views on construction of a roundyard

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by xyzabc, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. xyzabc

    xyzabc New Member

    Good morning,
    I'd appreciate your views on construction of a roundyard. I'm a 50YO beginner rider and I have an 8YO gelding Duncan who is quiet but green, but I had a frightening fall off another horse last year and am nervous about getting back on.

    I now have a trainer who is working with me and Duncan at home, and we need a roundyard. I don't think I need a permanent set up so am assuming temporary is the way to go.

    Am I better off getting portable panels, or using tape rail to make one? Pros and cons? Tape rail could be fixed to trees to use a natural near-circle, with one or two steel pickets to fill the gap. My OH is set against using steel pickets (he wants to use rosewood instead), specially since he was there for last year's spectacular fall and is not a horse person anyway. I don't know if portable panels would be any safer though (we're planning for worst case, while aiming to prevent it).

    I don't need another fall but I am finding my OH being anywhere around when trying to work with Duncan just sends my anxiety levels through the roof; on the other hand OH doesn't want me doing anything if he's not there to watch. I'm hoping that having found a trainer we both feel secure with, plus a roundyard, settles OH down as he is now contributing more to my anxiety.

    I need to decide on a roundyard, so your experiences would be appreciated.

  2. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Withnell Panels in Bullsbrook are great to deal with and build strong portable panels. :)*

    Have you considered going to a riding school (where there will be instructors anyway) to rebuild your confidence?? Probably the best place for you to do so. Horses get jack of going round and around very quickly and that can create other issues for you to deal with, especially being a very nervous beginner. Safety first!! **)
  3. Macchiato

    Macchiato Well-known Member

    I am not sure what area you are in, but agrigates in Navel Base make a fencing panel for around 35 dollars. It has three rails and is about 3.5 metres long. I second Carolines idea of going to a riding school. It sounds like you had a very nasty fall and green horses are not usually the best confidence givers.
  4. magic_impact

    magic_impact Well-known Member

    I'd be going the panel option over the tape option too. Even if you just need to add in one or two star pickets, they are not really suitable as a riding area fence, even with caps on them. Too much potential for injury to yourself and/or the horse if one of you lands on one! It's great that you are getting a trainer to come and help you out while you get your confidence back - all the best for getting back in the saddle!
  5. xyzabc

    xyzabc New Member

    Thank you for the comments.

    Yes, I will also be going to a riding school. I was trying that about 12 years ago but without a horse at home to practice on between lessons, found that the classes got too advanced too quick and I couldn't keep up. That was demoralising. Hence I decided this time I would get a horse at home to practice on between lessons.

    However then I was going to another school with my mare last year which is where the accident happened (everyone else can ride her easily, just not me), so that was demoralising.

    So this time round, we're getting home schooling as well as school lessons but for safety, wanting a roundyard to do join up. He's already joined up with me (since I feed him, he adores me) but we think a session or two to sort out pecking order is now needed.

    He also has to have his teeth done, lose a bit of weight and be re-mouthed, so the roundyard is just one of several steps we're putting in place.

    Sounds like panels R it!
  6. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Panels are a great investment, you can later turn them into yards, fill gaps between fences, or sell them on, they would hold their value I assume because second hand panels were impossible to find when I wanted some.

    Good luck with the nervous + green, you have my wholehearted sympathy of a fellow sufferer who made it through :)
  7. sodashi

    sodashi New Member

    I have just bought some 4 rail panels from Frank in Naval Base the 3 rail panels are now $50 each. Haven't put them together yet but they are light enough to be manouvered by one person. The Withnell panels are good solid panels ( I have them for the cattle yards ) but DARN hard to move if you are on your own. Unfortunately Frank is away now for a month, but was very helpful and did same day delivery.
  8. equislave

    equislave Well-known Member

    I would go the portable panels. I would highly recommend focussing on groundwork as an excellent way to build your confidence. When you see your horse being relaxed and responsive on the ground it will make you feel so much better about getting on. It is great that you have a trainer - you need someone you trust to help you push yourself as the more you do the less strong the anxiety will be - good luck.
  9. xyzabc

    xyzabc New Member

    Still working towards this, after some distractions I'm now able to focus again.

    What sort of roundyard diameter will I need to work with a 14.2 short coupled pony? I asked a couple of locals and was told 60 feet across (20 metres diameter). This seems awfully excessive. I have had a couple of lessons on ground work in a r/yard that was about 8 m across and I was thinking that would be not just enough, but anything bigger would be counter-productive. (How would you get them to join up if they can get far away all the time?)

    I'm a learner so opinions would be appreciated. I have picked a suitable location where I could go up to 12m diameter, and there's an auction on next weekend with portable panels on offer, so I'd like to firm up plans this week if possible.
  10. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    My horse will do join up in his 1 & 1/2 acre paddock.
  11. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    50 foot diameter is what I suggest, small round yards like 8m are need the horse to be able to MOVE, if they can't move and are restricted they can only go up or spin, panic etc. Join-up/hooking-on is nothing about distance, it is about training the horse to understand that with you is the good option, if you want a good explanation of the process and how horse work try googling Warwick Schiller, he has a super youtube site with lots of free advice and explanations, his subscription site is even better! :)
  12. beaudacious

    beaudacious Well-known Member

    We had a 10-12m diameter roundyard at my old agistment center. It was horrible. You couldnt ride in it or lunge in it and join up definitely wasnt an option unless you wanted to dodge flying hoofs and sand everytime your horse turned around.
  13. xyzabc

    xyzabc New Member

    Perhaps I've got my terminology wrong.

    I won't be riding in it or even probably lunging in it, just need it to sort out dominance. He happily follows me around the paddocks and is well behaved, except where feed is concerned. He's pretty good to feed but if food is here and I want him to go there, he goes here to the food.

    So I need to sort out dominance. Yes? Isn't that what a small roundyard is used for? A larger yard for lunging, long reining, riding in, I already have, though it is odd shaped. But I think it would not be good for trying to sort out dominance, hence I thought I would need a small roundyard.

    I have had 2 lessons with other horses in a small roundyard being shown how to chase them, and then let them join up, so that's what I was thinking I needed.
  14. painter

    painter Well-known Member

    'Dominance' is asserted every time you handle your horse, a small round yard is not magic, and can be downright dangerous if you can't read the horse properly.

    Please have someone competant show you what is necessary as it is really difficult to explain over the internet - and there are a million dangerous 'join-up' videos on you-tube:(

    Join-Up is about using body language to determine who moves who's feet. Using pressure and release to show the horse he is more comfortable being with you than away from you...and so much more. It can and should be achieved without the horse being chased wildly around the yard and can definitely be done without even using a round yard. Yes, Monty Roberts claims the magic 1/4 mile flight response is needed (5 round yard laps), but I have seen it done (and done it myself) in much less time/distance.

    'Chasing' them is not Join-Up:( Do that in a small area with a dominant horse and you will end up with an injured horse and/or a kick to the head - especially if you don't have the correct timing and don't know how to use your body language to teach the horse to face in when turning rather than face out with his butt in direct line to your head, which nearly all of them will at first do.

    Without competant coaching, you would be safer doing groundwork with the horse on a long leadrope to teach him to move away from pressure (yielding fore and hindquarters etc).

    I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to achieve, or what problem you are actually having with the food? If he is dangerous at meal times, take a lunge whip in with you and keep him out of your space as forcefully as needed to keep you safe and teach him respect - But if this is the case, it can be really dangerous if you don't know what you are doing, so you may well need competant hands on coaching or profesional re-training to make it safe.

    If you just want him to hook on and follow you even if there is a bucket of feed nearby, one join-up session in a round yard won't achieve that (except in the case of very experienced horsemen/women;) It takes lots of consistency every time that you handle the horse and even then will depend on the horses temperament and your awareness of both his and your own body language.

    I could be totally wrong, but just want to make sure you understand that join up is far more than chasing a horse around and how dangerous it can be for horse and human if not done correctly.
  15. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    As you asked about roundyard size and what to use I will say the Withnell panels are brilliant. I purchased an 18m diameter yard which is 17 panels plus a gate. However we have installed it as 15 panels plus the gate which comes up at just 16m diameter.

    I find it works well for lunging and ground control with all my horses. Once they understand that lunging requires that they stay on the outer circle I don't have to move much and for ground control they work on the inner part of the yard.

    I also do ground control work in my dressage arena as it allows the horse more space to move around and process without me having to worry too much about being penned in.

    As far as the issues you're having go I agree with Painter. Every time you handle your horse you are teaching him what your expectations of him are or aren't and staying consistent is the key. The simple things like putting on his halter, do it one way, always, so he understands what you expect of him when you want to put it on... as time goes on and you both develop an understanding of each other the need to be so precise will slowly slip away and the understanding will be there no matter what task you are doing.

    From a feeding point of view in my opinion this is the make and break of your relationship. I have a few horses and they all have different ideas about what's 'ok' at feed time. Most of them thankfully are very polite however I have two (mother and daughter :p ) that both think they are entitled to TAKE whatever they want whenever they want.

    The mare is fine now as I've had her for six years and she knows that I am boss lady and if I say scoot, then scoot she will! The filly on the other hand :blink: OMG!!! What an experience she is! Even at three years of age I am still drilling her about what's on and what's not. And as Painter said having a whip helps. I don't use a lunge whip however as when I did I found I didn't have a lot of control of the tail if my hands were full with feed buckets or wheelbarrows. Instead I have a dressage whip with a plastic bag taped to the end (cut the bottom of the bag out so it doesn't billow). It's perfect I can carry it at either end (if I want the bag to be quiet) I can carry feed bins, wheel barrows, hay you name it and all I need do is wag that little bag a touch and hey presto personal space!

    I think you'll find that as your general handling improves and he gains more respect for you everything else will slowly fall into place. Don't get me wrong some horses are there to ensure you never, ever, ever switch off (my filly) but it does get better.

    I constantly say to my guys "you get 49% I get 51%... but be warned that 49% can zip right back to 0% in seconds" ;) You've got to be a team and compromise but never let them have more than 49%.
  16. xyzabc

    xyzabc New Member

    All good here! We don't need a roundyard, all it took was one competent horse lady to remouth him, then show me how to lunge and and long rein with a Pessoa. He has a lovely light mouth and very responsive. With the pinto sold and gone, his ground manners at feedtime have improved out of sight (he was only a bit pushy, not dangerous). He's been to riding school three times now over the last three weekends and once to Pony Club. The instructor has fallen in love with him and rides him herself. He's getting a fan club at riding school and people are asking what I'll do with him "when you're finished with him". I'm not planning on being finished with him. I'm planning on him being my riding pony (if not my learning-to-ride pony) for the rest of my life, unless we branch out into a sulky down the track. He's going to go to a Pony Clubber for the next few months and while he's getting more experienced, I've started riding lessons again and getting over my anxiety. Actually with the pinto sold and gone, a few issues have resolved themselves. She's gone to chase cows which will suit her, and I still have my 2 old mares and my pony but have my peace of mind back. Thank you everyone for assistance, I'm going to join Pony Club myself I think, 40 years later than ideal but who cares? All good.
  17. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    you can never be too old for ponyclub......(but watching young children riding at break neck fearless speeds and bouncing like rubber balls can damage your confidence lol)

Share This Page