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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2004
    Posts
    291

    Default Can an Indoor arena be cool for summer riding?

    How do people who have built indoor arenas ensure that the arena is cool in the summer? Obviously, insulation for an arena of any size is quite expensive.

    What is an attractive and effective way to:
    1) allow lots of natural light
    clear panel around the top (cheap)
    clear panel at one end
    clear panel in the roof ridge (fairly cheap but starts to leak at year 10)
    glass slider windows (with screens) Costly and horse is distracted by the outside world)
    Does additional light always = additional heat?? Or is it just the windows on the west??

    2) allow lots of ventilation
    ridge vent
    cupolas
    pavilion style (no way - too cold in the winter and you wouldn't believe all the bugs in the summer at night)
    sliding shutters (windows made of same siding material)
    roll up garage doors expensive
    glass sliding windows (they need to be huge and triple strength glass due to size)
    huge doors at the sides and ends (when you compare the sq ft amount of ventilation with the big doors vs windows - the doors win!!

    3)Fans
    Low Velocity (chi-ching! very nice looking!! big a** fans)
    White high velocity ceilings fans (about $85 but you need lots more of them)
    industrial exhaust fans at the ends
    exhaust fan in the cupola

    4) Insulation - something the birds won't nest in
    Insulate roof only due to cost?
    Condensation barrier only?
    double-bubble?
    prodex?
    fiberglass batts?


    Wouldn't it be great to ride indoors in the summer in the shade and be cool? Is that even possible? All of the above are great considerations but what are people real world experiences with the above when building within a budget?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,700

    Default

    The coolest indoor I rode in actually had openings all around just under the roof line. As you went up the walls there were transluscent panels and then above that - nothing (well, okay the barn structure).

    It was pretty cool for an indoor and I often chose to ride in their in the summer since there were fewer bugs and shade!

    Only issue with that design was that we did get some snow in there in the winter It wasnt much, and we decided it was watering the footing It was not a warm indoor but the openings were high enough that it was warmer and more sheltered from the wind than you might expect. I would have liked warmer tho...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    211

    Default

    I have ridden in indoor schools that were built from wood and ones that were build from corrugated metal...

    The wooden one was infinitely cooler to ride in, in hot weather, the metal ones tend to be like ovens.

    Plastic panels in the roof do let in plenty natural light, but they can cause "patches" on the floor and if your horse is like mine, he'll try to jump over them, or start doing airs above the ground
    Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity? - The horse. (R.Duncan)



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2002
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    Posts
    2,360

    Default

    We're in Atlanta and we have a covered, not an indoor arena. The roof is insulated and it's completely open all the way around. It is significantly cooler in there in the summer than out in the blazing sun. So I would say that the only way to make it really cool is to have the sides open. In my area, windows and fans won't do it. It has to be open.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    47,048

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jsalem View Post
    We're in Atlanta and we have a covered, not an indoor arena. The roof is insulated and it's completely open all the way around. It is significantly cooler in there in the summer than out in the blazing sun. So I would say that the only way to make it really cool is to have the sides open. In my area, windows and fans won't do it. It has to be open.
    Right, in the South, most indoors tend to be covered arenas, with shade cloths on the West sides, like the pictures here of the open sided ones:

    . http://www.ranchandgolf.com/miscprojects.html

    I have seen the temperature in the hot summers be 15 to 20 degrees cooler under those covered arenas.

    Guess that you could have a closed in one for cold winters that have whole sides where they can be opened for summers and have the best of both.

    Translucent walls and skylights will add light, but if not where the sun doesn't beat thru them in the summers, they also will add heat.
    Put light panels on the N and E sides, is what an architect, that builds commercial buildings, told me.
    Ever been seated in a restaurant next to a window where the sun beats in in the summer?
    They have shades to keep that sun out, which also keeps the light out then.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    11,258

    Default

    Cooling an enclosed indoor in the South will be very difficult.

    Lots of windows, vents, cupolas, open doors, etc. will help but even with the aid fof big fans can only go so far.

    If you use exhaust fans to vent the heat you can try adding big "ceiling fans" to more air for the horse and rider. But they have to work together or you might just be burning "juice" to no good end.

    Of course the ultimate answer is an HVAC system but now you're talking real money.

    We have a covered arena and it's a god-send on hot days like today. For winter we just "suck it up" and dress warmly. In East TN that means we will lose two or three weeks, total over the course of a winter, to very high wind days or heavy rain days.

    G.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,409

    Default

    I rode at an indoor in No Va that was amazingly cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. It was a block barn, indoor in the center, aisles of stalls on all 3 1/2 sides. It was also just on the edge of a densely wooded area.

    The ends of the aisles had large open doors, plus a large double garage type door on the middle of the "1/2" side with no stall aisle.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
    Posts
    3,769

    Default

    There is only an indoor at the farm I am at. It has an insulated roof, 6 garage doors downs the sides (3 each side), a huge garage door at one end and an oversized door at the other end.
    It is slightly below grade so the footing does not freeze in the winter.
    It is warm in the winter, gets a nice breeze through the doors in the summer and keeps the sun from beating on your head.

    It is a metal indoor.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    47,048

    Default

    When building a covered arena, at least here, if it is mostly enclosed, it is considered a barn and taxed accordingly and that can be very high.

    If it has some open sides, it is not a regular barn and your taxes on it will be much lower.

    That is a reason also so many barns here are just covered, not completely enclosed.



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