Are you considering building a horse-riding arena but unsure where to start? Look no further! This comprehensive guide to building an indoor riding arena will walk you through the essential steps and factors to consider when planning and constructing your dream  horse arena, whether it’s for your riding school or it’s a practice equestrian arena, a showjumping arena, or even a rodeo arena! From choosing between indoor and outdoor horse-riding arena costs and options to selecting the right materials, size, and footing, we’ve got you covered.

Short Summary

  • Outdoor and Indoor  riding arenas offer different benefits depending on individual needs, budget, and climate.
  • Materials for construction of your horse arena or manège range from wood to steel to fabric with various advantages and disadvantages.
  • Size considerations should be taken into account when selecting the right horse-riding arena, as well as additional features such as lighting,  stables, latching mechanisms for your steel round pen, and so forth.

Indoor Riding Arena vs. Outdoor Round Pen

agricultural storage/farm building

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

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

  • Indoor riding arenas or manèges typically cost more due to additional expenses such as electricity, plumbing and roofing.
  • Steel round rings used as riding arenas are a popular choice for their practicality, durability, and cost-effectiveness.
  • Covered horse-riding 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 riding school arenas and outdoor riding rings.

Indoor Riding Arenas

Outdoor riding arenas, such as round pens, are more budget-friendly and can offer a secure setting for a manège, 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. This is particularly important if the horse arena is being used as a riding school, dressage arena, equestrian arena, rodeo arena, or show jumping arena. 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.

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 an indoor  arena or a round pen, the choice of construction material will have a significant impact on the overall cost, durability, and maintenance requirements. The most common materials used for horse 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 for your indoor arena, as well as the overall aesthetic and functionality of your horse 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 school arena.

Wood Construction Horse Arenas

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

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

Steel Construction Equestrian Arena

Steel construction provides a durable and weather-resistant option for  dressage arenas and other types of indoor arenas, making it an ideal choice for those seeking optimal protection and longevity. Steel riding arenas and riding rings 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 indoor arenas typically ranges from $25.00 to over $60.00.

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

Steel building construction for an equestrian arena or manège remains 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 indoor riding arena construction. Composed of a strong fabric material stretched over a steel frame, fabric construction for horse arenas is cost-efficient and quick to install. Fabrics for indoor 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 easily insulated or as durable as other materials like steel or wood. Additionally, a fabric construction riding school arena may require more frequent maintenance and repairs due to its lighter weight and less robust structure. Fabric buildings used as horse arenas have been known to be damaged or completely destroyed in strong winds or storms. This is an important consideration when it comes to getting insurance for your riding school.

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

Size Considerations for Steel Building Indoor Riding Arenas

steel building riding arena is suitable for dressage horses

The size of your steel building horse riding arena will greatly impact its overall cost and functionality. Larger horse arenas can accommodate more activities and riders, making them suitable for competitions,  multi-discipline training, and use as showjumping arenas or rodeo arenas. If you are using your horse arena for a riding school, more space allows you to accommodate more students or have other people using the indoor riding arena at the same time as your riding school students. However, larger horse arenas  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 indoor 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 Horse-Riding Arenas

Small horse-riding arenas are more cost-effective and suitable for personal or limited use. For example, if you are using it as a private dressage arena, you will not need a large indoor arena. 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 indoor riding arena can range from $25,000 to $50,000 for an outdoor sand arena in a metal round pen measuring 100 x 200, depending on various factors such as size, materials, and location.

When planning a small indoor riding arena or round pen, consider incorporating additional features such as:

  • Lighting
  • Fencing
  • Drainage systems
  • Footing and Foundation materials

These features will enhance the functionality and safety of the horse-riding arena or manège.

Large Horse-Riding Arenas

Large indoor riding arenas can accommodate multiple mounted riders, activities, and disciplines, making them ideal for competition settings, multi-discipline training, and riding schools. A larger space can also be important for uses that require more space, such as rodeo arenas and show jumping arenas. However, they come with higher construction and maintenance costs compared to smaller arenas. The estimated cost of constructing a large indoor 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 indoor 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. These additional facilities are particularly important if you are using your horse arena as a riding school for younger students.

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 horse arenas and riding schools. These kits come pre-manufactured and can be easily assembled on-site, saving you time and money. The prices for prefab horse-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. For example, if you plan to use the building as an equestrian arena that will host competitions, you will need bleachers or risers for audience members. 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 Indoor Riding Arena

Enhancing your  horse arena with additional features can significantly improve its functionality and user experience. Lighting, for example, is essential for both indoor riding arenas and outdoor horse 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,  preventing respiratory issues and enhancing comfort for both horses, riders, and students at your riding school.

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  horse 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 or manège, there are several factors to consider. The location of your horse 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. This is especially important if you plan to use your indoor riding arena as a riding school, as the safety of young students could be at risk. Vigilance when it comes to building codes is also important for insurance purposes.

Working with an experienced steel building supplier, such as Global Steel Buildings Canada, will help streamline the planning and construction process for your indoor arena or manège . They can provide guidance on design, engineering, and customization options to help you create the perfect steel  indoor 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  indoor arena is crucial for the safety and performance of both horse and rider. Footing options for indoor arenas range from affordable sand to the more long-lasting and sophisticated engineered concrete foundation, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

The cost of indoor arena footing ranges from $6.00 to over $100 per linear foot, depending on the location, material and installation complexities, as well as any associated permit costs. Angular sand is the most cost-effective option for your indoor arena but may require regular maintenance and dust management to ensure optimal performance. On the other end of the spectrum, fibre footing provides excellent shock absorption and stability, which might be needed for a dressage arena 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 Indoor Riding Arena

power washing a steel building riding arena

Regular maintenance and upkeep of your steel  indoor arena are essential for ensuring its longevity and continued functionality for riders, horses, and students at your riding school. This includes routine inspections of the structure, repairs, and replacements as needed, as well as keeping the indoor 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 equestrian arena or manège. By budgeting for these costs and scheduling regular maintenance, you can protect your investment and ensure your steel indoor riding arena remains a valuable asset for years to come.

Building a Steel Manège or Indoor Riding Arena

In conclusion, building a horse-riding arena or manège 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 horse-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 About Building a Steel Riding Arena

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.’  Other terms that might be used are dressage arena, equestrian arena, show jumping arena, or rodeo arena, depending on how the structure is used and what types of activities they can accommodate.

What is a good size for a riding arena?

For a good-sized 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 or for a riding school to accommodate multiple students.

What grade is a riding arena?

A typical grade for an indoor 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 horse arena.

What are the main materials used in indoor riding arena construction?

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

These materials are chosen for their durability and strength, ensuring that the horse arena or manège 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 Buildings Advantage

  • Firm Canadian Buildings quoted in Canadian dollars.
  • Most of our buildings are sourced in Canada, leaving no risk for currency fluctuations or delays due to US / Canada border closures.
  • No brokerage fees.
  • 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.
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating.

All of Our Global Steel Buildings are engineered to withstand the extremes of the Canadian climate, making them suitable for use as a horse arena year-round; we can design for any Province or Territory. Our designers are Canadian and live in Canada – we know what it takes to design an indoor horse-riding arena and building for our climate conditions.

Our riding arena 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.