How to Build Riding Arenas

Written by amy kuncaitis
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How to Build Riding Arenas
Build a riding arenas for training, or practicing riding skills. (horse and rider image by pearlguy from

Building a riding arena provides an area for horses and their riders to train for events and practice their skills. It also provides a place for beginner horses and riders to be "broken in." There are many varieties of riding arenas and designing them is in many ways an art-form -- based on preference, desire, and price points. Properly building a riding arena within the desired specifications helps to ensure safety and comfort for both the horse and rider.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gravel/sand mix
  • Lime
  • Crusher dust
  • Filtered sand

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  1. 1

    Select the location for the arena. Choose an open area, free from large trees and other debris. Look for high ground to avoid drainage problems.

  2. 2

    Excavate the arena area. Measure and mark the four corners of the arena. Clear the area of all grass, debris, and rocks. Excavate the area to the clay level of the soil.

  3. 3

    Lay a base of gravel and sand. Compact at least 100mm of gravel and sand, followed by at least 100mm of compacted lime. Finish the base of the arena with a layer of crusher dust.

  4. 4

    Lay the top layer of the arena. Use sand that is filtered from all clay particles and composed of a mix of round and angular particles. Add a layer of no more than 50mm for the top layer. Ideally, the top layer should provide good traction and still remain somewhat soft to the touch.

Tips and warnings

  • Talk with others who have built a riding arena for tips on local availability of products.
  • To avoid dust problems, do not use unfiltered sand in the arena.

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