How to build a panel round pen for horses

Written by marie sberna
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How to build a panel round pen for horses
Round pens are a safe environment to work your horse. (cowboy & horse image by Clarence Alford from

When purchasing materials for your round pen, consider what the pen will be used for: breaking young horses, quietly working your performance horse, or practicing cattle roping. The purpose will determine the strength and size of your round pen. The walls of the round pen can be constructed with pipe panels or solid panels. Solid panels help eliminate distractions and provide a safer environment for the horse and rider.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Panels
  • Manufacturer's hardware
  • 20-gauge wire
  • Pliers
  • Metal posts
  • Gravel
  • Sand

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  1. 1

    Clear the round pen area from debris.

  2. 2

    Level the site by replacing the top layer of dirt with small gravel for proper drainage.

  3. 3

    Fill the area with a 5-inch top layer of sand. This will provide a soft surface to work your horse.

  4. 4

    Calculate the number of panels needed by multiplying the diameter by 3.14 to determine the circumference of the pen. Divide the circumference by the length of the panels being used.

  5. 5

    Decide on the height of the panels you will use. This will depend on the use of the pen. Higher panels deter young horses from trying to get out of the pen.

  1. 1

    Use the hardware provided by the manufacturer to assemble the panels on the sand base. Place one panel up to the next, assuring that the inside and outside tabs line up. Overlap the tabs and insert the pin through both tabs.

  2. 2

    Repeat step 1 until you have made a circle with just a 6-foot opening.

  3. 3

    Attach a 6-foot-wide by 9-foot-high walk-through gate between the two panels at the end of the circle to complete the enclosure.

  4. 4

    Provide extra support to your round pen by driving steel posts at every panel.

  5. 5

    Secure the panels to the posts with 20-gauge wire. Wrap the wire around the post and use pliers to tighten the wire.

Tips and warnings

  • Periodically check all panels, posts and pins of the round pen to ensure that the pen is secure.

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