I and many other Trainers around the World, believe that you can’t do the job to it’s best, without a Round Pen. I continually get asked how to build one and so here is what I have learnt. Hope it helps. I am a Fan of the Portable Round Pen and so we will deal with that here:

  • They are relatively cheap compared to constructing in ground yourself.
  • They offer greater flexibility of location and can be shifted around if you want.
  • They can be taken elsewhere for a job if you like
  • They are generally safer
  • They only take 10 Minutes to put up.
  • You can start small if finances are tight and buy extra panels as you get money.
  • You can use the Panels for other temporary things
  • You can change the shape of it.
  • They are normally 1.8 – 2metres tall.
  • Panels are normally between 2200mm and 2400mm long
  • The bottom Rail should be 600mm from the Ground to stop Legs getting injured as unbalanced Horses spin around on the angle. Not like this

With injuries to Legs.


  • The Base should be raised above ground level and can be anything really. Bricks, rock, clay, rubble, shale, limestone but NOT LOAM. Hose down and drive over it.
  • The Sub Base should be 300mm of 20mm Rubble with fines, watered and driven over.
  • Then 300mm of Washed Sand for breakers and 150mm for the rest.
  • Fall should be .6 -1 Degree in the direction of the downhill lay of the Land.
  • To retain Sand, use 2 x 200mm x 100mm sleepers chosen to the length of your panels. Drill 3 Holes quiidistant through the edge, in both so you can sit one on top of the other one and hit 5/8th Reo through both and 600mm into the Ground. So your two Panels will be 400mm High to retain the Sand that Horses kick continually outwards.
  • Gate 2400mm HIgh
  • I prefer Rounded tops, and
  • 4 Rails. (which saves money.



  • Galvanized.
  • 40mm Diameter
  • 2mm Wall Thickness


  • For Untouched Feral Horses – 8 Metres
  • My Clinics – 12 Metres
  • square pipe is more dangerous for horses!
  • My Home – 15 metres for Breaking in and a bit of Riding
  • or for starting City Horses and Riding – 16 Metres
  • Pins should be round, on the outside of the yard and with round smooth Heads, not right angle bends and definitely not pointing into the round pen.

THE LATEST 11/3/12

To vividly highlight the fact that base aggregate can be any size, check out my new one that I am building Today.

Now I am not recommending that you go to a Demolition Site but purely trying to show you what is possible and that the size or roughness of Base Material matters not to the over all outcome. This Site will never bog up!!!. 150mm of 20mm Dolomite Rubble on the top as you can see and then the Sand.

Have fun.


Gee roundyards – okay you’ve done more than me LOL so okay can you give me exact measures as brother is welder and I’ll go the same, just trying to get reasonable qoutes for the levelling base one guy said 11grand after i picked myself off the ground said what? next guy 3grand big difference

Cheers sandy
If you get fill and lift the level of the ground and had to pay for a Bobcat to level it, the cost would be no more than $#200 Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!


Hi John, I have recently moved to a new property and I have started to put in a round yard base. My daughter pointed me in your websites direction and the constructing a dressage arena page and it was very informative. I have the 15m dia base down and it has a fall of about 150mm. I would like your opinion on the material I have used and if it is suitable. It is 20mm crushed concrete and has a good mix of fines through it. In laying it I have ended up with patches that appear lacking in the fines. My intension is to spread some dry sand and cement mix over it and rake it in and then run a whacker plate over it to compact it prior to putting the topping in. I have attached pictures of the material in question. Any advice would be appreciated.   Regards Adrian

Hi Adrian

I am of the belief that Crushed Cement, in all of it’s forms, is unsuitable to be allowed near the underside of the Sand topping, because of the reasons you see in the photos. The Product does not weld and in fact cannot. It’s fine for base, PROVIDING it is topped to prevent mixing. Dolomite Rubble and Road Base Rubbles, ( limestone) have a softness to them and do weld to adjacent stones and go down much harder. When and if a few get mixed into the Sand, doesn’t matter. as they also have more round edges, not sharp like concrete.

Therefore, I would not be going the cement route either. Simply top this with 100mm of Dolomite Fines. Then, if Hooves get through the Sand, you get this.




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