Solutions: Arenas & Exercise Areas
Horse owners agree, a useable exercise area is not a luxury!
Working with your soil type, topography and climate conditions is key in creating a space that can handle high traffic and be utilized all year ‘round. Learn the steps you need to take to construct an arena or exercise area that works for you and your horses in all types of weather - one that is an asset, not a liability. Exercise areas are expensive, and whether putting in a round pen or building a full size arena, getting it right the first time is well worth the effort. The reward is a healthy, fit horse and more riding or training time for you.
Locating a high area on your property for your arena or round pen location, like the owners of this covered round pen have done, will help ensure you do not have issues with run-off coming in and making your footing unusable.
Plan for extras that will make riding and upkeep of your structure easier. These owners added screening, which helps keep driving rain and snow off the track, and also doubles as insect and sun protection in summer.
Ask the experts, or check out our tip sheet on arena building so that you obtain the correct type and quantity of footing material for your riding discipline.
There are many types of structures available to use as arenas. If you can haul in and "test drive" a few different types, you'll be happier with your finished project and have a better chance of sticking to your budget.
Making a barrier for visual effect, and to keep footing from migrating, doesn't have to break the bank. This all-weather dressage arena with sand footing used material on hand; some other ideas include plastic drainpipe or landscape timbers.
Learn how to set up a track paddock and what to keep in mind when doing so. Keep confinement areas interesting for your horses—and chore efficient for you!
Boredom for horses can cause weight gain, ulcers, stall vices (chewing, pawing, weaving), fighting between horses, and even colic. A couple of techniques to consider, either separately or in combination, are track paddocks and slow feeders.
Four page print quality PDF
Learn about and choose the safest, most affordable fencing for your particular livestock situation and topography. See pictures and descriptions of commonly used, horse-safe fencing options.
Six page print quality PDF
Learn how to build a functional outdoor arena to use in all kinds of weather. Chose the right location, slope, drainage, size, footing material, and finishing touches to make your arena work perfectly for your discipline.
13 page print quality PDF
Don't let mud and dust wreak havoc on your horse's health. Learn about sacrifice area design and other great tools to eliminate mud and dust - your horse will stay clean and breathe easy!
Nine page print quality PDF