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Rubber Fencing?!

I recently discovered this company that recycles old racecar tires and makes them into fencing material. Intrigued, I scoured their website for weeks until I decided to ask for a free sample of the material. Check out their site for yourself (below)!

We Recycle Tires – Home.

Once we received our sample in the mail, I was even more impressed. The rubber material is durable, strong, and SAFE! There are no sharp edges and I have been unable to think of any way a horse could injure themselves on this fencing material. Plus, it’s recycling–or upcycling?–old tires that would likely end up in a landfill anyway.

Okay, so I must admit I was sold on it at this point…but I had to convince my loving husband. When I checked the prices, my jaw hit the floor. Not only is this material incredibly safe and eco-friendly, but it is cheap to buy and claims to be easy to install!

If you’re in the market for safe, affordable horse fencing, you NEED to look into this product. We put in an order for enough material to fence a small 305′ x 290′ rectangle paddock. Our order will be delivered next week!

You can bet I’ll be posting about installation of this fence. If all goes well, we will continue to use this product! Stay tuned to see how this fencing project goes. 🙂

Round Pen Slowing Coming Together

Ever since we got horses, I’ve been planning on building some kind of enclosed riding area. Once I decided it was going to be an 80 foot diameter round pen, the serious stages of planning went underway. About a year ago I wrote about planning my round pen here. I basically talked about materials, pricing, and trying to decide where to start.

A year later and our round pen is nearing completion! We decided to go with the free/as cheap as possible route and build with all salvaged materials. We cleared a small wooded area for a paddock and used the downed trees from that venture to build the pen. The only things we had to buy were a large box of 4 inch screws and some gas and oil for the chainsaw.

riding in the yard

We ride the horses in the yard usually

horseback riding on a lunge line

Some of the horses have to stay on a line when out in the yard

I found the circumference of my 80 foot diameter round pen by doing a little simple math. The diameter (80) multiplied by Pi (3.14) is equal to the circumference (251.2). I adjusted it to 250 feet around so I could do nice, even 10 foot spacing between each post.

Since the round pen is on a slight incline, we planned to level it by adding fill dirt and building a retaining wall on the downhill side. But, I wanted to be able to use it before we get the fill dirt, since it might be a while. We installed taller posts on the retaining wall side. That way, we can add the retaining wall and fill dirt when we are ready without having to tear all the fencing down and starting from scratch.

After lots of digging, all 25 posts were set at least 2.5 feet into the ground. All of the holes were dug by hand by my family and I. My husband and I easily installed all the crossrails and top rails within a few weekends. We got the gate for free from a nearby farm.

how to build an 80 foot round pen

Our almost free DIY round pen is nearing completion

It’s so close! All it needs now is a few more rails to be safely usable. Before long, we’ll be using this round pen!

Building a Round Pen

It’s raining today. So, I’m inside spending some time catching up on some writing. It has been so beautiful lately that I could not justify spending very much time on the computer! I’ve been itching to start some serious training with my mares, but I really need an enclosed training area for the most effective training. The need for a training area forced me to start planning something big.

Horse Training Wattie Adams, exercising one of...

Horse Training Wattie Adams, exercising one of his horses in readiness for the racing season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the last few weeks I have been planning my next big project. We are going to be building a round pen for training the horses (and the kids…). I’ve surveyed the area for the pen, measured it, removed a portion of existing fence, and calculated the cost of materials for building the pen.

Closeup detail of a safe woven wire fence, sui...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I plan on using the round pen for both free lunging and riding, it needs to be bigger than a typical 60 foot round pen. We decided that an 80 foot pen would be big enough for riding comfortably but small enough for effective free lunging. To measure the area I needed, I found a good center point for the pen. Then we placed a stake in the center and measured 40 feet straight out from the center with a long tape measure. As I walked around the circumference of the pen, I used some spray paint to mark the area.

Tape measure

Tape measure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once the area was marked I was able to clear the existing fence within an hour or so. Next I measured around the circumference in 10 foot increments. I knew that I would need to find 25 points around the pen because the circumference of an 80 foot circle is 250 feet. Once the area was all measured I could really imagine how the round pen would look. It is the perfect size for what we need here!

Newton Mill A horse training area

Newton Mill A horse training area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hardest part for me is calculating the cost of materials…not because I can’t do math, but because I dread learning how much this whole thing is really going to cost. I decided to compare the costs of post and board fencing, woven wire, and vinyl coated wire.

Budget and Spending

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The pricing of each type of fence includes 25 6 foot posts, which will cost $125.

  • Woven wire fencing: $275
  • 5 rails of vinyl coated wire: $299
  • 2 rails of 2″x4″x10′ boards: $315
  • Woven wire with 1 rail of  boards on top: $370
  • 3 rails of 2″x4″x10′ boards: $410
Knighton, horse training ground At Knighton Fa...

Knighton, horse training ground At Knighton Farm, with outbuildings to the right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I still can’t decide what we should go with. In light of the economy, I’m tempted to go with the cheapest option available…but I need to consider maintenance, additional hardware needed, and repair costs as well. The cheapest now is not necessarily the easiest to maintain or repair.

Wire fence,(broken) and stile On a path coming...

Wire fence broken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At this point I’m considering paying a little more up front for the vinyl coated wire. It is highly visible, has little to no maintenance once installed, and it flexes. Including additional special hardware necessary for this type of fence, it will probably end up costing $350 or so. That’s not too shabby!

Now all I have to do is make an extra $350 so I can afford to buy the materials! Any ideas on making some extra money? Seriously…I need help, haha!

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