Dear Cherry, I would
like to put in a riding ring on our new farm. My daughter and I are active in
Pony Club, eventing and the hunter circuit. What dimensions would you recommend
and what type of footing? We are located in the east and have very wet springs,
mild winters and somewhat dry summers. Have heard so many different things - thought
I would check with an expert!! Many Thanks. S
A large dressage ring
measures 20m x 60m (picture three 20 meter circles in a row) which is about 66
feet wide by about 198 feet long. (picture 3 round pens in a row!)
prefer a wider arena (say about 100 feet wide) and then if I want to ride in the
dressage space, I can put up cones to mark the narrower sideways dimension.
My personal arena is about 100 x 200 feet and it works pretty well for extended
canter work. However, if I had more room (I live in the mountains so had to excavate
this in the side of a hill and ran into Rocky Mountain bedrock) I would have made
it bigger in both dimensions.
Especially if you will be putting up a
few hunter jumps for practice, you will want more room.
Choose the site
for your ring carefully, on the best drained soil you can. It would be heartbreaking
to put all that time and money into a ring and only be able to use it certain
months of the year. You may have to install some drains underneath or diversion
ditches around the arena depending on your soil and topography.
as footing, first have your soil evaluated by your county extension agent for
soil characteristics and percolation (drainage).
Then armed with that
information, read the book, "The Equine Arena Handbook" by Robert Malmgren.
At that point, you should be able to make a very good choice of footing.
It would be risky for me and for you for me to give you a recommendation
of what type of footing would be best for your situation.
internet using www.google.com for equine or
equestrian arena footing to find current manufacturers. A good reference is the
United States Dressage Federation's book "Under Foot". You can read about it and
order it here: http://www.usdf.org/Store/Books.asp
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