Correctly Measure Indoor Arenas

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When it comes to choosing the correct kind of facility, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the design choices of an indoor horse rink. Indoor arenas provide similar height measurements between facilities, and they do not vary much. For outdoor arenas, height does not present a major problem as areas are exposed to large, open spaces to allow riders and horses to move.

If you are planning on riding with larger groups, then you will want to do it in an area that is longer than an indoor arena. Other considerations regarding indoor vs. outdoor riding arena sizes are made in considering if a horse owner wishes to conduct riding lessons or to practice more than one discipline. If plans are made for setting jumps or performing speed events, these measures will require expansion, possibly up to a larger 66 by 197-foot dressage arena.

For example, a standard 20m x 60m dressage arena size is efficient as you can place exactly five sets of long-tracked fences into your arena. In most cases (except in the event of heavy snow loads), truss sets are generally, and more cost-effectively, placed 12 feet apart, creating the standard covered arena lengths of 12 feet. Trusses will be installed on the ceiling of your indoor arena every 12 feet by professionals in the majority of cases, meaning that your dimensions must be divided by twelve.

When laying down the plan, make sure that the distance between the longest sides of your indoor equine arena is always 20 meters, and the length of the arena is always 40 or 60 meters. As you proceed, keep checking that the distance between the long sides is consistently 20 meters and that the distance between the short sides is consistently 60 or 40 meters (depending on the arena’s dimensions). You should keep six meters from the short sides for H, M, F, and K. The remaining letters should be spaced at 12 or 14 meters apart, depending on if you are setting up for a long or short arena.

When all of your boards are laid out, remeasure your diagonal lines to make sure that they are still at 63.25 meters for a long arena or 44.72 meters for a short arena. With your second 60-meter measuring tape, measure down to the 20-meter side of the arena where the “C” is going to sit and mark the end with your third post (Point 2 in Figure 1). Measure the first 15 meters of the arena’s long side, first (where M through F will be located), using a single 60-meter measuring tape.

Your second stake marks the first 20 meters of your short side and must remain in place as it now marks the second corner of your arena short side. The final corner is located at the intersection of the two measuring sticks: One measures 20 meters from the third corner that you have just marked with your Stake, while the other measures 60 or 40 meters (for large and small arenas, respectively) from the second corner (Point 4 on Figure 2, page 20). The third stake (Point 2 on Figure 1), which marked a 20-meter distance from your first corner, must remain in place since this now marks the second corner on your short side of the arena (where Corner C will be located).

If you have to regularly build an arena in dressage for your riding club or affiliated events, you might find that buying a specially designed measuring tape that has letter placements and arena dimensions already marked down is helpful. Dressage arena sizes may vary depending on how much expense you want to put into your arena, however, a standard Olympic-sized dressage arena is 60m by 20m. We recommend building an arena of 20000 sqft (100ft by 200ft) to meet the standard requirements of the Huntsman and Jumpers Arenas. Arenas that are 20 satisfy the common requirements of both indoor and outdoor versions of the sport.

According to experts, the minimum dimensions of the average horse arena should not be smaller than 60 wide by 60 high with internal heights between 16-18 measured from ground level up to the top of the crossbar. The maximum construction width of indoor riding arenas covered with a cloth may be as wide as 200, but that number depends greatly on the manufacturer. With needs in mind, the ceiling of an indoor arena shouldrealistically have a height of 14 feet/4.2 meters to the eaves, however, this will restrict jumping heights, and depending on how steeply pitched the ceiling is, jumping might be comfortable near the centerline only.

Although a standard indoor dressage arena is 20 meters x 60 meters, you might conclude, once the measurements are tested, that your horse needs extra space for hoops. Arena events are typically held at larger horse stalls, sometimes with steps, etc., built into the design, however, these fences can still be used at smaller schools and indoor arenas, and are very useful for training, particularly during the off-season. Riding arenas will need planning permission, this can be very important to your design, it can be hard to get approval and even when you do get approval, there can be restrictions/stipulations which restrict the sizes, locations, lighting, and materials that can be used, etc.