give you an approximate measurement unless you are making a very large round.

For example, if the round is 12 x 9 m or a circumference of 36 m, and you want 2.7 m between each post, divide 36 by 2.7 to get 13, 3. So you would need 13 posts (maybe one more, just in case) to the roundabout

Build a Round Pen Step 7

Step 2. Gather the materials

Now that you have an idea of ​​how many posts you will need for the round, go to your local hardware store and buy:

  • Posts of treated wood 16, 5 cm in diameter (you may need to go to a locksmith shop)
  • Pressure-treated wooden boards (approximately 150 boards of 2 cm by 15 cm by 4.8 m)
  • Concrete mix (one bag for each post)
  • A 200 m roll of electroplastic wire
  • A gasoline powered soil drill (you can also rent it or dig it manually)
  • Nails
  • A hammer
Build a Round Pen Step 8

Step 3. First dig the holes for the gate posts

Use the ground drill to drill holes for the gate based on the desired width of the gate. Starting with these posts will allow you to work around them as if they were landmarks.

  • The holes should be about 60 to 90 cm deep.
  • Place the gate posts in the holes, perpendicular to the ground. Then fill the holes with cement.
Build a Round Pen Step 9

Step 4. Dig holes for the other posts

If the ground is rocky, it may be better to have longer gaps between the posts so that you need to dig less.

Put the posts in the holes and fill the holes with cement

Build a Round Pen Step 10

Step 5. Soak the pressure treated planks in water until they are soft and pliable

Make a solid wall by attaching them to the inside of the posts. Overlap the planks on the posts to distribute pressure evenly, cut the remaining planks at fence height and nail them vertically to the inside to cover the joints of the posts.

  • Alternatively, you can create a more open round using electroplastic wire instead of wooden planks. Attach four to five strips of wire between the posts. Depending on their height, you can use more or less wire.
  • Put enough tension on the wire to prevent it from getting slack between the posts.
  • You can also add a wooden top frame around the round to give it a more solid look.
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Step 6. Install the gate

It should be big enough for the horse to get in and out of the pen, but not big enough for a tractor or several horses to pass.

  • Make a wooden or wooden gate and electroplastic wire.
  • Using the posts you installed earlier, secure the gate.
  • Attach a wooden or wire clasp.
  • You can also buy a pre-made gate made of metal or wood.
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Step 7. Finish the wooden round

If you have used pressurized boards or treated wooden posts, they should hold up well. You can also apply primer, stain or paint to wooden posts and rails to make them stronger.

Part 3 of 3: Using Metal Panels

Build a Round Pen Step 13

Step 1. Define how many panels will be needed

To do this, multiply the diameter of the area by 3.14 to find the circumference of the round. Then divide the circumference by the length of the panels you are going to use.

  • For example, if you intend to use 3m panels to make an 18m round, multiply 18 by 3.14 to get a circumference of 56.52. Then divide 56.52 by 3 (the length of the panel) to get 18, 84. So you'll need 19 panels for a round a little over 18 m.
  • If you decide to add a separate gate, take its length into account when calculating the total diameter of the round.
Build a Round Pen Step 14

Step 2. Purchase the panels online or at a home improvement store

Look for panels made from high-quality galvanized steel, with a clear finish that protects the steel from rust.

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Step 3. Mount the panels in the round area

Lay them on their sides so that the inner and outer flaps line up.

Some panels have a quick mount system with pins. It prevents you from losing pins when moving panels

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Step 4. Lift up two panels and place them side by side

The tabs must overlap.

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Step 5. Insert the panel pin between the tabs to connect them

Continue with the other panels until all are assembled.

Many will have special feet not to sink into the earth

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Step 6. Take care of the steel round

If the panels are made of high quality steel with a good coating, they should not be easily damaged. Watch out for rust. If the panels start to rust, paint them with a paint resistant to this problem.

If they get dirty, just clean them with a cloth


  • Check the panels and posts of a wooden frame at least once a year to see if they are stable and secure.
  • Do not apply cement to the posts, as the product will rot them.

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