Building your own riding arena can be a cost-effective way to train in the comfort of your own home. Self-build can be a challenging option, but with access to the right machinery and construction guidance your new arena could be constructed sooner than you think.
As a division of one of the UK’s largest aggregate suppliers, we supply membranes, equine aggregates and high quality equestrian surfaces to many self-build customers across the country. In this five part guide, we’ll be guiding you through the construction of an outdoor riding arena with a membrane base.
Please note this step-by-step article should only be used as a guideline only. As each project and site is different, we would always recommend that you seek out a local, experienced contractor to assess and carry out the work for you (please contact us for a recommendation).
There are several factors to carefully consider when choosing a site to build your arena on, including access. You will need hard-standing access to and from your riding arena, both for eventual usage and for the construction work. The last thing you want to do is contaminate your manege surface with mud, either 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 then be extended right up to the arena gate.
To avoid wasted or awkward areas of ground, carefully consider the position of your arena in relation to other site features. As the levelling of the arena site is a relatively small part of the overall cost, the flattest part of the field is not always the best spot to choose.
It’s important to remember that the steeper the ground on which your riding arena is situated, the more room it will take up due to the banks created when levelling the area.
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 will strip the surface from a riding arena in just a few hours.
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.
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.
Obtaining planning permission for your new riding arena is likely to be easier if you are not overlooked by neighbours or footpaths.
These are just some of the factors we recommend you carefully consider before choosing a site to build your riding arena on. Continue to the next part of the guide: levelling the site.