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Thinking of building an indoor riding arena? There are several factors you must consider when building one. After all, an indoor riding arena is a massive undertaking, and you must get it right if it’s to serve you for years to come.

Purpose of an Indoor Riding Arena

While the initial cost of building an indoor equestrian arena can be massive, the returns on your investment are well worth it. That’s because, unlike outdoor arenas, an indoor riding arena offers your trainers and horses a safe and controlled environment to train and ride throughout the year. This is important, as both your riders and horses need such a consistent environment to ensure they are in optimum shape throughout the year.

Another significant purpose of an indoor riding arena is to offer an environment free from external distractions.

When building a new arena, you must consider your horses and trainers. This requires you to think about several items, including the accessories listed below.

Must-Have Accessories for an Indoor Riding Arena

To get the most out of your indoor riding arena, you must pay close attention to the riding arena equipment you choose. Here are some of the essential accessories you need to consider:

Safety Walls

One essential indoor riding arena accessory you must consider when constructing a new arena is a safety wall. Safety walls protect both horse and rider, as they address many indoor riding arena safety concerns.

For example: A rider’s leg can get crushed when a horse brushes against the walls. A safety wall mitigates this, as the angle of the arena kick wall is designed to push the horse away from the wall. This protects the rider’s legs.

Another safety concern with indoor riding arenas is the danger of a horse injuring itself from a strikeout or kicking the wall. Again, the angle of the arena fence prevents that from happening.

A safety wall also helps prevent sand build-up near the wall.

Arena Irrigation Systems

One of the most important components of equestrian arena maintenance is a Rain Train Arena Irrigation System. Using an arena watering system helps to create a dust-free environment, which is very important for the health and safety of your horse and any riders.

Reducing dust in an indoor arena will improve the air quality and visibility. Furthermore, it also helps to keep arena footing at the right consistency, which is essential for preventing injuries when the horse jumps and runs. Unstable footing from loose dust and sand could lead to dangerous conditions. Spraying down the area with irrigation system water sprinklers ensures that horses and riders have a  perfect riding surface, comfort, dust control and visibility.

Mounting Products

horse mounting block

One piece of arena equipment that every dressage arena needs is a mounting block. Having this product in your mounting area will be helpful for riders and benefits your horse, as it reduces the pressure put on the spinal column when mounting.

Another reason ground mounting should be discouraged is that it can lead to a damaged saddle and stirrups.

Horse Exercisers

To ensure that your horse gets the best exercise possible when the weather is not permitting, you must include some horse exercisers in your indoor riding arena. With horse exercisers, you can walk, trot, or lope your horse without having to take it outside. You can also set different speed levels on your exerciser, allowing you to give your horse his regular training exercises.

Important Design Elements to Consider for Your Indoor Riding Arena

Besides accessories, you must also pay close attention to the design of your indoor riding arena. A few important factors you must consider are:


When designing your indoor arena, pay close attention to its dimensions. As a general rule of thumb:

  • The minimum width must be sixty feet long. Otherwise, the average width is 70-80 feet.
  • The length of your arena will depend mostly on your discipline and the activities you’ll want to use it for. However, most indoor riding arenas fall within the 120- to 250-feet range.
  • The standard interior height is 16′ to 18′ to the top of the trusses.

Door Placement

Another important design element you must carefully consider as you build or renovate your indoor riding arena is door placement.

Of course, due to the massive size of the building, your doors will also be huge, and therein lies the danger. Doors of this size can become a safety hazard, especially during windy seasons. That’s why they must be positioned in the right place. You must always place your doors:

  • In the gable end of the building
  • Away from prevailing winds

Doing so will make them safer, as they won’t be affected by the wind.

Exit Doors

If you plan on using your indoor riding arena for public or commercial purposes, your design must feature exit doors on every wall.

Electrical, Lighting and Heating

You may be thinking about installing a speaker system to reach the spectator section, or wish to have access to electricity throughout your arena, which will require outlets to be installed. If your arena will have a kitchen area, you will definitely need electricity.

Lighting plays a critical role in an indoor riding arena. Make sure to use as much natural light as possible. As for the artificial lighting, ensure it doesn’t cast shadows or cause glare.

In addition to a heated arena, you will need smaller areas like bathrooms and the office, as well as stables and some steel buildings to be heated in cold weather, so don’t forget to plan for these needs as well.


Access to both hot and cold water will be crucial to several areas of your new arena, including the kitchen, bathroom, grooming areas and horse stall water basins. Ensure that all of your plumbing needs have been identified and are covered in your blueprint before building begins. Otherwise, you’ll face further costs in the future.

Need Help with Your Indoor Riding Arena Accessories?

Indoor horse riding arenas can be multi-purpose buildings, used for horse shows, competitions, training and more. If you need help with your indoor riding arena accessories, don’t hesitate to browse our product catalog. Alternatively, give us a call at (352) 737-6743. We’d be more than happy to help you find cost-effective products for all of your arena construction needs.

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