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How to build an outdoor horse arena on a budget

Whether you’re looking to install a county fair facility or an at-home riding area, you’ll do well to consider a pre-engineered building in your design.

How Big Should Your Arena Be?

The first thing you need to think about when designing your riding arena is size. This will depend on the space available, what you intend to use it for and your budget.

Expert horsemen recommend a minimum of 60 ft wide by 120 ft long. This is the standard size of a small dressage arena, which can be a tight squeeze for other equestrian sports.

A width of 80 to 100 ft is suitable for most purposes. After that, rather increase the length of your arena if you want more space. If you go with a pre-engineered structure, you can stretch your arena out for as long as you want but most manufacturers have a width limit of around 140 ft.

With regard to height, about 16 ft is the norm but you should increase this by a couple of feet if you’ll be jumping. If you go too high, your town planner could classify your arena as a commercial structure or professional riding arena, and that attracts more paperwork.

Doorways should be a minimum of 13 to 15 ft high and at least 16 ft wide. If you have space, it’s tempting to go with the biggest arena you can afford.

Remember the larger your steel riding arena, the more it’s going to cost to maintain the footing and install lighting. You can always add on to it later if you really need to.

Choosing the Footing

When you have an undercover arena, your footing’s protected from the elements which means a lot less hassle due to rain and sun. That means you can choose from any of the most popular substances available today.

If you decide to go with sands, choose a mix made of grains of varying sizes. Crumbly sand creates dust, and sand with round grains can be slippery. Medium coarse sands are best. It’s worth getting expert advice on your arena footing since it’s difficult and expensive to replace once installed.

Extra Touches for Your Horse Arena

After you’ve decided on the basics, there are a few extras that can make riding in your arena even more convenient and pleasurable. These are:

Cupolas: If you decide to go for an enclosed arena, a cupola or two will give you great ventilation. Besides that, they add a lot of aesthetic appeal to your building. If you decide on an arena with partial walls, you don’t need any extra ventilation.

Sliding Doors: Big sliding doors are great for easy access while on horse back as well as transporting jumps in and out of the venue. If you’re using a small tractor to rake your footing, they’re essential.

Weather Protection: Be sure to screen high traffic areas, like entrances, from rain and snow. You don’t want muddy, swampy holes anywhere in your arena.

Rider Guard: A rider guard gives your arena a polished look and adds an extra safety feature to the interior. These guards help establish space between the edge of your arena and the riders’ legs and feet, which can prevent nasty accidents.

Side Lights: It’s cheaper to install and maintain sidelights than it is to care for skylights. You can also make them much wider to bring in more outside light. Sidelights are also preferable to electric lights which come with a risk of an electrical fire.

Vapor Barrier: An insulated roof looks good, prevents condensation, and minimizes the noise from rain and wind. If you’ve ever been inside a metal-roofed building during a downpour, you’ll understand why this is important.

Where to Shop for Pre-Engineered Buildings :Choosing a reputable manufacturer is the best way to ensure you end up with a riding arena that’s guaranteed to bring you enjoyment for many years to come.

Get in touch to discuss your needs or for more information. Before you know it you could be the proud owner of a metal riding arena that perfectly suits

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