Riding Arena Construction Guide: Part 1 – Choosing the Site
As a division of one of the UK’s largest aggregates suppliers, we provide aggregates, geotextile membranes and high-quality equestrian surfaces to many self-build customers across the country. In this five-part guide, we’ll be focusing on the construction of an outdoor riding arena with a membrane base. Please note that this step-by-step article should be used as a guide only. Every project and site is different, so we would always recommend that you seek out a local and experienced contractor to assess and carry out the work for you.
1. Access to your Riding Arena
There are several factors to consider when choosing a site on which to build your riding arena. You will need hard-standing access to and from the arena, for both current construction work and future use. The last thing you want to do is contaminate your manège surface with mud, whether walked in or brought in by tractors or construction equipment.
We recommend constructing your riding arena near an existing hard road or track, which can easily be extended right up to the arena gate.
2. Land Use Considerations
To avoid wasted or awkward areas of ground, carefully consider the position of your arena in relation to other site features, such as the stables. Levelling the arena site is a relatively small part of the overall cost, and the flattest part of the field is not always the best spot to choose.
3. Flood Risk Impact over Levelled Ground
That nice level area at the bottom of the field may look tempting, but it is worth finding out if it has ever been known to flood. An overflowing stream can strip the surface from a riding arena in just a few hours.
4. Choosing Shelter to Reduce Prevailing Wind
The main purpose of an all-weather riding arena is that it can be used all year round, so finding a sheltered spot will pay dividends during wet and windy conditions.
5. Privacy for Training
Horses can be easily spooked. Your training will be a lot more peaceful if you can find a site away from footpaths, roads, heavily used farm tracks or other noisy places.
6. Planning Permission Factors
Obtaining planning permission for your new riding arena is likely to be easier if you are not overlooked by neighbours or footpaths. Arena lighting is one of the most common reasons why planning applications are refused.