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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.

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Always wear a helmet

Even if you aren’t riding. If you step into the arena, you need to have a helmet on.

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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.

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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.

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Don’t leave horses unattended

Sharing an indoor requires everyone to be aware and cautious of their horses at all times.

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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.

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Maintain a horse length from the horse in front of you

This allows everyone time to react to anything unplanned.

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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.

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No dogs on the arena

This could spook other horses. Dogs can also get in the way of riders.

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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.

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Read more: 16 equestrian tips and tricks

Download: Dressage arena dimension sheet

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