Riding Arena Construction Guide: Part 4 – Installing the Fencing
Installation of the fencing is one of the trickiest parts of building a new arena and mistakes can be very difficult to rectify. If you are uncertain at any point, we highly recommend that you seek out a local fencing contractor who can install the fencing for you.
Twin Drum Ride
Post Hole Auger
1. Fencing Preparations
The first step should always be the installation of the corner posts. We recommend using two posts at each corner to create an ‘L’ shape, checking your measurements as you go.
Next, use your laser level to make the tops of the posts exactly level. The laser level should be set at 5’ 6” above the ground, as this will create a finished height of 4’ 6” and allow 1’ for the build-up of drainage stone and surface materials.
We recommend concreting the corner posts into place the day before the fencing installation. This will ensure that a line can be tightly strung between the posts, without fear of them moving.
To work out the required spacing between the posts, take a rail or kickboard and mark its centre point. Next, mark half a post’s width on either side of the central line and at both ends of the rail or kickboard. To check that both sides are the same, measure the distance between the two marks on either side of the central line.
For peace of mind, deduct 10mm from this measurement – it’s easier to cut more off the rail than to add it back on!
This is the required spacing between the posts. Cut a piece of timber to this length and use it as a spacer when installing the remaining posts.
2. Installing the Posts, Kickboards & Rails
To install the remaining posts, dig or auger a hole to the correct depth (see diagram) and place a post into the hole. The post should sit just off the string line, which you installed earlier as a guide. Use the laser level to ensure that the post is at the required height and a spirit level to check that the post is vertical to the ground. For subsequent posts, measure out the required distance using the timber spacer.
Once you are happy with the position of your post, fill the hole to the top with a relatively dry mixture of concrete – a ratio of 6:1 (ballast to cement) is recommended. Pack down the concrete, filling the remaining space with soil once the mixture is dry.
When installing the gate posts, we recommend completing them one at a time. This will allow you to use the gate to pinpoint the exact location for the remaining post.
Once all the posts are in, cut off any excess membrane around the posts and level the drainage stone, using the laser level for accuracy.
The next phase is to install the kickboards, which are stacked one on top of the other in two layers, around the inside of the fencing. First, place a kickboard in front of the posts and tap it down into the drainage stone using a sledgehammer. When the board is well nestled into the stone, set your laser level to its top and use this as a guide for the remaining lower layer of boards – the final layer of kickboards can then be placed on top.
Finally, the rails can be fixed into place. We recommend using a spacer to ensure equal distances between the rails, and that the joints between the boards are staggered for added strength. It’s also a good idea to install the top rail slightly below the top of the posts, as this allows for any inaccuracy in the height of the posts.
3. Fitting the Gate
Usually, the gate will come without anything fitted. You will need to drill the gate in order to fit the hinges. If you are not totally confident about this, we recommend asking a local fencing contractor to fit the gate for you.
When the gate is ready to be installed, place it up against the gate posts, ensuring that it is level and at the correct height. Then, mark and drill the gate posts at the required points and fit the hinges.
Now the arena drainage stone can be graded level (using the laser level), before being rolled with a twin drum vibrating roller. Due to the open nature of the stone, it is impossible to roll the stone completely flat. The roller will always leave small lines, but these are not a problem.