Sunday, April 9, 2017

Arena Planning

I'm currently in the planning phase for an outdoor arena. When I was discussing my plans with my farrier, he mentioned another client who had an arena put in recently. He thought she's be willing to talk with me and she said yes. It was fun to see her arena and to discuss the process with her. Her arena was just put in this past fall and she's been very happy with it. We've had a super rainy winter and she's been able to ride in it all winter long. There were two things she would change...1) she'd make it bigger 2) she would have planned better on how she was going to water it in the summer.

I'm calling the person installed hers tomorrow, and I've got another person who will be coming out soon to give me a bid. I'm curious if anyone else has had an outdoor arena put it. Any advice? Things you like, things you would change? I'm so excited!


  1. My parents put in an arena a few years ago and I did a lot of the managing of it when I was using it with my older horse. A few things I/we would have done differently-

    Bigger is definitely better, they had the option of digging into the hill a bit more and putting up a retaining wall, but they didn't do that. My mom regrets it for sure.

    Crown it for draining, they put it on a bit of a slope and had the water all come off one side. This ended up digging through the base in the rainier winters and made one side more likely to be soggy.

    The watering system is definitely tough, they have sprinklers and omg the wind will blow the water away from the arena before it even gets to the sand. I solved this by running them at night and then riding early in the morning.

    Also, in the winters when it's cold but not wet (so you still have to water the ring but it's below freezing at night), the pipes would freeze solid and then burst. Lots of burst pipes out by the arena, we had to remember to turn the water off and drain the system of water before the freezes.

    1. That's a good point regarding crowing it vs sloping the whole thing.

  2. I put ours in and it was a process. however, it drains beautifully. Dust is not so much an issue where I am but I also have a mix of fine sand, coarse sand and rubber so that helps too.

    I spent time walking around my property to determine where the drainage was the best. My ring on top of a hill which is a bit windy which is hard when it's cold but carries the bugs away in the summer so I call it a win.

    Always go big. You will never regret it. I love my full size dressage court - it makes life so much easier.

  3. So much of arena building depends on the soil/land layout in your particular location, and available materials. We built a small outdoor (70x120) over the course of about a year. First we did the dirt work, then we put down several inches of limestone screenings. After letting it settle and pack down for a base over the winter, then we added sand on top. I've been using it for about a year since the addition of sand and have been very happy with how it's holding up -- no watering required, just regular dragging. I would have liked to make it bigger, but we were working with a limited budget and space. Hopefully at some point I can expand it, but it works for now! 😀

  4. No advice but this is so exciting!! I can't wait until I get to plan my own arena :)


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