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Build an Indoor Riding Ring

An indoor riding ring takes your riding program year-round, providing a safe, weatherproof instruction and show ring that can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.

Some owners include features like tack rooms, wash areas, observation rooms, bathrooms and show seating in their plans. Others are looking for an affordable, basic structure to provide dry cover and perfect track in every season.

Whatever your needs, post frame barns make an ideal structure for your indoor riding arena thanks to their large interior spans and fast, affordable construction.

The following are some of the basic aspects you’ll need to consider when designing your indoor ring and discussing your needs with a custom riding arena builder.

STANDALONE OR COMBINED?
Riding rings can stand alone, adjoin the barn or serve as a combined barn and arena structure. Which is best for you will depend on your riding plans as well as your property layout and existing buildings.  If your current barn serves all of your needs and has room for growth, adding a separate building next to it or nearby may serve your needs. If you’ve outgrown your barn, you may want to add stables to your new structure. Riding rings do generate a lot of dust, which can be a disadvantage of combining your barn with your arena.

If your riding ring will stand alone, you’ll probably want to locate it close to the barn to make things easier for horses and riders in bad weather. On the other hand, if you host large shows you may want to distance the arena from your private stable areas. Some owners don’t have space alongside the barn for an arena, or have other locations on your property that are better suited for the ring.

As with any farm building, high and dry is the ideal location for your indoor riding ring.

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This is a basic 70×126-foot structure, large enough to house an indoor riding arena.

SIZE
The best size for your arena will depend on how many horses will be using it at once and what sort of riding you’ll be doing. According to the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), a standard competition arena is 100×200 feet. That is large enough for jump courses and most riding activities. As a baseline, CHA recommends 32 linear feet of rail per horse. For 10 horses, that means a 60×100-foot arena. That would be a minimum size appropriate for beginning riders, who do better in smaller spaces. Advanced riders will need more room.

Dressage rings range from 20×40 meters (66×132 feet) for a small arena to 20×60 meters (66×197 feet) for a large one.

INSULATION
It seems like a tall order, but insulating your arena can dramatically reduce heat buildup in the summer. It also dampens sound and contains heat in the winter. That temperature regulation can make the year-round riding experience better for riders and horses. Contrary to popular belief, post frame barns are easy to insulate.

OTHER OPTIONS
You can build solid post frame barn riding ring structures in wood or metal. Each has different advantages but both materials will give you a durable, lasting structure. In addition, you have many options in doors, interior rooms, ventilation and other features.

Our designers will be happy to help you lay out the perfect riding ring for your plans. Just contact us to get started, and we’ll be in touch.

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