Friday, June 27, 2008

Get a Round?

For the past few weeks I have been considering the construction of a 60' round pen. With two acres in pasture we have plenty of space. Raven might benefit from some training in a confined environment, which really puts her on edge. And I would also like to have a softer surface for Tonka now that he's up to lunging a few times a week. Maybe I should create a 60' crop circle to test the idea when our not-so-trusty mower comes home from the shop this week.


Anonymous said...

That's a pretty pen. I think they're very useful all around (ha). I have a feeling you wouldn't regret building one.

I have a question: if the hard ground is good for his feet for standing, what does a surface like deep sand do for working? Would it help his muscles? Hurt his feet? What other factors are involved?

dp said...

Good question! The purpose of the hard ground is to keep constant, upward pressure on the sole of the hoof with the hopes that the rotated coffin bones will start to shift back to their proper position. Hard work on a hard surface is jarring against those rotated bones, causing undue pain. We will know that Tonka has made a fully recovery when he can trot sound on the crusher dust but, until then, it's unfair to ask him to work on that surface. As with people, most horses prefer something softer for the high-impact gaits.

Today David and I decided that we will mow the back acre down very short to see whether that will make a good riding/exercising surface for me.

EvenSong said...

Hi again, came to your blog from a reference on FHOTD, and am enjoying learning about Farcical Farm (I LOVE the name!).
One thing you might consider is using portable corral panels for your round pen, instead of permanent construction. I started collecting my Prieferts about 12 years ago (when I needed two to enclose a temporary "stall" in a spare corner of the barn) and now (two rental properties and now a permanent place later) have about twenty (some bent a bit--I'm thinking about moving up to the heavy duty ones). My barn and paddocks are designed to be "modular", and in the winter the panels separate various horses into compatible groupings. But once everybody (7 right now) is out on pasture in the spring, the panels move to one corner of my "almost-an-arena" for round pen use with anybody I'm starting under saddle (2 this year--you can see one filly and two panels in my avatar). Then they moved down the one long side of my arena that won't be finished until the next section of barn is finished (which is waiting for next influx of cash....HA!).
Point is: the panels are REALLY versatile! I've even hauled a few to the local elementary school for mare and foal "show and tell" one year!

dp said...

Thanks again, EvenSong. This is the decision I have come to, though it will probably have to wait until next summer (I too will be waiting for an influx of cash). We have 48" exercise pen for the dogs, and it's the most versatile canine accessory I own. It's currently zip-tied around a cedar in the horse paddock to prevent Titan from escaping by climbing it. I figure that a portable round pen will have analogous uses.