As an avid horse lover, you want to invest and build an outdoor horse arena for yourself and others to use. There are critical points to address from the point you search for land to the moment the final structure is completed. If you follow these, you will have a track that you and other riders will enjoy for decades. Here are a few steps to follow.

Choose the Right Plot of Land

When you look for a property to build your arena, choose locations that are isolated compared to any near a source of noise. Set up a budget so that you know what you can spend in this venture. Build a barn near your track to host riders and their horses especially if you plan to open a riding school as well. Avoid places near busy roads, railroad tracks, or any other place that will spook them. Consider a property that allows you to build your structure running north to south. This prevents the sunlight from harming both the rider and the horse’s sight. Choose a plot of land that, while away from the busy road, is easy to get to with ample space for visitors to park their cars near the arena and any other structure.

Keep the Land Dry

As you plan the arena, map out where you will install the drainage for the property and purchase the correct outdoor arena materials to complete this step. Adapt what system you use to the type of dirt you lay inside the track itself. Add more drains if the soil is known to hold more water. Plan for your drainage to go across the diameter of the arena and the circumference of it since most of your foot traffic will be on the outside edge of the track. When you install the baseboards around the oval, be certain that these also have drains in them to aid in the removal of the water that collects. Attach fine mesh grates over your trenches to keep dirt and other debris outside while moisture seeps through.

Laying the Base Layer

This is where you need to invest the most money. Purchase the best stone and other materials that you can afford. Excavate the area that you want the arena to go then clear the spot of any roots, weeds, or and other types of plants. Review this section of land again to ensure that the ground is bare and ready to be built on. Evacuate that the ground is the correct level and has been graded according to the specifications. If there is an error, it will damage your arena in the end. Order more rock than you will need to fill the arena so there is plenty to lay down during construction. Ask that it is washed well and free of dirt to prevent your drains from being clogged at the start. Select material that is less likely to swell and shrink during temperature changes and fits together. Lay this base layer at least half a foot thick to ensure proper stability.

Finish the Layers Of the Track

Install another layer for a footing after the stone and slope it at a slight angle to provide water runoff. Choose quality sand for the top layer. This is also a step you want to invest cash into to get the best quality available. Take the advice of professionals in your industry over that provided by your local hardware store or quarry. Horses need to maneuver on this material well with their hooves. Get the recommendation of someone who knows what substances a horse is comfortable on. Research what thickness is required for the work your animal is accomplishing then reach that level. Layer it past the diameter of the area so you are certain the gaps are filled.

Plan The Build

Choose a time of the year that is typically dry in your area. Plan for a point in the year that is warm with little chance of a cold snap. Since clay is involved in the soil you work with, dry weather is essential for a proper build. It will bubble as is ineffective when it is wet. Take your time through the process and adapt if the weather suddenly changes. Manage your construction crews to tolerate these interruptions as well.

Build a Fence

Choose a quality wood to construct a perimeter fence around your arena to keep young horses and those learning to ride in line. Use concrete to anchor your posts into the soil and make sure they are tall enough to discourage a horse from jumping over the fence they are built from. Take your time as you construct the barrier so that it is within the specifications of the arena and that it is free of your drainage areas and other essential pieces of your operation. If you choose to hire this step out to a contractor, interview those around you so that you find one that has experience in this sort of work and knows the industry you are in.

Proper Maintenance

Facilitate proper work once your arena is built and is used. Remove manure as quickly as you can. This substance will damage the soil of your structure. Schedule to have someone water the track on a regular basis to keep the materials it is made from getting too dry. Select the correct drag for your arena that will comb the dirt properly while avoiding doing damage to the fence or other items in the structure. While one type of drag, such as one made of chains, seems to be the ideal type to use, there is the potential that it will harm what you have built. Adapt and purchase maintenance equipment for your facility instead of for the industry as a whole. Owning an outdoor horse arena ensures that you and others have a place to learn and ride. Take the correct steps to built this facility so that it will stand for decades and be a place for the horse community to enjoy for years.


Written by Emily Burton

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