We are looking at purchasing a horse property that has an existing semi enclosed arena. In many ways it’s a dream property that we thought we could never afford.
Alas, there is always a catch.
I measured the top of footing to the bottom of the truss and came up with 12’. If I were building from scratch I would be shooting for 18’; but reality is if we hold out for perfection we are more likely to never find a place that we can afford.
Roping and jumping are out. But having 1,000’s of acres of forest to ride right from the front door outweighs that in a heartbeat.
We’ve arranged to go out and ride our horses in the arena this weekend. The intent is to recheck the height and look for options. I did a single measurement against the wall. This week got an estimate to raise the roof to 18’ that came in at $37000, almost that cost to build from scratch. Ouch, that option is dead.
Weekend Plan is,
1) Measure multiple points around the arena. Hoping that there is lots of buildup at the outer edges so just dealing with this might gain us a lot. Will also check the height as measured from the outside ground level to the eve.
2) Owners feel that they have actually raised the surface height a great deal by bringing in material over last 10 years. The footing is sand / hog fuel and not sure what the base is beneath. Clay perhaps? After leveling, might be able to reduce the packed footing height by removing excess and perhaps refreshing the top.
3) Meeting with an local excavation guy. He should be able to give us an idea of what material we can removed. It’s been suggested that we can go down a bit. Drainage is really good at the site and there is a French drain on all sides of the arena. We viewed during an extremely wet time and the arena is totally dry. In contrast another we viewed a mile away had 30% of the arena with standing water.
Our hope is that the 1st item could get us a foot and the second perhaps the other foot we need. Originally I wrote the 3rd idea off, but now wondering if we could go down a foot without affecting the post footing or creating a water issue.
Any other ideas we might consider and what is the drop dead min height for safety and usability? My thought is we need 4’ from the top of our head to the bottom of the rafters or it’s a deal breaker.
Any thoughts are hugely welcomed. We would love to find a way to make this place work
Thanks in advance