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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to build a decent riding arena but don’t want to spend thousands, what’s a good sand? I want something that also drains but I was wondering about getting 1-2 different sands. One for drainage and one to ride on, thoughts?

And any fencing ideas that doesn’t cost thousands but still keeps the horse in if I fall off lol.
 

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I cant speak to the footing part of your question because I'm happy with just about any footing and currently have a grassy outdoor arena BUT when it comes to fencing ideas I think you are unfortunately going to be looking at a hefty amount regardless of what you put up. You want something solid enough and tall enough to hold in a horse who is potentially in a spooked state of mind due to an unseated rider. I personally like a woodern fence at least 4ft tall, taller if possible or a welded metal fence (panels or custom welded) both are very pricey but going to keep a horse in (unless you have a grand prix jumper we don't know about lol). Good luck with your project!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I cant speak to the footing part of your question because I'm happy with just about any footing and currently have a grassy outdoor arena BUT when it comes to fencing ideas I think you are unfortunately going to be looking at a hefty amount regardless of what you put up. You want something solid enough and tall enough to hold in a horse who is potentially in a spooked state of mind due to an unseated rider. I personally like a woodern fence at least 4ft tall, taller if possible or a welded metal fence (panels or custom welded) both are very pricey but going to keep a horse in (unless you have a grand prix jumper we don't know about lol). Good luck with your project!
Thanks so much!
 

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We just got cheap sand from a local pit, nothing pricy or complicated, though it is filtered. The trick is to let it work in and only add more when the footing gets packed down. Over time, we have built it up to be just the right depth. Resist the urge to put down too much because it is hard on the tendons. Total cost for sand over the last 5 years or so: about 700$. We do have a full size farm tractor with box blade to level the ground and spread sand. I run a drag behind an ATV over it pretty regularly too, to keep it somewhat fluffy and even. It helps with drainage because I avoid having holes develop.

This isn't perfect, but given that this area was a very wet part of our property before we had horses, I'm actually quite pleased with it.

My husband borrowed a posthole digger and we built a fence. It's not pretty. But it sure does work. We bought 8 ft long rough posts from a local mill at 3$ a post (that was a steal, I admit) and 10 ft long rough 2 x 6 boards for 7$ apiece. My husband used lag screws to attach them to the posts. Nothing is stained or painted because it's all cedar so should last a while even without any kind of finish added. 6 years later, everythings still looks perfectly solid. We will have to replace it eventually, but it works well for us for the time being. So I guess if you can, try to see if you can source rough lumber locally from mills and see if there are any sand pits in your area. They bring it to us in a big dump truck.

I do have a hot fence on the inside of our paddock/riding ring fence so horses don't rub or lean against it. That will definitely prolong the life of any fence. Just remember to turn off the electric when you ride (though most of the time I don't bother, but it has happened that a horse got too close to the fence and touched it so for safety, it should be off.

Here's what it looks like right after a rain.

Horse Plant Working animal Fence Tree
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We just got cheap sand from a local pit, nothing pricy or complicated, though it is filtered. The trick is to let it work in and only add more when the footing gets packed down. Over time, we have built it up to be just the right depth. Resist the urge to put down too much because it is hard on the tendons. Total cost for sand over the last 5 years or so: about 700$. We do have a full size farm tractor with box blade to level the ground and spread sand. I run a drag behind an ATV over it pretty regularly too, to keep it somewhat fluffy and even. It helps with drainage because I avoid having holes develop.

This isn't perfect, but given that this area was a very wet part of our property before we had horses, I'm actually quite pleased with it.

My husband borrowed a posthole digger and we built a fence. It's not pretty. But it sure does work. We bought 8 ft long rough posts from a local mill at 3$ a post (that was a steal, I admit) and 10 ft long rough 2 x 6 boards for 7$ apiece. My husband used lag screws to attach them to the posts. Nothing is stained or painted because it's all cedar so should last a while even without any kind of finish added. 6 years later, everythings still looks perfectly solid. We will have to replace it eventually, but it works well for us for the time being. So I guess if you can, try to see if you can source rough lumber locally from mills and see if there are any sand pits in your area. They bring it to us in a big dump truck.

I do have a hot fence on the inside of our paddock/riding ring fence so horses don't rub or lean against it. That will definitely prolong the life of any fence. Just remember to turn off the electric when you ride (though most of the time I don't bother, but it has happened that a horse got too close to the fence and touched it so for safety, it should be off.

Here's what it looks like right after a rain.

View attachment 1123400
Thanks!! We are in a swampy location so having it decent after a rain would be amazing.
this really helps
 

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I for one like a woodern fence essentially 4ft tall, taller if conceivable or a welded metal fence (boards or exclusively welded) both are exceptionally expensive yet going to keep a pony in (except if you have an amazing prix jumper we don't know about haha). Best of luck with your task!
 

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Maybe I should have mentioned that I have three lines of electrobraid fence on the inside of our wooden fence. You can't really see it in the photo. Because there is only one wooden board, we ran the three lines along it just like we did for the pasture. The top line is 5' and we have 4'6 high gates.

And this area wasn't quite swampy, but close. There was always water puddling there, and when you walked on the grass, you could hear it sloshing. It was the wettest part of our property. So I was surprised we could get it so nice. Do make sure there is a bit of a slant though, so water drains away. Ours is very slightly downhill. Not enough that you really feel it when riding in it, but enough for the water to drain away. We just worked with the lay of the land, but you should observe where water runs and where it pools and try to work with the lay of the land to remedy any low areas, but make sure there is a slight grade that helps the water run off to a ditch or other low-lying part of the property. Someone I know dug trenches all around her riding ring. When I add sand, I always add it to the middle and spread out, that way it is slightly deeper in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe I should have mentioned that I have three lines of electrobraid fence on the inside of our wooden fence. You can't really see it in the photo. Because there is only one wooden board, we ran the three lines along it just like we did for the pasture. The top line is 5' and we have 4'6 high gates.

And this area wasn't quite swampy, but close. There was always water puddling there, and when you walked on the grass, you could hear it sloshing. It was the wettest part of our property. So I was surprised we could get it so nice. Do make sure there is a bit of a slant though, so water drains away. Ours is very slightly downhill. Not enough that you really feel it when riding in it, but enough for the water to drain away. We just worked with the lay of the land, but you should observe where water runs and where it pools and try to work with the lay of the land to remedy any low areas, but make sure there is a slight grade that helps the water run off to a ditch or other low-lying part of the property. Someone I know dug trenches all around her riding ring. When I add sand, I always add it to the middle and spread out, that way it is slightly deeper in the middle.
Thanks! That helped a lot!
The place we are gonna build it is at the end of our field, it has a slant so it’s usually the wettest spot of the field and that’s why we want it there, once we get some sand on it and level it out it’ll be ok. We are gonna build a pretty big one so even if it has a slant and it’s wet at the one end I don’t have to get near it.
 
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