Build a riding arena requires careful planning and construction of the arena fencing and surface planning. This includes buying materials, leveling and providing drainage for the area, and choosing a surface material. Many contractors offer services to help with building riding arenas as well.
- Plan the location
The most important part of building a riding arena is location. Look for a large flat space, ideally at a higher point than most of the surrounding land. The flatter the area is, the less expensive it is to level. Decide how big to build, and plot out an exact location accordingly.
- Level the area and provide drainage
Hire a contractor to level the area and ensure that there is proper drainage to prevent the arena from becoming muddy. Cut drainage channels if necessary.
- Purchase materials
Purchase materials for the fence. Most horse owners go with a combination of wood poles and metal wire, but all wood fencing and metal stakes are possible. Wood and wire fences are the most practical in terms of durability, while metal stakes and barbed wire are the least expensive. Wood fences generally are the most expensive.
- Install the base and surface levels of the riding arena
A riding arena requires a firm surface, which means installing two layers over the base dirt. The most common option is a layer of compacted rock topped with 4 to 5 inches of silica sand.
- Build the fence
Measure out the fence, placing posts no more than 10 feet apart. Dig holes and install the posts before stringing wire or cross sections of the fence. Install a gate at a chosen location to finish the riding arena.