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.
Building A Large Shed – Quotes, Examples & Cost Estimates
What this article covers: Farm/Rural Shed – Equestrian – Industrial – Commercial – Educational – Aviation – Architect-designed – Domestic/Backyard.
Broad acre farming often requires huge sheds to store stock, feed, machinery & livestock. Wide spans give you the ability to have large openings that allow easy access for large farm machines like harvesters. They are robust and hardy against the elements; a lifelong investment that will serve you for decades.
Average cost for a big span farm shed: $68,261
Large equestrian structures are indoor riding arenas, often with stable complexes attached. We have a high level of expertise producing indoor arenas for dressage and other equestrian sports reaching up to sizes 77m x 46m. These structures are designed to fit the client’s need and can include all features you might desire.
Average cost to an indoor riding arena: $124,000.
Commercial & Office Buildings
Commercial builds need to be expertly engineered and flawlessly erected, particularly when building large offices & factories. We have experience building commercial structures up to 100m x 50m. Infrastructure is a valuable investment and will improve your business.
Average cost of a commercial building: $166,900
Large Backyard Sheds
Residential and domestic sheds usually include small storage sheds and garages. However, client often go bigger with an American-style barn. These sheds offer a larger space for storage big enough to house multiple vehicles and a workshop. The American-style barn is not only a stylish addition to your property, but offers large storage space for a range of purposes.
Average cost for an American barn: $43,005
Industrial Sized Sheds
This larger category of building refers to warehouses up to 80m x 80m. Value-engineering and intelligent design will ensure that your industrial investment will work efficiently and will increase your business’ productivity. It’s a great idea to talk to a consultant from the very beginning of your project to endure your budget is adhered to and your building suits the functions it needs to.
Average cost for a large warehouse is $80,000 to $400,000.
Educational Buildings & Ball Covers
Those in the educational industry looking at building a big construction, covered-over learning areas offer you bespoke sizes and designs for ball court covers ranging up to 48m x 43m. This is a lasting investment for schools and their students’ safety, as well as those in educational or sporting. Covers like this have padded columns, anti-bird netting and roof insulation.
Average cost for a large ball court cover: $114,00
Aviation Hangars & Buildings
Bigger aircraft hangars can range up to 64m x 30m. We provide a variety of options for those interested in building a large aircraft hangar, customised to your aircrafts and needs. We have the decades of experience in aeroplane and helicopter hangars that are required to get the precision and value a large aviation building requires.
Average cost for an aircraft hangar: $98,782
Taking a more architectural and customised approach to sheds, people often choose to engage an architect to design a unique, one-of-a-kind homes that make use of steel frames. Larger constructions that come under this category are referred to as liveable sheds, reaching up to sizes of 100m x 50m. These buildings are completely customised to fit your dreams and your vision.
Average cost for bigger habitable sheds: $56,488
10 Genius Horse Hacks
1. Use emery board to remove minor stains from suede.
Dirtying anything suede can be a disaster. It’s almost impossible to get a stain out. Picking up an emery board and giving you suede a light rub can help roughen up the fibres and remove the stain.
2. Use vet wrap to stop blankets slipping.
Prevent blankets from rolling right off their racks. Wrap vet wrap over the rack to give them a bit of extra grip.
3. Use a dustpan to fill water buckets.
Can’t fit your bucket into the sink? Use a hollow-handled dustpan to funnel water out of the sink and into the bucket.
4. Use tall socks as a tail bag.
Cut off the ends of an old pair of knee-high socks and use them as a makeshift tail bag.
5. Use pool noodles to keep your boots in shape.
Want to keep your riding boots in line? Cut some pool noodles to size and slip them in.
6. Make a DIY bridle rack.
Nail some empty tuna cans to a plank of wood for an extremely simple DIY bridle rack.
To take it up a step and go for a classier look, use old horse shoes screwed into the board.
7. Use coloured zip ties to identify your equipment.
If you’re at a show and you don’t want any of your stuff to go missing, attached coloured zip ties to your things so you can quickly identify them.
8. Use a pool skimmer to remove mess from your horses’ drinking water.
It’s the simplest way to clean up the drinking water. If a pool skimmer is too big, consider using a pet fish net.
9. Line your buckets with garbage bags to prevent spillage.
Instead of pouring water directly into a bucket, line the bucket with a garbage bag. You can then tie the bag close and use a wheelbarrow to transport it without any spills.
10. Bandage your own leg.
Forgot your chaps? No problem, just bandage up your own leg to avoid pinches.
BONUS – Use an old halter to suspend a pot plant.
A great little idea that will make you backyard a little more interesting & unique.
READ MORE: 16 OTHER equestrian tips & tricks