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Converting indoor in-ground pool to indoor riding arena

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  • Converting indoor in-ground pool to indoor riding arena

    Hubby and I just bought a farmette complete with barn, pastures, and ample land to ride on. Also came with a morton building with an in-ground pool inside. Former owners were into horses for a time, had the indoor riding arena built, then got out of horses and decided to install the indoor in-ground pool. Building is heated, as is the pool so it is able to used year round (we are in upstate ny). The pool is nice, but I really would prefer the building being converted back to it's original and intended use - indoor riding arena. I am going to contact an excavator and other contractors to try and determine cost and feasibility. Odds are no one else has any experience with this particular situation (who would ever put a pool in here! I know), but I am open to ideas and suggestions. TIA! Picture here: http://thumbs.trulia-cdn.com/picture...35873ee89b.jpg

  • #2
    OMG, a pool!! That you can swim in year 'round! Build another building. What are you thinking? LOL Hey, maybe you can use it for horse exercise too!!!!

    I can't imagine ripping out a nice pool though I do get why you'd want to. I just wish for a place to swim in winter. SUch good exercise.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3
      That is so funny!!! The only thing I've seen non-horsey people use indoors for around here is RV storage... It kills me every time! A pool is a much better idea, and it looks like they did a nice job too, I was having a hard time picturing it before I saw the photo... I was definitely picturing something MUCH more redneck-y I wonder if you could just fill it with dirt that would compact really well, then foot as usual on top? I'll be interested to hear what the excavators say!


      • Original Poster

        I'm a bit torn about "killing" the pool too lol. Non-horsey family and friends just don't get it, but my horsey people do. Talked to Morton Buildings about moving the building so we would have a normal in-ground pool, but they said it was the same cost as building a whole new one ($50K +). I would be thrilled if we could do this for around $10K, so I don't want all our new house funds to go this project because we have done a lot already and have a ways to go!


        • #5
          Good luck - keep us updated on this, because I'd like to know the cost and what you decide.

          I don't know how large it is, but doesn't look really large - maybe the pic is decieving - and I wonder how easy it will be to remove all that cement and put all that fill in and then the cost of arena footing. All without dismantling the building? Be sure to compare that cost with the cost of building a new indoor all together. I am not experienced, and have no clue if my concerns are valid or not, its just what passes through my tiny brain, heh heh.
          My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


          • Original Poster

            Building is about 100 x 50, not huge by any means but would provide me with a place to ride in the winter, which in upstate ny is necessary!


            • #7
              I had a pool when I was growing up and it was a PITA. No, you never use it as often as you think you would, and -at least in the Caribbean -the pump ran all the time to stop it from going green and we kids argued about whose turn it was to clean it. When I was house shopping as an adult I considered a swimming pool as a minus, not a plus. I'm with you -take it back to the indoor arena. If you don't use it doesn't still require lots of upkeep.

              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


              • #8
                That building doesn't look big enough to be an indoor riding ring. That is a nice pool but I imagine it will cost a pretty penny to keep it heated enough to use it in the winter. The sellers are lucky that they found you as a buyer. That's a really strange thing to try to sell!!


                • #9
                  That pool house is such a nice asset, if nothing else, for when you later may want to sell the place.

                  It really looks too small for much of any kind of riding in there.

                  Why not build another barn, with the money to redo that one asset you already have into something else?

                  That small size building in other than Morton, that is one of the pricier of companies, would not cost as much as redoing what you have there, I would think.


                  • #10
                    100 X 50 is pretty small to ride in, you'll get dizzy lol
                    But swimming in the winter, a nice warm pool, ahhhh my idea of heaven.
                    Of course I am a diehard swimmer, but still...
                    You could always board your horses for a few months during the worse weather. Cheaper than building an indoor.

                    Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare


                    • #11
                      Okay, it's official. Spend the money building another outbuilding. Keep pool. Shoot, charge admittance for the neighbors and make some profit!

                      I loved having a pool when I lived in TX and AZ. I like taking care of them. It's relaxing (for me).

                      I think you should keep the thing and build another building.

                      Or swap me lives. Are you ready to go live in a hole in Western Africa? Ready, set, GO!
                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                      • #12
                        I'd build the barn there and put in slatted floor boards. Urine runs through board gaps and out the pool drain. People are always complaining about drainage and you have the perfect setup. No more wet spots!!
                        I'm joking, but it did occur to me.


                        • #13
                          I really can't imagine you'll be able to pull out all the concrete (not even the pool lining, just the skirting), fill in the pool and install footing for $10k.

                          100 ft x 50 ft is really TOO small for an indoor, anyway. It's only 15 meters wide! I boarded at a barn with a small dressage area sized indoor and that was tough enough, especially at the canter.


                          • Original Poster

                            You guys are killing me, I still want that pool gone lol. I agree that the size is not ideal, but I am just looking for an area to keep my horses somewhat fit in the winter. We bought this place so I wouldn't have to board anymore, but i wouldn't be totally opposed to boarding for a few months in the winter (hubby probably wouldn't agree with me on that one! haha). I am open to having a good sized indoor built, but money is a factor as is the layout of our property. I am worried that another big indoor would make the horse side of the property cramped.


                            • #15
                              In all seriousness, get a quote. I think you're going to spend more to fill that sucker in and make good footing than to start from scratch in a different part of the property. Joking aside. Pool lover aside. I think it's going to be pretty pricey to make that happen.
                              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                              • #16
                                Is there a barn? Filling in the pool, pouring concrete and turning it into a barn with matted stalls makes more sense to me.

                                Then build an indoor

                                A 15 x 30 meter arena really wouldn't be good for much of anything, except perhaps light longeing. I would not want to work a horse for very long on 15 m circles.


                                • Original Poster

                                  8 stall barn is attached so we are good there. What is the smallest arena people have used? Anyone have experience building an indoor or covered outdoor?


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Nifty550 View Post
                                    8 stall barn is attached so we are good there. What is the smallest arena people have used? Anyone have experience building an indoor or covered outdoor?
                                    The smallest round pen you want to ride in should be 60' diameter, so you already are too short in the ends.
                                    The smallest arena I have seen indoors was 100' x 100' and it was ok for a small handful of riders at most, if they watched good for each other.

                                    If you ride much in small spaces, it is hard on horse's joints, so your idea of gaining or keeping fitness is not good if all you do is ride in a cramped space.
                                    Now, if you can ride outside also, you can warm up inside.

                                    Really, that swimming pool indoors is such a great asset, it seems sad to take it out, just to have a not quite big enough indoor to ride in.


                                    • #19
                                      I have been in small indoors and honestly, they suck. You get the FEELING like you can do something, but the truth is, you have like two strides on the short side and then you're in a corner and it just sucks. Unless you want to stick to 10m circles, or going around at a jog, it's just not that fun. Almost better to take the winter off because the risk of injury is higher too.

                                      It would be better to just work outside in the snow in the pasture. No joke.

                                      As for building outdoor/covered, there are a LOT of options out there. If I were serious about building an indoor, I'd go with a 80 x 200 or 100 x 200 if wishes were dollars. At 80 x 200 you have a nice long side, the short is a few strides, and you're not totally buried in the corners trying to make the turn.
                                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                      • #20
                                        I would never build an indoor smaller than a small dressage arena--130 ft x 65 ft (maybe toss another 5 - 10 ft on both measurements for your kickboards etc)--and then only if I never planned on jumping. You'll need bigger if you want to jump at all.

                                        Someone posted here awhile ago that you should go as WIDE as you can possibly afford. It's not terribly difficult to add length on, when you get your next windfall. Adding width is far, far more difficult.