One of the most frequently asked questions when building a horse arena is whether the roof or the base should come first.
The answer to the question, according to Techspan Building Systems, is that it’s better to build the roof first then build the arena base inside the roof cover. Otherwise, it is rather like putting the cart before the horse. Why is it better to do things this way?
It is much cheaper
Due to more efficient use of space. If the base is built first the roof will need to be an extra 2-3m wider to make room for the foundations along each side. If the roof is built first the arena fencing can be built against the main columns. This means that a 20m arena can be built inside a 21m roof. It is more expensive to build the roof over an existing arena base. Money is saved on the erecting of the roof if it is done first because there is access to the underside of the roof. If there is an existing arena base in place, the installers can’t drive access equipment and cranes onto the base without damaging it. This means that they have to use larger cranes and access equipment so they can build it all from the side. In doing the roof first, they can erect the steelwork a lot quicker using standard methods and therefore saving money.
It is much safer
There is no chance of the arena base getting damaged. If there was an accident in the installation process, there is a chance the arena base and fencing will get damaged. There is also a chance of screws, bolts or sharp sheet metal filings and offcuts falling into the sand where they will become a hazard to the horses and owners. It is also safer for the installers as they don’t have to use access equipment that reaches in 10-15m from the outsides of the arena to get to the centre.
Techspan Building Systems has prepared a step-by-step guide on building a riding arena - from planning, engineering and council approval, to installation and maintenance. As an exclusive offer, Town and Country readers can access this free download for three months only from:
The free guide will also include all the necessary design considerations. Techspan says there are as many dressage arena layouts as there are horses and there is literally no limits to the design variations that can be built. It will cover all the common add-ons and options as well as design recommendations. It is also possible to place a roof over an existing arena.
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