Indoor Riding Arena Cost and Building Prices

Are you considering building a horse riding arena but unsure where to start? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps and factors to consider when planning and constructing your dream riding arena. From choosing between indoor and outdoor riding arena cost and options to selecting the right materials, size, and footing, we’ve got you covered.

Short Summary

  • Indoor and outdoor riding arenas offer different benefits depending on individual needs, budget, and climate.

  • Materials for construction range from wood to steel to fabric with various advantages and disadvantages.

  • Size considerations should be taken into account when selecting the right arena as well as additional features such as lighting or stables.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Steel Riding Arenas

agricultural storage/farm building

One of the first decisions you’ll face when planning your riding arena is whether to build an indoor or outdoor one. Indoor riding arenas offer a controlled environment for year-round riding, protecting you and your horses from harsh weather conditions. On the other hand, outdoor riding arenas tend to be more affordable and provide a natural setting for training, but they are subject to weather conditions. Ultimately, the choice between indoor and outdoor riding arenas will depend on your specific needs, budget, and local climate.

The riding arena cost will vary depending on the type and size of the arena. Some factors to consider include:

  • Indoor riding arenas typically cost more due to additional expenses such as electricity, plumbing and roofing.

  • Steel riding arenas are a popular choice for their practicality, durability, cost-effectiveness.

  • Covered arena prices will vary depending on the size and materials used.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the different options available for both indoor arena and outdoor arena riding arenas.

Indoor Riding Arenas

Indoor riding arenas provide a safe, temperature-controlled space for riding and training, allowing you to ride year-round regardless of weather conditions. The cost of constructing an indoor riding arena can average price range from $40 to over $100 per square foot in Canadian dollars, with factors such as site preparation, utility setup, and choice of materials and options playing a significant role in the final cost.

To enhance the comfort and functionality of your indoor riding arena, consider incorporating features such as doors, windows, sky lights and vented ridges to allow natural light into the space. Proper site preparation, including grading, excavation, and drainage planning, is crucial to ensure a safe and functional equestrian facility.

Outdoor Riding Arenas

Outdoor riding arenas are more budget-friendly and can offer a secure setting for horse training, though they are subject to weather conditions. The estimated cost of constructing an outdoor horse arena ranges from $30 to over $75 per square foot, with the final price depending on the size, materials, site conditions and additional features.

To ensure the safety and functionality of an outdoor riding arena, it is essential to provide competition-approved footing and a solid arena foundation to prevent potential horse injuries. Additionally, the cost of installing a horse fence for an outdoor riding arena can range from $10 to over $50 per linear foot, depending on the materials and design chosen.

Materials for Riding Arena Construction

When it comes to building a riding arena, the choice of construction material will have a significant impact on the overall cost, durability, and maintenance requirements. The most common materials used for riding arena construction are wood, steel, and fabric. Each of these materials has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss in detail in the following subsections.

It’s important to consider the long-term investment and maintenance costs associated with your chosen material, as well as the overall aesthetic and functionality of your arena. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each material, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs, budget, and vision for your riding arena.

Wood Construction

Wood posts construction offers a classic aesthetic that many equestrians find appealing. However, it can be more expensive and less durable than other materials like steel or fabric. It is important to note that wood construction arenas are built like pole barns and are considered temporary buildings. Wood structures do not last forever. The estimated cost of constructing a wood riding arena ranges from $20 to over $50 per square foot, with the final price depending on the size and design of the arena.

One drawback of wood construction is the potential for damage caused by horses chewing on wooden posts. If this is a concern, you may need to consider alternative materials or take additional measures to protect the wood from damage. Additionally, wood construction may require more maintenance and upkeep compared to steel or fabric, which should be factored into your decision-making process.

Steel Construction

Steel construction provides a durable and weather-resistant option for riding arenas, making it an ideal choice for those seeking optimal protection and longevity. Steel riding arenas can cost anywhere from $40,000 to well over $500,000, depending on size and custom features. The cost per square foot for steel construction typically ranges from $25.00 to over $60.00.

While steel construction offers many benefits, it can be pricier than other materials such as wood or fabric. Additionally, steel construction offers more options to customize, making it more suitable for those seeking a unique or unconventional design like increased roof pitches, wide openings for custom doors, eve extensions and soffit overhangs.

Steel building construction remains a the most popular choice for its strength, durability, and ease of installation. Contact your Global Steel Buildings Canada designer for more information.

Fabric Construction

Fabric construction offers a lightweight and easy-to-assemble alternative for riding arena construction. Composed of a strong fabric material stretched over a steel frame, fabric construction is cost-efficient and quick to install. Fabrics for riding arenas can cost between $10 and over $30 per square foot. The total amount can range from $40,000 to over $400,000.

However, fabric construction may not be as insulated or durable as other materials like steel or wood. Additionally, it may require more frequent maintenance and repairs due to its lighter weight and less robust structure. Fabric buildings are known to be damaged or completely destroyed in strong winds or storms. This is an important consideration when it comes to getting insurance.

Despite these drawbacks, fabric construction can be a viable option for those seeking a budget-friendly and quick-to-assemble riding arena.

Size Considerations for Steel Building Riding Arenas

steel building riding arena is suitable for dressage horses

The size of your steel building riding arena will greatly impact its overall cost and functionality. Larger arenas can accommodate more activities and riders, making them suitable for competitions and multi-discipline training. However, they also come with higher construction and maintenance costs. On the other hand, smaller arenas are more affordable and well-suited for private use or limited activities.

When determining the appropriate size for your riding area, consider factors such as the intended use, available space, and the number of mounted riders who will be using the facility. The following subsections will discuss size considerations for both small and large riding arenas.

Small Riding Arenas

Small riding arenas are more cost-effective and suitable for personal or limited use. The minimum size recommended for a horse-riding arena is 60’ wide by 120’ long to provide sufficient space for a horse and rider to move comfortably while walking, trotting, and cantering. The cost of constructing a small riding arena can range from $25,000 to $50,000 for an outdoor sand arena measuring 100 x 200, depending on various factors such as size, materials, and location.

When planning a small riding arena, consider incorporating additional features such as:

  • Lighting

  • Fencing

  • Drainage systems

  • Footing and Foundation materials

These features will enhance the functionality and safety of the space.

Large Riding Arenas

Large riding arenas can accommodate multiple mounted riders, activities, and disciplines, making them ideal for competition settings and multi-discipline training. However, they come with higher construction and maintenance costs compared to smaller arenas. The estimated cost of constructing a large riding arena can range from $100,000 to over $500,000, depending on factors such as size, materials, location, and additional features.

When planning a large riding arena, consider incorporating features such as lighting, sound systems, and seating for spectators to enhance the overall experience for riders and audience members alike. Don’t overlook bathrooms, kitchenette, and water supply for your horses.

Prefabricated Riding Arena Kits

Saddle horse having fun in steel building riding arena - global steel buildings riding arena

Prefabricated riding arena steel building kits offer a more affordable and streamlined construction process compared to custom-built arenas. These kits come pre-manufactured and can be easily assembled on-site, saving you time and money. The prices for prefab riding arena kits range from $30 to over $100 per square foot, making them an attractive option for those on a tight budget.

While prefabricated riding arena kits provide a cost-effective solution, they may require additional customization and materials to meet your specific needs. It’s important to carefully consider the features and specifications of a prefab kit to ensure it aligns with your vision and requirements for your riding arena.

Additional Features to Enhance Your Riding Arena

Enhancing your riding arena with additional features can significantly improve its functionality and user experience. Lighting, for example, is essential for both indoor and outdoor arenas as it ensures that horses can see their surroundings, obstacles, and the footing surface while training. Proper ventilation is also crucial for maintaining good air quality and preventing respiratory issues and enhancing comfort for both horses and riders.

Other features to consider include viewing areas for spectators, sound systems for events and competitions, and attached stables for convenience and ease of access. By carefully selecting and incorporating these additional features, you can create a riding arena that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.

Planning and Building Your Steel Riding Arena

rider walking a horse in a steel building riding arena

When planning and building your steel riding arena, there are several factors to consider. The location of your arena will impact its accessibility, visibility, and overall function. Ensure you obtain the necessary permits and comply with local building codes to avoid potential issues down the line.

Working with an experienced steel building supplier, such as Global Steel Buildings Canada, will help streamline the planning and construction process for your pole barn. They can provide guidance on design, engineering, and customization options to help you create the perfect steel riding arena for your needs.

Riding Arena Footing Options

riding arena Foundation site of new steel building, details and reinforcements with steel bars and wire rod, preparing for cement pouring

Choosing the right footing for your riding arena is crucial for the safety and performance of both horse and rider. Footing options range from affordable sand to the more long lasting and sophisticated engineered concrete foundation, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

The cost of arena footing ranges from $6.00 to over $100 per lineal foot, depending on the location, material and installation complexities, as well as any associated permit costs. Angular sand is the most cost-effective option, but may require regular maintenance and dust management to ensure optimal performance. On the other end of the spectrum, fiber footing provides excellent shock absorption and stability but comes with a higher price tag.

Consider your budget and how to save money, maintenance requirements, and the specific needs of your horses when selecting the right footing for your riding arena.

Maintenance and Upkeep of Your Steel Riding Arena

power washing a steel building riding arena

Regular maintenance and upkeep of your steel riding arena are essential for ensuring its longevity and continued functionality for riders and horses. This includes routine inspections of the structure, repairs, and replacements as needed, as well as keeping the arena clean and free of debris.

The expenses associated with maintaining a horse arena can vary depending on factors such as the size, materials, and location of the arena. By budgeting for these costs and scheduling regular maintenance, you can protect your investment and ensure your steel riding arena remains a valuable asset for years to come.


In conclusion, building a horse riding arena involves careful planning and consideration of factors such as indoor vs. outdoor options, materials, size, and additional features. By weighing the pros and cons of each aspect and working with experienced professionals, you can create a riding arena that meets your needs, budget, and vision. With proper maintenance and upkeep, your riding arena will provide a safe and enjoyable space for riders and horses for years to come.

Also, Check out! 9 Benefits of Pre Engineered Steel Buildings for Farm Construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a riding arena called?

An outdoor enclosure for riding horses is referred to as a riding arena, (training) ring (US English), or (outdoor) school (British English). It may also be known as a manège, which is the French word for ‘household’. 

What is a good size riding arena?

For a good size riding arena, experts recommend minimum dimensions of 60’ in width and 16-18’ in height, with ideal sizes being 80’x200’ and 60’x120’.

These dimensions provide enough space for mounted riders to practice their skills and for horses to move freely. The height of the arena is important for safety, as it prevents horses from jumping out of the arena. Additionally, the width of the arena allows for multiple riders to practice at the same time.

What grade is a riding arena?

A typical grade for a riding arena is 1.5-2%, with the slope going from one corner to the opposite diagonal corner or crowning in the middle and sloping down to each long side of the arena.

What are the main materials used in riding arena construction?

Wood, steel and fabric are the primary materials used in riding arena construction, providing both structural support and protection from the elements.

These materials are chosen for their durability and strength, ensuring that the arena will last for years to come. They also provide a safe environment for riders and horses, protecting them from the elements and providing a comfortable space.

The Global Steel Advantage

  • Firm Canadian Buildings quoted in Canadian dollars
  • Most of our buildings are sourced in Canada leaving no risk for currency fluctuations, or delay due to US / Canada border closures
  • No brokerage fess
  • Customer service is Canadian based and we service all Provinces and Territories
  • Easy payment terms – 25% deposit with order and balance on delivery
  • We have qualified and certified building contractors across Canada
  • Beter Business Bureau A+ rating

All of Our Global Steel Buildings are engineered to withstand the extremes of the Canadian climate; we can design to any Province or Territory. Our designers are Canadian and live in Canada – we know what it takes to design a indoor horse riding arena Building for our climate conditions.

Our buildings are simple to erect and are maintenance free. Ask yourself, “Why would you buy a wood structure when I can get a Global Steel Building?” Contact us so one of our designers can engineer the steel Riding Arena building you need today.