Nothing makes a ranch dazzle like a beautiful corral seamlessly woven into the property landscape. In idyllic countryside scenes, wooden horse corrals serve as a classic symbol of Americana, and they stir an emotional connection with many. However, if you’re familiar with ranching, you know that a useful corral needs to be much more than just pretty. If you’re considering building a wooden horse corral, take a look at these three tips to maximize the overall efficiency of your enclosure.
Correct Border Shape and Size
Determining the appropriate shape and size of the wood horse fence depends on your intentions for its usage. If the corral is meant to be used only as containment where horses can graze in targeted areas, then you have several shape options. Square and rectangular areas are typical for containment pastures, as they tend to fit the property borders precisely. Sizing is also more flexible for containment areas and is usually determined by property limitations and landscape layout. On the other hand, if you plan to use the wooden horse corral for training, rounded borders are essential. Round pen corrals are ideal, as they allow the traditional training dimensions. For a variety of training, a round pen should be no smaller than 60 feet in diameter. Determining correct border shape and size is fundamental when designing a proper wooden horse corral.
Address the Unique Needs of the Horse
Another tip includes addressing all of the needs that are particular to the horse that will be using the corral. If the horse has a particularly aggressive and daring personality, as is common with stallions, it may require stronger beams and higher fence lines. Consider even adding an electric strand along the top beam to ensure the horse doesn’t sail over the fence. Also, if the horse is very young and active or has little training, it may need more space to run around and burn energy. In addition, if the corral will be housing multiple horses, or if certain horses need to be kept separately from each other, consider adding a segmented corral design to accommodate these needs. Most importantly, take a moment to think about what your horse needs to be safe, happy and healthy, and then address those needs in the wooden corral design.
Take Note of the Terrain
A final tip is to take note of the terrain onto which the wooden horse corral will be built. Are there rocky patches that will make installing fence posts a challenge? Are there slopes that will need to be accounted for during the design process? What about trees? Are there enough trees to provide adequate shade in the summer but not too many to keep ice from melting in the winter? If you have a generous amount of property to work with, consider if the corral would be better positioned in a different area.
The way in which a wooden horse corral is constructed can have a significant impact on productivity, practicality, cost efficiency and safety—for both the horses and trainers. Constructing a corral from scratch is a hefty investment of time and money, so you want to be sure to attack the project correctly right out of the gate.