Surfaces for circles and round-pen
The highest performance in tight circles. Why a good round-pen surface should be particularly resistant to shearing.
Movement in the round-pen or on the lunge line can be a challenge initially, especially for young horses as a result of their anatomy. Due to the constant work in the circle, centrifugal forces arise that above all stress the joints of the horse significantly. Surfaces that are too hard, deep, uneven or slippery not only increase this load but also the danger of injury for the animal by several times. Therefore, particularly in round-pens a perfectly matched surface is of enormous importance in order to balance out both the extreme load of the upper and sub-structures from high lateral forces but also tensions in the musculoskeletal system of the horse.
The most important requirements of a round-pen surface
Gentle on tendons and joints
The tighter the radius, the greater the load on tendons and joints. As a result, on the surface side everything must be done to keep such risks for flexor tendons and ligaments as low as possible. As with riding areas, this concerns a best possible compromise between grip and sufficient elasticity.
For high gaits on curved lines and increased speed the risk of a slip and a fall also increases. Your surface should therefore have the highest possible grip without fail. The demands on the footings are correspondingly high and should consist of not only quartz sands but also environmentally neutral Protex fibers and textile fleece.
Usable throughout the year
Whether with or without roof, in order to provide you even in bad weather or in winter with optimum training conditions your lunging circle surface should on the one hand have optimum water drainage, and on the other hand have frost protection added regularly. Good maintainability is a pre-requisite here.
First plan, then build
Circles and round-pens can be built in various sizes. The most popular size is, however, a diameter of 15 – 20 meters. Depending on the local authority, various sizes require approval.
As a result of the constant movement in the circle, a track forms even faster in a round-pen than in rectangular riding areas. Removal of the track requires appropriate machines, whose access and vehicular use should be planned in good time in advance.
Depending on whether you decide on a roofed or open round-pen, this naturally has effects on the composition of the footings, as these are subject to different weather influences. In every case, elasticity, impact resistance and frost protection play an important role.
Amounts of precipitation, geographical position, permeability and nature of the natural soil, with the correct positioning of your round-pen in particular it is worthwhile including a surface professional and to save time and money with an on-site consultation.
Our recommended design: the same as the riding area three-layer design
A round-pen is basically nothing more than a small riding area. Simply due to the strong lateral forces and radii it must mostly be more resistant to shear forces and have higher grip. These important properties require a stable connection of the grids and the surface layer above, but also a special footing mixture.
- Permanent drainage and systematic dewatering with no sealing problems
- Securely fixed sub-structure
- Separation of sub-structure and footings
- Slip resistance and grip through increased stability between the surface layers
- The longest lasting installation type that is the most economical in the long run
- Usable year round
- Biological cleaning process through downwards drainage: Surface drainage
For the position of a round-pen, we recommend a particularly permeable, stony ground. In a first step, the uppermost soil layer is removed and a gradient of 1 – 1.5 % established. For particularly loose surfaces, we recommend a construction fleece in addition to support the function of the separating layer. Onto this surface structure you then ideally lay a permeable layer of grit or broken stone of 3 – 5 cm.
As an optimum separating layer in a round-pen, we recommend our proven riding area grid, the ECORASTER TR40. The water storage cells collect water run-off and return it to the footings in dry periods. Its stable cellular design cannot compact and the filled grid elements ensure reliable grip of the upper surface to the separating layer. Our allround grid TE30 is an economical alternative. For riders with particular high expectations, we recommend the super-elastic tournament grid TS50.
The surface layer of a round-pen consists of quartz sands providing high grip with a grain size of 1 – 3 mm, and environmentally neutral aggregates that counter the shear forces and provide additional functions for the surface. Our protex textile fibers and textile fleece have particularly proven themselves in this respect. The fibers give structure to the footings by integrating the sand grains more strongly with each other. The fleece component provides, on the other hand, for the elastic counterpart and harmonically cushions impacts and movements of the horses. For the required frost protection we recommend protherm magnesium chloride.
What you can do against slipping and track formation
More stability in the separating layer and footings
A lack of grip and increased track formation can have various causes. In most cases, the substrate is hardened as a separating layer has been completely dispensed with during construction. Here the stability of the surface should be reestablished and a separating layer with an appropriate gradient installed. The second most frequent cause is an incorrect or missing mixture of your footings. With the help of a footing check, you can have the quality and function of your surface layer checked. Either a sand with grains too large has been used, too little of the components that provide structure was used or the care of the area has been neglected. Our professionals are pleased to advise you and can give you the necessary recommendations based on the analysis results. It is sometimes also sufficient to refresh the existing surface with aggregates that provide structure and to thus recreate the surface performance.
Our products for your circle
One of our round-pen references
Professional consultation from the planning and restoration to new construction!
Arrange a meeting on-site or describe your problems or construction plans to us. Even on the telephone we can still give you valuable tips.