Setting up your own dressage arena is a whole lot of fun – and the letters are the finishing touches. It’s nice to have them looking good.
We’ve arranged some easy methods in order of difficult. (our favourite is the PVC foam method, which looks great and is cheap).
One – Waterproofed cardboard (Super easy & quick).
This is the easiest method – you could probably get it done in an hour or two using things you already have lying around. It looks pretty good from a distance, and is certainly passable.
- Cut the letters out of some corrugated cardboard.
- Paint over the cardboard with black paint.
- Put together a water and glue mixture. Dip the letters in the mixture and cover both sides.
- Clip to a line to dry.
- If you’re a perfectionist – go over the letters with black paint one more time to tidy up any irregularities.
Download the letters here to trace onto your cardboard.
Two – Soccer cones and mailbox letters (easy)
An easy, practical method if you can go to a store and get the right cones.
This is great if you’ve outlined a dressage arena on flat ground.
- Buy soccer drill cones & letterbox letters
- Attach the letterbox letters a little below the half way point.
- Cut off the top of the cones.
This is a nice way to get a professional looking dressage marker. For added flourish, you can put an upturned pot inside the marker and place some flowers on top so the poke through.
Three – Foam sheets (medium difficulty)
The hardest part of this method is sourcing the foam sheets. Some places like Bunnings sell them for about $10 for a pack of foam sheets.
- Trace and cut letters out of the black foam.
- Attach cut-out letters to a sheet of white foam or board.
- Attach to dressage arena.
This method takes some skill and precision, but can look good and last a long time.
You can use the same letter template as above.
Four – Wooden letters (difficult)
Hand-made wooden letters are a bit of a challenge – but if you’re handy with wood and have some left over slats, they last a long time and can look nice unpainted.
Your letters will be slightly blocky – but that can all be part of the charm.
- Print out the letter template below.
- Cut length of wood that match the template.
- Glue the wood together and allow to dry.
- Apply varnish if desired.
Download a template here for wooden block letters.
Five – Professional dressage letters (easy, expensive)
The easy but expensive way. Horse stores often sell letters pre-made. Wire framed letters can be stuck into the ground, while hang-over letters can be temporarily attached to a fence.
They’re useful & easy, but they’re also expensive and don’t always match the look you want for your arena.
For arena ideas and inspiration, download our brochure.
7 Clever Ideas for Horsey People
- Get a horse to take tablets from a syringe.
2. Cut a milk bottle into an all-purpose scoop for work around the barn.
3. Everybody struggles to get bell boots on. Use this trick to makes things a little easier.
4. Cool your horses down during warm weather with some giant ice cubes.
5. Use soap to stop your horse from chewing or cribbing.
6. Mark a length of your comb using a rubber band or hair tie for the perfect tail braiding.
7. Making clipping easier with some simple preparation.