Riding arena.. - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question Riding arena..

I don't have my own arena but I was riding in my trainer's arena over the summer while training my horse and he is better behaved in an arena than in the paddock or a field.

I'm thinking of making my own arena but I'm not sure how I will make a good, cheap one. What kind of fencing should I use and what height?

Whatever is the cheapest!! And what would be the cheapest kind of surface for the arena? Is 20 by 40 big enough? (for doing jumps too)
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 02:30 PM
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20 by 40 what? Feet? Km? A proper riding arena costs thousands to make. If all you have is the space in a pasture and you want to go for cheap then just use t posts and hot tape. It is in no way an arena but if all you are looking for is a smaller enclosed area to work it will do the trick as long as the footing isn't dangerous for the horse.

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post #3 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 02:40 PM
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Presuming you're talking 20x40 feet, and non-covered?

Cheap? Pine. But the downside is it rots easily unless pressure treated, and pressure treated makes it unsafe for horses as you can't rule out that one day they won't decide to eat your rails when you're not looking. It's also not terribly strong without a lot of reinforcement or careful construction.

PVC is common but more costly. Lots of other wood options as well but the prices go up exponentially as the quality of wood does. Again, not strong, but if it's just the "enclosed" nature of a ring you're looking for so your horse stays focused it's viable - your horse need not know (or test) it's strength. ;)

20x40? I rode in that size of arena before and it wasn't ideal - cantering is tight and you're asking your horse to change directions in not a lot of space - some handle it better than others depending on space. Jumping might be marginally OK with 2 lines but forget rollbacks or diagonals unless you plan to trot the course IMHO.

Unfortunately "cheap" and "good" rarely go together.
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 03:25 PM
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Sometimes, in my area, we can get flat bed semi loads of old railroad ties. Some will have some damage to one of the ends, but most are great for posts. Heavy! And tall, even the 10 foot ones are plenty tall.

Besides using them as posts, I couple places I've rode on, made large round corrals completely out of ties. They had really good supplies for them.

Others use ties as posts and cable between the post corners. You can buy cable used, too. Some people drill through the ties and run the cable. I prefer to buy keepers to run the cable through. Drilling through railroad ties can be tough.

Even though the ties are heavy, I'm 5'4" and not stocky and I can work a tie into the ground and set it.

Oh, and if you are near any oilfield work (PA, OH, TX, CO, WY, MT, ND) you can usually find used oilfield pipe for sale. Again, used cable works well with that also.

Auctions are sometimes good ways to get building materials, but I don't have the patience for auctions.
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks for the help but what are the prices of these?! :)
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 03:34 PM
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Prices will vary on your area...

Try your local saw mills and craigslist. Or your "name brand" stores such as Tractor Supply, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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OK thanks! What would be a suitable size for cantering, circles and jumping?
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 04:25 PM
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The bigger the better.

I ride in a 72'x200' indoor and I think that's a great size. I would not complain if it were even bigger.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 04:29 PM
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50 x 100 would be my minimum size if I was considering to build an arena. It isn't worth spending the money, time, or space on something that you're not likely to get the full use out of it.
There is a small indoor arena at my barn, it drives me batty. There's a hunter/jumper trainer that does lessons at our barn and IMO it's not enough even for the the one cross rail they use. It is approximately 40ft x 20 ft and doing much more than a large circle feels very tight... I couldn't imagine even two jumps working well in such a small space...

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post #10 of 24 Old 01-04-2014, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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ok thanks for the help but would this cost a lot? :/ How much approxamitely? Your best guess!!
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