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.
The 10 Best Horse Films Ever Made
1.The Black Stallion.
This classic, epic film follow a shipwrecked man and a wild stallion that he befriends and eventually races when the two are rescued.
Based on a child’s novel of the same name, most of the scenes were filmed using a champion Arabian named Cass Ole.
A story about a cowboy distance rider racing his mustang against purebred Arabian horses.
Although there has been some controversy about how factual the finer points of the plot are, the film is nevertheless a classic Hollywood action film about a man who has a real bond with his horse.
3. War Horse.
Directed by Steven Spielberg and adapted from a novel, War Horse follows the story of a young man who finds, tames and befriends a horse until they are unwillingly parted. The story then follows the horse as it travels through the war, meeting and leaving an impression on everyone it meets.
The film is long, though, at 2 and a half hours, so that’s something to keep in mind before your commit yourself. The story was also told through a stage play that was well received.
This film centres on the actual racehorse named Seasbiscuit, an undersized thoroughbred that was never expected to have any success in racing.
The story captured the heart of the world during the Great Depression, when stories of underdog success were something the people needed. Decades later, the story remains inspiring, and has become one of the most famous equestrian films ever created.
5. The Horse Whisperer
Directed by and starring the ultimate Hollywood star Robert Redford, this is another timeless classic.
Redford plays the part of a horse trainer with an uncanny ability to understand horses. He is called in to help a teenager (played by Scarlett Johansson) and her horse get back to riding fitness after they suffer a tragic accident.
An animated film starring Matt Damon as a wild mustang, the story is all about a horse that cannot be contained. Although defying the human’s attempts to break him, Spirit is still willing to develop a close friendship with the humans he cares about most.
7. The Silver Brumby.
Filmed in Victoria, Australia and starring Russel Crowe, the film tells the story of Australia’s wild brumbies. When released overseas, the film was renamed The Silver Stallion, as it was believed international audiences wouldn’t recognise the term ‘brumby.’
8. Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.
A film unlike any other on the list, the story follows a woman who rider diving horses; horse that run up large platforms and jump off them into water. Diving horses were a popular attraction in the 1930s.
The film is based on a memoir by the rider depicted in the film. She lost her eyesight after a riding injury, but continued to ride while blind.
A Disney film about the life and experiences of the thoroughbred racehorse Secretariat. The film’s cast is largely made up of unknown actors and actresses, but the film was very successful on its release.
Based on the classic children’s novel My Friend Flicka, the story had been transformed into a film in 1943, and also into a 39 episode television series in the fifties.
The story has always resonated with young readers and viewers and is one of the original, classic equestrian stories.
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The Best Brands of Equestrian Riding Boots
Equestrians need the perfect pair of riding boots to achieve the varying tasks that are required of them. They need to have a high durability and be comfortable as well as look amazing when in the show ring. Therefore your riding boots are a large investment and it is important to get the right ones for you. Here are 10 brands of exceptional riding boots that will be perfect for you.
This being one of the best-known equestrian clothing brands, is known for their high quality, durable products. Their boots are designed for comfort while looking good at the same time. Although they are known for their woman’s footwear, Ariat also have a good range of quality men’s boots.
Parlanti boots are well used in the show ring their boots offer cutting edge technology and the option to have them either standard or custom made. Their show boots are not all they have to offer, with a gorgeous range of short boots and paddock boots available also.
The Dubarry riding boots are made for the colder weather of the Irish climates of which the brand originates. They are a must have if you experience harsh winters, with undeniable quality and style.
This brand offers a variety of beautifully designed riding boots that will make you stand out in the show ring. Der Dau offers a variety of styles ranging from simple and elegant to the more attention grabbing boots sporting patent leather and crystals.
Middleburg offers more affordable boots while still being a stylish option. There are a variety of synthetic options to choose from for a tighter budget.
This brand doesn’t offer riding boots, however they produce a variety of field boots and rubber boots. Although not as beautiful and elegant as dress boots, these are practical for barn and stable jobs and for the colder weather.
E. Vogel are well known for their amazing custom riding boots. There are a large range of field and dress boots to choose from in both western and English styles. After choosing a product the company will make the boots specifically to your dimensions for the best fit and comfort.
This brand is well known for their comfortable and affordable riding boots. Although not as expensive as other brands of riding boots they are still of high quality.
Mountain Horse is another brand that is known for producing affordable yet quality riding boots. They have a wide range of English riding boots and work boots to choose from.
De Nire Boot Company
De Nire offers top quality boots that stand out from the rest with their gorgeous and original styles. Their boots are top-of-the-line with a wide variety of styles and options to choose from.