Let me set the scene: it’s a beautiful, sunny summer day. It’s not too hot, a light breeze is coming your way. In other words--a perfect day for riding.

Now for the real picture in western Canada. From cold winds and icy conditions to blazing heat, we have a wide range of weather to deal with. Those perfect days can be few and far between.

If you’re reading this, you likely understand how an indoor riding arena can help you and your horse avoid missing training days due to bad weather, and in the long term, improve your riding.

Hear from people who have built indoor riding arenas as they share insider tips.

Pat Weirzba: Height & Width

Pat Weirzba likes a lot of things about his 90’ x 185’ insulated riding arena. But one of his favourite features of his arena is the height. With 20’ walls, the arena can accommodate an upper mezzanine that holds a viewing area, workshop room, kitchen and bathroom. But he also likes riding in a space with that amount of height.

“It’s a great feature,” says Weirzaba. “Not only because of the mezzanine area, but riding in here with 20’ walls is really worth it.”

When planning out the dimensions of his arena, Weirzaba also took the number of activities into account. “The most important part for me was to get the width, which for me was 90’. It allows us to do almost any exercise we want to do with horses from riding barrel patterns to working with cows.”

His arena is insulated and includes an attached barn, wash bay and tack room. A 2’ wall light encircles the riding area to allow natural light in. “On most days you can ride out here without any lights on during the day,” says Weirzba. “[The wall light] allows the sunshine in and it feels very comfortable.”

Normally, he does not have to heat the arena, thanks to insulation, and says it has never gotten below -6 °C allowing for very comfortable riding conditions.

Weirzba’s #1 Tip: Make it as wide as you can. I feel 90’ is very important. And make it as long as you can depending on the regulations in your area.

Sheldon Kennedy: Building for Future Needs

Sheldon Kennedy put lots of doors in his arena. The thing is, he didn’t build his arena for today. He built it for tomorrow.

His 72’ x 212’ insulated riding arena not only has plenty of doors, an attached barn, wash bay, tack room but also the ability to add a lean-to the entire length of the arena.

“I put a door in whether I needed it or not today,” says Kennedy. “I planned this building in a way that can be adapted for the future.”

Kennedy’s #1 Tip: Build in a way that you can add on or change things for the future.

Now let’s cover the basics.

What do you need from your building? What activities do you need to plan for? Equipment and feed storage? How about an attached barn?

Or get in touch with us at Integrity Post Structures and we can help you work through the process of building your dream riding arena. It’s more affordable than you might think.