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Nes
Jul. 30, 2010, 12:05 PM
What is the minimum height you would build your indoor arena?

A friend of mine is looking at converting an old sheep barn. First there is about 4' of sheep poo to remove... then we were talking about digging down to put in the footing, and possibly lifting the roof if need be. I don't have a measurement but it is fairly low (I'm terrible at estimating height, I would say 12-15'?).

The arena would be used for jumping.

2DogsFarm
Jul. 30, 2010, 12:23 PM
My builder recommended a 16' rafter height for jumping.

If you aren't setting GP-height fences or don't jump a huge, scopey horse then 14' would probably do.

Sparky
Jul. 30, 2010, 02:02 PM
After touring lots of barns used for lots of disciplines,we built ours 17' for jumping. The barns that were in the 14'-15' range felt a little claustrophobic, and less than 14' didn't feel comfortable at all.

egontoast
Jul. 30, 2010, 02:13 PM
Agree that absolute minimum is 14 ft.

You have to think of horses possibly rearing and jumping medium sized jumps.

Even if jumping is not in your plans, you have to think of marketability should you have to sell some day.

Ours is 15 ft but I'd likely go higher in a jumper focussed facility.

Nes
Jul. 30, 2010, 04:49 PM
Thanks guys, 14' sounds good.
(It might be more then that I am TERRIBLE at judging distances)

It is a little claustrophobic but sometime you have to work with what you have, at least until you can save up the money to fix it up right :). I'm sure it'll look at least 60% better once the sheep & their poo are out!

The area "the arena" is on never floods, does it make sense to dig down at all, or just raise the roof? She's guessing raising the roof should be around $10,000. Not sure digging down 5' would be all that cheaper or better.
(Obviously gotta dig a little to get the footing in).

msj
Jul. 30, 2010, 04:58 PM
The major problem with digging down 5' is it might be too far for the main support posts. Not sure how deep mine were set but I would imagine at least 6-8' for my arena. If you dig down 5' on an 8' deep support, the wind and snow might blow your arena over!:eek:

As to your original ?, my indoor is 16' height.

Guilherme
Jul. 30, 2010, 05:07 PM
You need adequate height for two reasons:

You need adequate height so you don't bump your head. That's been pretty well discussed. ;)

You also need to be able to dissipate heat during the warm months. While Ontario is a bit cooler than TN it can still get pretty warm in late summer (I used to spend summers with my aunt and uncle in Etobicoke during the 50s and 60s). During the colder months that's not such a critical issue, but heat still rises, even in the winter. So plan on a ventillation system that can remove it in the summer and conserve it in the colder months.

Good luck in the conversion.

G.

Nes
Jul. 30, 2010, 05:15 PM
Good point G - the windows are removable, I think they are planning on leaving them like that. My bigger concern on that one is you definitely can't hang heaters from the rafters, it would be too low then - if she wants to heat it (and there is no point in having a non-heated indoor arena in -35C winters...) it will have to wait until they raise the roof or come up with something that doesn't hang down.

msj totally right about the supports, I'll mention that too her tonight. (This project is definitely at least waiting until next year if not another 2 or 3...) But it's so much fun to be a part of - I get to live vicariously at least until we buy our own place.

msj
Jul. 30, 2010, 05:32 PM
Good point G - the windows are removable, I think they are planning on leaving them like that. My bigger concern on that one is you definitely can't hang heaters from the rafters, it would be too low then - if she wants to heat it (and there is no point in having a non-heated indoor arena in -35C winters...) it will have to wait until they raise the roof or come up with something that doesn't hang down.


Well silly girl, just put a couple of Salamander's in the corners of the ring. They don't have to be hung from the rafters. Back in the late 60's I worked part time at a QH place in PA that had a really small 60' x60' ring and they had a couple of Salamander's in the corners. I taught riding all day and after the first hour had taken my winter coat off. Remember, heat rises, so why put the heaters in the rafters in the first place?

You know the expression - Where there's a will, there's a way! :D

wildlifer
Jul. 30, 2010, 09:14 PM
I agree that putting heaters on the rafters doesn't make much sense. All your hot air will just stay up in the ceiling.

shakeytails
Jul. 31, 2010, 03:24 PM
14' is OK if you don't jump. I can ride in my barn aisle at 12', but an arena that height would be claustrophobic.