Indoor Riding Arenas - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-12-2012, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Kokomo, IN
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Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters View Post
I'm in the hoosier state about 2 hours from the OP. My indoor is metal, it was put up by Farm Builders. It's almost 20 years old now, never had any problems. We've got fully insulated walls that are covered with with osb 12 ft high and the top has the clear corrugated inserts for light, and 16 ft sliding doors on all 4 sides - with the doors open in warm weather it's very airy. It also stays plenty warm in the winter - I ride in under armour leggings & top under jeans and a sweatshirt even in the worst part of winter.
Ummm....I don't know where the "OP" is, or what that is...This is my second winter here, we are about 30 miles north of Indy. Insulation is pricey so I have to consider all things.
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post #12 of 18 Old 10-12-2012, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Range, WI
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Originally Posted by sinodacevera View Post
Ummm....I don't know where the "OP" is, or what that is...This is my second winter here, we are about 30 miles north of Indy. Insulation is pricey so I have to consider all things.
"OP" means "original poster." So, MHFoundation is about two hours away from you.

Since I'm in Northern Wisconsin where it gets COLD and really snowy, I tend to have blinders on when thinking of indoor riding arenas... an indoor to me is a place to keep the snow, ice, and cold that happens about 9 months out of the year here. My dream arena is a solid building with insulation (and maybe heat!). If I was able to put up an arena, I'd put up a metal pole building. If I couldn't afford insulation at the time, at least I'd have the option of insulating (and possibly heating!) it later on.
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post #13 of 18 Old 10-24-2012, 01:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Texas
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I have a clearspan fabric arena. I love it!

Its the same price as a covered metal arena but its cheaper if your going for fully enclosed. All of their claims are true. I was able to ride in 100 degree heat. You don't need lights until its really dark outside and I have less lights then a standard building because the white reflects the light a bit.

I don't see how snow would even stick to the building but I think you'll have that issue with all arenas.

~ Starline Stables ~
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post #14 of 18 Old 10-24-2012, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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I don't know about the purchase price of fabric tension buildings, but I've boarded at two barns with them. I don't like them. I plan to purchase property and build a barn/indoor in about 5-7 years, and I definitely won't be building a tension fabric indoor arena.

My experience with them is...
Very light in the day time, you definitely don't need lights on.
Cool in the summer.

I found them very loud in the wind.
They seem to hold more dust than a metal building.
One barn I was at had numerous tears in the shell, which where not repaired.
COLD in the winter.

The snow does stick to the roof and sides of the building, and it can be very tramatic for horses, especially because you can see the snow, and see it falling. When this happens, it's very loud, like a million zippers on a stereo system.

Just a thought, you could always do a steel arena with just the shell and lights, I've ridden in a lot of arenas done that way, instead of insulating them. It keeps the wind chill out, and a lot warmer in the arena than a simple tension fabric building. If you do decide to price them out, look for buildings from the closeout section, or for buildings that where ordered but not paid for. Sometimes you can find really good deals!
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post #15 of 18 Old 10-24-2012, 10:11 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: left of center
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Yup-I also have boarded in 2 places with them. I do like the lightness of them, but the snow is MUCH scarier than a metal arena, because of the shadows and sounds. (Ice is the same way, since we seemed to have more of that when I lived in IN briefly). I would also say that without fans they can be really hot in summer....

Personally-I would go with metal-preferably a Morton. They are great and stand behind their products. Footing is the next major issue you will probably have...that seems to be more of an issue for the folks I know-keeping dust down and giving good footings for multiple disciplines.

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post #16 of 18 Old 10-24-2012, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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My neighbors have a fabric arena and I've ridden in it.

The supports on the walls are slanted metal, so either you put up kickwalls and lose a good 4-5ft of space or you run the risk of decapitating yourself while riding. Neighbors chose the decapitation risk since all they have is mostly dead, quiet horses. My trainer ended up lining all the walls with chairs, barrels, folding tables and whatever else she could find since my horse is young, green and spooky...... only he was terrified off all the "stuff" so it was an interesting ride.

Light and Airy = every last shift in the clouds over the sun, bird flying overhead, plane overhead or whatever = spooky, shifting shadows. Again, if your horse is mostly dead, no big deal. Young and green? Not so wonderful...

Personally, I'd go with a metal one. Snow shifting is scarier in a fabric arena and because it's fabric, you can't take a really long pole/brush and go remove it before riding. Around here the folks with metal arenas take a broom on a long pole and brush off the roof.

Oh and metal buildings depreciating over 5 years? Please come inform everyone around here of that I've been shopping for a used one and everyone wants almost the original cost for their OLD building and people ARE buying them!
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-24-2012, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Texas
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Whoa whoa whoa.... Shadows of birds, planes and clouds? Um no. No scary shadows from any of those things in my building. The item has to be right next to the fabric for it to cast a shadow, like 6 inches are closer. If the building "flaps" in anyway, then it needs to be tightened. I can tell you that after one or two rides most horses are perfectly fine. As for snow? I can't tell you yet. It doesn't snow often in my part of Texas. However, my building is the rounded type not the roof type so literally I can not see how snow would stick to my building.

As for kick walls, no matter what arena you build you have to put up kick walls because your horse will run you into a post. My building is 72' wide but the interior riding space is 66' 6".

As for warmth, as long as you have something blocking the wind they are just as warm as a metal building. I chose to make my building 3 sided. The south side is open so we get the nice southern breeze in the summer but the north end will have a wall to block the north winds in the winter.

I can tell you that all the benefits greatly out weight any negatives with these buildings.

~ Starline Stables ~
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post #18 of 18 Old 10-24-2012, 04:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada
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From locally that there's been problems with fabric buildings, two or three blew apart in a winter storm. There was problems with insurance with them, some even see them as temporary buildings because you can take off the top. The covers need to be replaced every 20 years or so, so if you have a 15 year old building and sell the property you have to tell the buyers, they have to replace, at their expense, the roof. Snow sounds like a loud zipper. Easy to rip the cover. I found the couple I was in was no more airy than a nice metal or wood barn, yes more natural light. Forgot they rain inside, I was shocked the first time I went in one and it was raining for a good 10 plus minutes.

Metal buildings are colder, less natural light, and does have metal sounds, from rain, snow, or something hitting the side. Yes you have to watch out for screws backing out and leaking, metal coming lose, rusting.

Both need maintenance, in there own ways, one is completely redoing the cover every couple decades, the other is yearly sealing, and tightening screws. For where I live I would pick a metal barn over fabric, due to weather conditions, and general environment, needs. You have to figure all the pros and cons, not just the price, or the fact you like to have your own giant igloo, or no one else has one. Function and practical reasoning is needed.

Last edited by Cruiser; 10-24-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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