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  1. #1

    Default Clearspan indoor riding arena

    Does anyone have any experiences, good or bad, with the fabric covered indoor riding arenas? I am thinking of purchasing one and any insights would be much appreciated. I live in Maryland.
    Thank you.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,166

    Default

    Our experience, we looked into those, also into metal framed, metal sheeted buildings and both were costing the same.
    Decided if we had built, for our money, may as well go with something permanent, that has a chance of being there for decades, without needing much upkeep and replacement and has a considerable improvement value, unlike fabric covered buildings, that are generally considered temporary.

    That is our story.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 2, 2011
    Location
    Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    7

    Default

    We have had our 80' x 160' Megadome "fabric" covered arena for 6 years now and it still looks brand new. It has withstood very high winds (though we haven't had a hurricane), heavy snow loads--most of the snow just slides right off as soon as the sun comes out, even in the coldest temperatures. It is somewhat warmer than outdoors in winter and a bit cooler than outside in summer. I've ridden in a lot of wood/steel roof arenas in the past: in the winter you have to go outside to get warmed up and in summer it is unbearably hot. Ours is wonderfully bright even on a gloomy day. We don't ride at night, so haven't needed to install lights. During heavy rains there is very little noise in the arena. The ceiling height is 35' at the peak and 14' at the walls, which makes for a very inviting space.
    We love our arena!
    Sparkling Shiner's Mom



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2011
    Posts
    520

    Default

    The one around the corner from me in SWVA has been replaced twice in two years. It blew away twice already. Just a matter of time before it does it again.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,461

    Default Didn't do it

    but the folks down the road did. In the end, it is lighter during the day, but looks "dirty" now and they hate it. Also didn't add the value they thought and they built a huge one.

    Ours is convential wood and steel siding. Still looks new. The fabric ones aren't "horsey" looking.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2010
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    247

    Default

    I just moved to a new barn with a clear span. It is bright inside, and the ring has been there for 5 years without issues. BUT, my horse does not like it in there, at all. It is becoming such an issue I may have to move again, as they do not have an outside arena and my daughter is afraid to ride, I am a little nervous myself. (I am just getting back to riding) The trainer there said she has a few horses with issues with the barn.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    734

    Default

    Nice and bright but I don't like them. Spooky and get really dirty after a while. With the money it takes to purchase one of those things, you can build a REALLY nice permanent indoor.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    8,530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by harmonyone View Post
    Does anyone have any experiences, good or bad, with the fabric covered indoor riding arenas? I am thinking of purchasing one and any insights would be much appreciated. I live in Maryland.
    Thank you.
    You don't say where you are and that can be important.

    In the South these things are fine in the winter (1-3 months) and problematical the rest of the year as they really retain heat. A major use for this type of structure is greenhouses and nurturing houses for plants. Not so good for horses.

    The heat problem can be addressed with fans or other ventillation systems but these cost money to put in and money to run.

    Durability is another question. If you're in a low wind area then you'll likely not have too many problems. In a high wind area I'd not be optomistic. While many companies tout long term warranties they are only as good as the company. One big supplier, Cover-All, has gone bankrupt. They are still in business, I'm told, but bankruptcy can void existing warranties.

    As noted, the cost of these things are about the same as a good quality steel building. For my money steel trumps plastic in this use hands down.

    If you are in the South you can also look at a cover, vice a full enclosure. The price to buy and erect will be similar, but covers keep the rain and sun off riders, while allowing cooling breezes (and obviating the need for ventillation systems).

    Before you make a decision shop around. You might save yourself a costly error.

    G.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2010
    Location
    Gum Tree PA
    Posts
    1,085

    Default

    We looked pretty closely at these. Never thought about horses having an issues with them. Very interesting. As pointed out above they are not considered a “permanent” structure so there are no tax benefits, i.e. depreciation, they will not add much value to the property as far as a bank or appraiser is concerned for the same reason. I thought they would be “value for money” but they actually cost the same if not more then a “framed” structure. Pass



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2011
    Posts
    54

    Default Fabric indoors

    I moved to a barn 2 or 3 months ago with a clearspan indoor. The indoor ripped last winter during the very heavy winter snows New England experienced. The indoor still has a hole in it and the owners seem to be at a loss for how to repair it, they are thinking of trying to sew it by hand in a bucket truck, but I think the material is too frayed now. The hole is probably 12-15 ft in length now the center of the arena. Very disappointing. I will be moving my horses next week since the owners promised it would have been fixed by now. I would be hesitatant to move to another barn like that and my horses hated it in there they never would relax completely. And they've never had a problem in traditional arenas elsewhere.



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