Dirt question from the rookie - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-01-2013, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Dirt question from the rookie

Hello all, I'm looking at horse properties with my wife and one is appealing but we would need to add an indoor arena to it. I've priced the material for a 75X120 barn and I can build it my self with help from friends. That cost I know but what I have no idea about is how much it is to turn the grass floor it will have into footing for the horses. I've been in a bunch of indoor arenas and it seems like it's sifted clay or something. Would I till up the grass and dump clay on top of the dirt? How much do you guys think it would cost? I know it depends on the area but would it be under 5K? Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-01-2013, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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Well, I think it would be all tilled up and levelled from when you put the foundation in for the building. There is many options for footing, most are sand, mixed with other things such as peat, but I would google your options as to your soil type.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-01-2013, 07:23 PM
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I have never built or re-built an arena floor but I do know that exacavating has to be done, and done correctly, for the top (and last) layer to be efficient and safe.

The top layer is generally sand of a certain grade because sand is the cheapest.

One also has to pay strict attention to the depth of the sand so horses doing constant work in the arena do not develop tendon problems. <---too deep of a sand footing, where the horse was boarded, cost an acquaintance of mine a vet bill.

I believe 4" is the maximum depth for sand; I made stand corrected on that.

Hopefully someone with experience in building an arena will come in.

In the meantime, this link may be helpful since you are able to build the barn, I know you will get a handle on the rough schematics provided

Arenas and Footing

Also, allow $$$$ for some sort of multi-tasking vehicle and a drag that attaches to said vehicle, so the arena flooring can stay well-maintained and safe.

4-wheelers, sub-compact tractors, big lawn tractors, the farm tractor will work if the arena is big enough:)

Smoochies on the snoot to you for doing this with, and for, your wife

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 04-01-2013 at 07:25 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-01-2013, 07:35 PM
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You also have to be careful what you put UNDER the sand, because I have friends who have spent much $$ on their arenas and the large crushed stone underneath is coming up. Maybe stone dust is needed instead?

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post #5 of 7 Old 04-01-2013, 10:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
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What's the soil there now? Gotta start with whatcha got and go from there. Round here there's lots of sand. So arenas are just a matter of getting the sod off and working it up.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-01-2013, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
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Outdoors in my area are stone chipped surfaces, I have never fallen on them, but I wouldn't be thrilled to.

I believe what is under the footing is more important than what's on top.

Not wanting to start a divorce or anything, but where are you that an indoor is a MUST? Sure, it's nice, but heck plenty of people ride out in the cold, and good clothing is a must.

Better answer about footing, it depends on your budget, there's sand, and then there's $1m footing made of rubber.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-02-2013, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Well her work schedule forces her to ride at night a lot and we live outside of Buffalo. The soil there is sandy so maybe we can save some money there
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