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View Full Version : Info about SMALL covered/enclosed arenas



Starting-Point-Stables
Nov. 13, 2009, 04:07 PM
We own a 6.5 acre facility (and lease an additional 6 acres) and are considering constructing a small, enclosed arena.

I would love to hear from people who have either purchased a small horse property that had a small enclosed arena, or who have built a small enclosed arena - about the arena itself.

I'd also love to hear in what fashion you use the arena - either how you could live with or with out it (considering the cost and any income you may get from having it). :)

The whys:

1. We teach lessons, and though I know most of my private, adult lessons would cancel due to bad winter weather, my youth programs are group oriented and are sold in a 'block' structure and are held rain or shine. We have a classroom but it would be nice to continue some hands on horse activities during mild-moderate precipitation or winter wind.

Our property was also farm land so we are lacking in shade - if the arena could provide a shaded area to hold summer camps etc it would be a plus.


2. Hay storage - currently we can only store about 50 square bales, and have no storage for round bales.

3. Growing our services to include possible birthday parties, non riding seminars, dog training activities, scout badge programs, etc.

4. A slight lure for boarders. We average 4 boarded horses at any given time. Our typical boarder is a recreational level rider (personal enjoyment, no real discipline choice, may show but isn't a die hard).

5. During really bad winter weather (ice & snow) it would provide a short term shelter for our pasture kept horses, or turn out for stall kept horses. Typically ice here only lasts 1-2 days before it warms up again, but... just another 'pro' for what little it is worth. :)


Limits:

1. Finances, of course. A $200,000 project is far out of our scope. We know we'll be here for at least the next 5 years, but beyond that anything we build now has to increase the resale value of this property - whether it be a husbands workshop, storage for a tractor and horse trailer etc.

2. Space - obviously we have a small facility. We will not ever be catering to horse shows, large clinics or seminars or such activities as roping, jumpers etc. Currently our building space is probably limited to about 64ish ft wide X 120ish ft long with out changing pasture configurations etc.

3. Paybacks - will the arena make a difference in growing our programs or attracting boarders who may pay just a little more to board some place with an enclosed arena? I only know of 1 facility with a small enclosed arena and 1 facility with a large covered arena with in a 20 mile radius of our farm.


Concerns:

1. Price of project being more than the potential income and/or increased (realistic) resale value of the property.

Right now our mortgage is pretty reasonable, and the part time farm activities pay most of the mortgage on any given month (I also work a 3/4 time office job, my SO works a full time office job).

2. Maintenance - keeping the footing 'dust free'. I'm not overly concerned about the quality of the footing because we are not using the arena for high end sports, however air quality is a concern for me.

3. Usability - realistically, are enclosed arenas usable in poor weather? Do they get loud with mild to moderate rain? Do they help in the case of normal winter winds (I usually cancel riding lessons when winds get up to 15-20mph - we have WIDE OPEN farm land).

(thanks for all input!)