<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >How to build an indoor horse arena the right way</span>

Things to remember when building an indoor arena

Building an indoor horse arena is costly and making mistakes in the process can be painfully expensive. Undergoing the process to building an indoor arena is an exciting project for every equestrian and a major investment. Getting things right in the earliest planning stages will save you a lot of time, money and stress later on. Take the following points into consideration if you’re planning to construct your own arena.

1. Location by nature, not by aesthetics

It is important to consider drainage when choosing the location for your indoor arena. Your arena should be on a high point of the property, not at the base of any hills or in the bath of runoff water. Working with nature rather than against it will remove drainage problems and most likely reduce the cost as well. 

2. Drainage – get it right the first time

Ensure when designing your indoor arena that a realistic drainage system is in place based on the location, the lay of the land, anticipated annual rainfall, soil type and your own sub-layers. It is well worth taking the time to research which method of drainage will work the best for your arena. Building a cover over and existing horse arena will eliminate a lot of the drainage problems that outdoor arenas experience, so long as surrounding run-off is properly drained, the arena surface itself won’t have to stand up to downpours and sodden surfaces. Another big advantage of an indoor arena is that you can collect and store the water at little cost and with huge lasting benefits.

3. Use the right materials

It is absolutely essential to spend time and money to ensure you use materials that will work for your arena. There is no across the board ‘rule book’ for sub layers, as materials vary from region to region. Skimping on base layers or choosing the wrong materials can undo the ultimate effectiveness and quality of your arena in a wink. Have a good idea how you want to use the arena when choosing materials, so you can make sure you have the right amount of each layer, and that one layer won’t become too thin after compacting to be effective.

4. The riding surface is critical

Ideally, a “perfect” riding surface should be cushioned to minimise concussion on horse legs, firm enough to provide traction, not too slick, not too dusty, not overly abrasive to horse hooves, inexpensive to obtain, and easy to maintain. There is a wide range of products available on the market, both natural and commercially produced, and your selection will depend largely on your budget and intended arena use. Talking to local riders with their own indoor arenas is a great way of seeking advice on what top layer is right for you.

5. Maintenance

The great thing about having a properly designed and built indoor is that you can extend the lifetime of your arena considerably by practicing a simple maintenance schedule. Here is a list of easy ways to keep your indoor arena in great condition.

  • Harrow, drag or rake the arena regularly to prevent it from compacting too much
  • Remove manure from the arena to preserve the quality and hygiene
  • Water the surface regularly to keep the dust down, and likewise if the surface is sodden after heavy rain, leave it to dry up a bit before riding.

As you can see once you have your indoor arena constructed and your surface in place it doesn’t take much to keep it functional and looking beautiful. Having your arena covered will extend the lifetime of your surface and below layers considerably as it is sheltered from the weather.