Budget Crunch (Part II): Building a Round Pen on an Extreme Budget
Continued from "Building a Round Pen on an Extreme Budget – Part 1"
Round Pen Footing on a budget…Yes, I know, it’s quite an oxymoron!. If you have a sand base, you’re very lucky. Build your round pen here and as your budget allows, consider addressing your drainage issues. Otherwise, start with a tiller and till the round pen surface until you have loose soil that’s about 4” deep.
Tillers can be rented from many do-it-yourself centers for around $40 per day. To make the most out of your tiller dollars, take a look around your yard. Do you have a garden that needs some help? Perhaps you have a flower bed that could use some rejuvenation. You can combine projects to help lower the overall cost the tiller rental and come out ahead!
As the natural round pen footing becomes packed down from use, haul in sand to provide a better cushion layer. While a truckload of sand can cost $100 - $200, it is a worthwhile investment. Not only does it provide an excellent working surface for your horses, but it will also help keep your round pen from getting muddy when it rains. The sand can provide better drainage so you don’t end up with a round pen pond!
You can also try mulch or wood products. Your choice should be based on your climate and your natural soil. Without a proper base in your round pen, you run the risk of losing your cushion layer as it may seep into the natural ground. To learn more about Round Pen Footing, read "How to Choose the Correct Round Pen Footing"
Let’s examine the financials of our “Round Pen on a Budget” and see where we land.
We’ll use a 50-foot 3-rail Round Pen as our example:
• Posts will cost approximately $70
• Roll of Vinyl Rail (650’) ~ $300
• Other accessories and supplies ~ $80
• Gate ~$50
• Tiller rental ~ $40
Total Cost : $540.00 (and you’ll have around 200’ of vinyl rail left over)
So, don’t let lack of funds stop you from building a round pen. You have a lot of options for controlling costs when building a round pen. Try out this formula and you’ll see that you can still give your horses the safety and comfort they have earned.
Just because your budget may be tight doesn’t mean that you cannot have a beautiful and functional round pen.
© 2006 E. Landers
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