Steel Riding Arenas
Clear-span designs offer the best in column-free riding space
A pre-engineered steel horse riding arena will erect much faster than an arena constructed from any other material; it will be warrantied to last longer, thanks to steel’s superb weather-resistance, and its lack of vulnerability to pests, rot, & chewing. It will also look and feel magnificent, with the custom finish you select, and best of all, it will cost much less than an arena built from any other material! Superior technical innovation is now responsible for designs which exploit steel’s excellent strength-to-weight-ratio, making vast clear-span covered horse areas possible, that are much larger than ever achieved before – column free! 1
|Standard Multi-Purpose||Driving Arenas||Barrel Racing||Rodeo Arena||Competition Jumping Arenas|
|70×130 feet||130×260 feet||100×100 feet||70×250 feet||660×660 feet|
|70×200 feet||130×330 feet||150×200 feet||150×250 feet|
A brief look at Sharon Biggs’ informative article, ‘Ride At Home: Advice to Build Your Perfect Arena,’ written for HorseChannel.com, will highlight the complexities of taking on the building of a covered arena using conventional construction methods. Biggs quotes Robert Malmgren, whom she considers the “foremost authority on arenas,” from his book, The Equine Arena Handbook: Developing a User-Friendly Facility: “Making an arena seems like a lot of complications, but you’ll avoid mistakes if you plan right and employ the right people. . . Mistakes are very costly to correct after the arena is installed.” 2 By choosing a prefab arena, you can avoid these “mistakes” and sidestep the majority of potential “complications,” with a carefully designed complete package that comes from one source who protects your investment under warranty.
Let’s discuss one of the potential “complications” that Malmgren raises, and how a pre-engineered steel arena removes the difficulty from the equation. If you went with a wooden arena instead of steel, then Malmgren would suggest the following along the walls where they meet the floors: “Untreated, unpainted lumber is best,” he says, “I don’t like using any chemicals in an arena. If horses are turned out, they can gnaw on the boards.” Right away, we can see a recurring issue when wood is being used for equestrian structures: those who sell wooden equestrian buildings often boast that, when treated, their wood has decent weather, fire, and pest-resistance. Yet if you are housing animals who like to chew, it is irresponsible to put them in contact with dangerous chemicals. Not only can some chemical treatments be poisonous to consume, but they may ‘off-gas’ with unhealthy vapours in certain conditions, and some may leach chemicals into the surrounding environment the first few times they get wet; therefore, experts like Malmgren often suggest using untreated wood wherever animals can come into contact with it – and those who are experienced with horses know all about the damage done to untreated wood from chewing and ‘cribbing’. With steel the entire issue is moot, since animals will not chew steel, it is totally impervious to moist conditions and pests, it cannot catch fire, and it doesn’t rot.
Pre-engineered steel arena manufacturers can make every stage of arena acquisition, from design through construction, a quick and easy process. All the same, many customers will take great pleasure in researching their options in depth. BuildingsGuide recommends a book like, Horse Stable and Riding Arena Design from Blackwell Publishing. Such a resource will be helpful when you are deciding on special details, such as the riding surface. According to the authors, “A ‘perfect’ arena surface should be cushioned to minimize concussion on horse legs, firm enough to provide traction, not too slick, not too dusty, not overly abrasive to horse hooves, resistant to freezing during cold weather, inexpensive to obtain, and easy to maintain.” 3 Wheeler and Zajaczkowski, authors of the chapter on surfaces, discuss a multitude of options, from sand/dirt mixes to synthetics, to various grains of wood and other organic fibers. They also discuss the pros and cons of specific surfaces for particular end-uses; for example: “A combination sand-soil arena is popular with western riding events where high stability is needed for speed events so the footing can be kept moist and more compacted or harrowed into a loose mixture for sliding stops and cutting work;” by contrast, when more emphasis is on jumping, “Stonedust mixed with rubber will provide a less compactable footing than stonedust alone while keeping the high-stability stonedust offers for quick changes in direction and speeds, such as jump takeoff and landing activity.” 3 Details such as the riding surface sound simple enough, and yet they can profoundly influence horse ”health and safety.” 2 For further reading and assistance in planning your new arena, be sure to visit the Equestrian section of our Blog.
Take advantage of the revolutionary technical innovation that is putting the dream of owning a riding arena within reach, with fast and easy construction; long-lasting, safe, sturdy designs; and single-source assurance that protects your investment for decades into the future!