1. What kind of arena do you want to build?
There are a variety of ways to build a covered riding arena. What you ended up going with often comes down to the costs, which vary from a half-cover to a fully enclosed indoor arena with attached stables.
Let’s look at some of the different options below.
Open indoor riding arena
Enclosed indoor riding arena
Indoor riding arena with attached stables
2. Where will you place your arena?
Making sure you have a suitable space is important.
You need easy access, access for vehicles, drainage and you should avoid placing it in windy areas (particularly if your cover has side walls).
It’s also worth considered how it will look. A well placed arena can look excellent, as below:
A well placed arena can also make use of existing features, as this one makes use of the trees as a wind barrier.
3. Who are you going to build with?
Finding a suitable company requires some research. It’s worth looking for a company with local experience, positive testimonials and project management. (You can find a map of our builds here and video testimonials here. Call us on 1300 955 608 to arrange an inspection).
If possible, ask the builder if you can arrange to inspect an arena cover they have previously built. A good builder will arrange this for you.
4. Will you also build stables?
If you’re ready to go all-out, it’s worth considering a combined indoor/stable complex.
These are magnificent structures will ad value to your property. They’re function and sophisticated, everything a horse lover could possible dream of. You can see a brochure of combined stable/indoor models here.
Indoor Arena Etiquette
Quick note: People ride because they love it. Intentions are always good, so try to be kind and understanding if errors are made.
Always wear a helmet
Even if you aren’t riding. If you step into the arena, you need to have a helmet on.
Mount outside the arena or in the very middle
Otherwise, you risk getting in everyone’s way – which is dangerous. This is the same for making adjustments to your stirrups etc.
Ride in the direction of the other horses
Don’t ride against the flow, it will make things more difficult for everyone.
Close the gate behind you
Don’t leave any gaps open through which horses could escape.
Let faster horses/riders travel on the outside of the track
Fast outside, slower inside. This helps things flow best.
Don’t leave horses unattended
Sharing an indoor requires everyone to be aware and cautious of their horses at all times.
Announce your intentions
If you’re about to pass someone from behind, say ‘passing on your left’. Do this for all actions that it would benefit others to know.
Maintain a horse length from the horse in front of you
This allows everyone time to react to anything unplanned.
Don’t talk over the rail
Doing this will put you in the way of other horses and riders. If you need to talk to your trainer, make sure you’re out of others’ path.
No dogs on the arena
This could spook other horses. Dogs can also get in the way of riders.
Give your commands quietly
Don’t shout or yell when commanding your horse. This makes the arena more difficult for everyone to enjoy.
Clean up afterwards
Make sure that any mess you’ve made is cleaned up when your session is over.
Warm of any loud noises
If you’re going to do something you know will cause a loud noise, let others know. A loud sliding door could spook other horses.
Read more: 16 equestrian tips and tricks
Download: Dressage arena dimension sheet