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View Full Version : Anyone have a square ring?



AliCat518
Mar. 29, 2011, 03:37 PM
My SO is being kind enough to build a ring on his farm (where my horses will live as soon as its built). He's been getting different feedback from many people about size, shape, etc etc.

I would love to be able to jump in it. He started out with a size around 60 X 90 or something similar. I politely pointed out that it would be difficult to put even a small course of jumps in a ring that size. He increased the size to 90 X 180 and I was thrilled. There would be a slight slant, but very small.

His father is telling him that he doesnt need a ring to ride in. (both him and his father ride western and use the ring to work out problems, but would rather trail ride, work cows etc so believe that the horses should get out of the ring ASAP. He also believes the horses are going to get "arena sour")

I personally love riding in the ring and hate trail riding. I like to hack out in the big fields, but much prefer ringwork.

Anyway, with all of the input from his father and grandfather, he has decided on a size of 100 X 100. So two questions:

1. Does anyone have a square ring or ridden in one? If so, how was it and how hard was it to set up small courses?

2. Is it possible to jump a small course safely or effectively in a ring this size?

alto
Mar. 29, 2011, 04:47 PM
Take him out penning & convince him that one day he'll be completely stoked that he put in an arena big enough to host a penning or local gymkana :yes:

enjoytheride
Mar. 29, 2011, 04:58 PM
My indoor is 60 X 120 and I can fit a bounce, bounce, one stride or a 2 or 3 stride on a short strided horse down the long side if I'm good about going into my corners. I only have about 3 strides on the approach and on the backside. Since yours would be shorter you'd be able to do less and you're not really going to get to practice a lot of hunter style courses.

It would be doable if that's as big as you can make it, but I'd remind your husband who makes him dinner at night and get him to make the bigger ring.

Lucassb
Mar. 29, 2011, 05:09 PM
Any chance you can take the SO to a local show that will have a hunter course set up and see if you can show him what you are trying to practice?

I used to have a small square ring at home that wasn't much larger than what you are considering - maybe 120 x 120 or so. It was possible to jump a couple singles, school a 2 stride in and out, etc, but not to jump a regular course on a normal 12 ft stride or longer. When I got to the shows it was a big adjustment and I always felt like I was "running" down the lines because I got so used to containing the step at home to make the turns.

I do think it is worth making sure you are addressing the real concern(s) on this issue - is cost a factor at all in the decision? Or do they really just not understand how the requirements for your chosen discipline differ from what they do? If you needed to, could you set up an outside course in a field to practice, and just use the (smaller) ring to work on singles??

akhunterrider
Mar. 29, 2011, 05:16 PM
100 x 100 is not an appropriate size for jumping in my experiences. The first barn I rode at had a 100 x 100 indoor. You could set up a diagonal line and single fences on the outside, but lines didn't work very well.

90 x 180 is a decent size and works pretty well.

AliCat518
Mar. 29, 2011, 05:29 PM
Unfortunately, there are mulitple factors that come into building the ring. The farm is owned by his grandfather who isnt horsey but has an opinion nonetheless. So basically his grandfather has to "okay" everything. He had okayed the ring when it was 90 X 180 ish, but then SO's dad raised all sorts of questions and concerns. ("You dont need a ring that big, you dont know all the work that will go into it, we dont even use arenas very often.")

All parties understand that I am a big part of why this ring is even being built, yet it doesnt seem like my input matters. (And I cant blame them, as its not my property and i'm not contrinuting money to the cause. FWIW, I would contribute money, but SO and I are not married or engaged and I dont have money to be throwing around unless I know ill be around to use it!)

The big problem is that I just bought a new horse for the sole reason that I need a new hunter. My older gelding is fine for flat work (and I could make do with the smaller ring with him) but I spent a good deal of my savings on this new horse with the SOLE purpose of finally having a horse that can jump courses with no drama.


Am I off base trying to convince them to make it bigger since i'm not paying for anything? When I bought the new horse, SO was still set on the larger arena size...

Lucassb
Mar. 29, 2011, 05:52 PM
Unfortunately, there are mulitple factors that come into building the ring. The farm is owned by his grandfather who isnt horsey but has an opinion nonetheless. So basically his grandfather has to "okay" everything. He had okayed the ring when it was 90 X 180 ish, but then SO's dad raised all sorts of questions and concerns. ("You dont need a ring that big, you dont know all the work that will go into it, we dont even use arenas very often.")

All parties understand that I am a big part of why this ring is even being built, yet it doesnt seem like my input matters. (And I cant blame them, as its not my property and i'm not contrinuting money to the cause. FWIW, I would contribute money, but SO and I are not married or engaged and I dont have money to be throwing around unless I know ill be around to use it!)

The big problem is that I just bought a new horse for the sole reason that I need a new hunter. My older gelding is fine for flat work (and I could make do with the smaller ring with him) but I spent a good deal of my savings on this new horse with the SOLE purpose of finally having a horse that can jump courses with no drama.


Am I off base trying to convince them to make it bigger since i'm not paying for anything? When I bought the new horse, SO was still set on the larger arena size...

I am guessing you aren't going to like my answer... but if I were you, I'd board the horse elsewhere (or board there but trailer out to school courses if that is feasible.)

As you say, it isn't your property and even your SO doesn't have the final say. I don't think you can press hard for an arena you aren't contributing to cost-wise, on property you don't own, especially when, as you point out, you are not in a "permanent" relationship with the SO (at this point, anyway.)

I think you could gently say to your SO, "Oh darn, well, maybe we should just pass on building a ring at this point. A ring of that size won't be big enough for me to school a hunter course, and you say you don't really NEED a ring for your horses, right? No point in spending money on a ring that isn't useful for either of us."

I'd say it nicely and if he says something like, "I don't see why it's not going to work for you," you can gently explain the requirements of a normal hunter course, offer to take him to see one, or even show him some online using Youtube. You can point out that actually, trying to make your nice new horse canter around "in a teacup" could actually reduce his performance because it will encourage a shorter stride, exactly the opposite of what will be rewarded in the show ring.

Good luck.

AliCat518
Mar. 29, 2011, 06:00 PM
Lucassb, I actually dont dislike your answer at all. I've been thinking that boarding would be an option if the ring wasnt big enough. I cant fully enjoy the new horse and jumping if there isnt an adequate ring. Plus, I want so badly to get back into showing (and this horse is able!) so practicing (even small) courses is a necessity.

Thanks for the suggestions about how to chat with the SO...it definitely helps to point out that not building a ring IS an option at this time, and might not be the best option!

Lord Helpus
Mar. 29, 2011, 11:33 PM
I totally agree with Lucassb.

The worst thing that could happen, from the point of view of your being accepted into the family, would be to have them go to the trouble of building a ring and then you not using it (because it is not big enough).

Far better to gently tell SO that you would not use a small ring -- so if it is a small ring or nothing, then you are just as happy to go to a barn with a large ring and all the jumps you will need to school your horse.

I have a square ring, btw. But it is 200+ x 200+. A nice size, but we are not talking a Grand Prix field or anything. I can get 6 strides on the diagonals and 4 strides down the sides.

And my ring is 4x as big as the one under consideration at your SO's grandfather's farm.

100 x 100 us basically useless for jumping.

fourmares
Mar. 30, 2011, 01:23 AM
My ring is 130 x 170... it's o.k., but it's small and sometimes it feels like I just ride around in a big circle all the time... in 100 x 100 I think I'd loose my mind... 170 is just barely big enough for a 4 stride, I can fit in a 5 stride if I really want to ride the corners.

SidesaddleRider
Mar. 30, 2011, 07:12 AM
I used to board at a place that had a 125 x 125 ring. It was very difficult to work in when it came to jumping. Hence why we usually used a grass jumping area by one of the barns that was about 80 x 175. It may have had a slight slope, but at least you could set a little course up in it!

danceronice
Mar. 30, 2011, 09:26 AM
No comment on size, but as for square vs. round--I'm trying to think of any barn I've ridden at with a round/oval ring and coming up with nothing. Every indoor I've ridden in was a rectangle, and the outdoors at barns I've been at, too. I'm not even sure why it would make a difference as long as it's big enough.

judybigredpony
Mar. 30, 2011, 09:38 AM
You can be creative and make gymnastics..make lemondae..its free....

GoForAGallop
Mar. 30, 2011, 10:07 AM
It would be doable if that's as big as you can make it, but I'd remind your husband who makes him dinner at night and get him to make the bigger ring.

Really? The OP isn't married or even engaged to this guy, the ring is on property owned by neither of them, and she is not contributing any money to the cause. I think she's really got minimal say and certainly no leverage when it comes to what size it's going to be...



Am I off base trying to convince them to make it bigger since i'm not paying for anything? When I bought the new horse, SO was still set on the larger arena size...

Honestly, I'd just board your horse out. Or keep him at their farm during the summer when you can use the fields and then a different barn in the winter. But if there is already such controversy in regards to what size to make the ring, then I can only imagine the sort of controversy there is going to be in regards to just general horse care. Are you going to constantly be fighting to get your way with grain/amount of hay/amount of turnout/etc? Not that either of you are wrong in your horse keeping ways, but you are clearly different and I can see some head butting in the future...

SidesaddleRider
Mar. 30, 2011, 11:10 AM
No comment on size, but as for square vs. round--I'm trying to think of any barn I've ridden at with a round/oval ring and coming up with nothing. Every indoor I've ridden in was a rectangle, and the outdoors at barns I've been at, too. I'm not even sure why it would make a difference as long as it's big enough.

Correct, most are a rectangle, NOT square, which is what the OP is being told will be built. And a too small square ring at that. A square ring is totally do-able, as long as it it big enough. Square rings are not common, while rectangular rings are.

findeight
Mar. 30, 2011, 11:30 AM
Given your family situation at the moment?

I wouldn't rock the boat too much.

Nothing wrong with square but 100x100 is too small to do anything with a show Hunter-it IS a good size for breaking colts or working out problems...but really is not even large enough to give you good long sides for flatwork. You could maintain one over a few singles or do some short gymnastics but that's about it-no lines or real courses. They are real hard to drag as well.

I suggest you follow the above suggestion to either board out or haul out and pay a ring fee or take a lesson for now. Down the road, if you are still with SO and father and rest of the family get to know you and accept Hunters in general? See where you stand.

But now??? Asking them to spend a bunch and possibly starting a rift between father/property owner and son? You really do NOT want to go there. If you got one that even knows what end the feed goes into and wants to build you a ring???? Don't run him off with a family fight.

Oh...one other thing, they have a point. Any horse ridden in an arena all the time gets to depend on following the outside rail-all disciplines. When you take them out and try to do circles or something, you find out you can't steer like you thought you could. Appreciate the fact they do know something about it and take that wisdom to heart...because they are right about too much ring riding.

netg
Mar. 30, 2011, 12:01 PM
I think explaining to your SO that you don't have to move there, understand all their concerns, and think it may be easier if you just board elsewhere sounds the way to go.

And who knows, maybe this is the ring he'll be giving you. ;)

I definitely agree this ring is too small for you, unless you can either set jumps up in a field or trailer out. You don't really need an arena at all, just a flat useable area. Right now (until our new place is finished) I have my horse in a place w/ a 300'x300' square arena, and LOVE it. If it were smaller, I might not love the square as much.

My mom wanted to use money she inherited to buy horse property and build facilities. I told her the minimum of what I needed for my horse, and to be willing to move in, given my house is just around the corner from where my horse was boarded. She didn't like it when I held to my word on when I'd be willing to move, but understood because I made my side of the situation clear. I expect if you explain to your SO why you might not want to move your horses - and that it is perfectly OK not to - he will take it the same way. (My mom has now gone overboard so I'm super lucky that I'm going to have a far nicer barn than anything I requested, but she thinks it's fair since I'm going to be supporting her from now on in return. She has ailing health, wanted to get to see the horses out her window, and knew we were going to have to live together so I could help take care of her anyway.)

Kryswyn
Mar. 30, 2011, 12:21 PM
Unfortunately, there are mulitple factors that come into building the ring. The farm is owned by his grandfather who isnt horsey but has an opinion nonetheless. So basically his grandfather has to "okay" everything. He had okayed the ring when it was 90 X 180 ish, but then SO's dad raised all sorts of questions and concerns. ("You dont need a ring that big, you dont know all the work that will go into it, we dont even use arenas very often.")

All parties understand that I am a big part of why this ring is even being built, yet it doesnt seem like my input matters. (And I cant blame them, as its not my property and i'm not contrinuting money to the cause. FWIW, I would contribute money, but SO and I are not married or engaged and I dont have money to be throwing around unless I know ill be around to use it!)

The big problem is that I just bought a new horse for the sole reason that I need a new hunter. My older gelding is fine for flat work (and I could make do with the smaller ring with him) but I spent a good deal of my savings on this new horse with the SOLE purpose of finally having a horse that can jump courses with no drama.



From experience I can tell you that this will SO NOT END WELL. DO NOT go forward with this unless you are prepared to lose every dime you've put in.

I walked out of a similar situation. The guy was sooooo pissed at me and I really couldn't understand why. We had nothing on paper, no one's money had yet been spent. Well I found out why over the next two years as he talked a long time friend of his (who's since become my very good friend) into putting an 4 stall extension on an existing barn, putting in 3 round pens/dry lots, and creating 3 paddocks ostensibly so they could work together on sale horses, although my friend really only wanted a place for her two personal horses. Only after everything was in place (and paid for by my friend) did he change the rules. Suddenly she was told she had to pay to 'rent' the four stalls she'd paid for, 2 of which were occupied by yearlings, who wouldn't be ready for sale until they were 3 yo. In the meantime, he expected her to pay to 'board' them and then he was going to take 1/2 of their sale price. She paid for grass seed, fertilizer and spreading of same for the new paddocks (reclaimed from a wooded area) only to come back from a long weekend away to find he'd put horses out in them. The grass never did get established.

The coup de grace' was when she returned from a two day trip to find he'd sold 2 horses she'd been schooling for over a year, that she'd mucked out, fed, groomed and didn't see a dime's worth of commision. His response, since they'd been in "his" stalls, she wasn't entitled to any!

She moved her two horses the next day. Unfortunately, she has to drive by her 'investment' every day, and it galls her still.

I'm sure there are all sorts of emotional reasons (and some financial incentive) to keep your horses at your SO's but do you really want to clutter up your romantic relationship for what in the end will come down to business? Especially with the new horse, I think boarding at a full service barn would be better. Keep the old guy at SO's grandad's to trail ride with them.

AliCat518
Mar. 30, 2011, 12:25 PM
Thanks for all of the input!


SO and I chatted about it last night. There are a few barns I could board at (or haul to for rides) within a few miles of our house, so thats good. The farm here is also 150 acres, mostly fields. We're going to set up a course in one of the large fields and see how that goes.

I'm going to take new horse to a boarding facility for the next month and then go from there.

I'm very lucky to have a SO who is horsey (and has a horsey dad!!) so i'm not going to "rock the boat" about this. A course set up in a field might be perfect!

AliCat518
Mar. 30, 2011, 12:30 PM
Kryswyn, that is HORRIBLE!! I cant believe someone would do that. Sorry for your friend!

I know that my SO would never do anything like that...I can always take my horses whenever I want (I'm actually taking the new one on Sat to board him elsewhere for a little while to keep him in training).

I'm not worried about cluttering up the romantic relationship at all. We're both on the same page about all of this, except for arena size! If thats our biggest problem, i'm okay with it!

Kryswyn
Mar. 30, 2011, 12:48 PM
AliCat518, it sounds like you've got smarts going for you and you've hit on the best solution. Jump course out in the field? GREAT! 1) you'll be ready for those rare outside courses you'll find showing, and 2) you can set up fences NOT on a strict stride count line and learn to jump off your eye, which makes YOU a better rider!


I know that my SO would never do anything like that...

Yeah, well, my friend would've told you HE wouldn't've taken advantage of their friendship like that either. But like I said, you seem to have your head on straight and your guy sounds like a keeper. Good luck!

findeight
Mar. 30, 2011, 02:17 PM
I know that my SO would never do anything like that...


:rolleyes: Nobody is more vicious then a former lover-ask anybody who has been through a divorce.

We just don't want you sinking yourself too deeply both emotionally and financially into this, especially with no contractual obligations or definitions of who owns and pays for what, either marriage or something in writing. And remember, SO does NOT own that property.

These things start well meaning and really can get complicated.

AliCat518
Mar. 30, 2011, 02:24 PM
findeight, thanks for the advice. I'm definitely not putting any money into anything on that farm since i'm not engaged or married to SO(and its not even his property!)
You're right....everything is well meaning now, but could go bad quickly. In that case, I have multiple places I could take the horses immediately. Luckily, I pay for all of the grain, supplements etc because my horses are the only ones who get them! All hay is free (because its cut on the property.) If it werent such a simple arrangement, I probably wouldnt have brought my horses out here.

I really appreciate all of the advice and input from people who have had experience with stuff like this :)

enjoytheride
Mar. 30, 2011, 04:54 PM
After reading that you aren't married and it isn't your property I'd agree with the other posters. It doesn't sound like a good situation to put a lot of time and money into.

Brigit
Mar. 30, 2011, 05:06 PM
I haul to other arena's when you need to and set up a nice course in one of the fields. There's nothing better than a nice course in a big field! If you wanted to set up arena "boundaries", maybe put some poles on the ground to designate corners and perhaps get some of that white chalk they use for soccer fields and mark the outsides.

StoneleaFarm
Mar. 30, 2011, 05:07 PM
In case your SO ever DOES decide to go through with the ring, you could mention (if you haven't already) to his family that adding a ring would increase the property value if they ever decide to sell. Assuming, of course, this is a property someone would look at intending to put horses on.

Janet
Mar. 30, 2011, 05:26 PM
Those kinds of improvements rarely add to the resale value.

For me, a 100' by 100' ring would DECREASE the amount I would be willing to pay, as I would regard it as something I need to take down.

100' BARELY gives you a 3 stride approach to the jump, and 3 strides after the jump.



In case your SO ever DOES decide to go through with the ring, you could mention (if you haven't already) to his family that adding a ring would increase the property value if they ever decide to sell. Assuming, of course, this is a property someone would look at intending to put horses on.