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Arena Mirrors

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  • Arena Mirrors

    I am looking to get some mirrors (finally) for the arena. What sizes are commonly used? What should I be expecting to shell out if I go through a mirror/glass company? How are they mounted? And at what angle?

    I have found some large mirrors in the classifieds that I am thinking of morfing and mounting into what I want. Has anyone reused mirrored closet doors?

    Any other information warmly welcome!

  • #2
    Five years ago I mirrored right across the shortend. Fortunately found a local company with arena experience. Glued the mirrors onto plyboard, then attached to the wall. Mine are not angled, they start at 4 ft and go to 8 feet. They are in 8ft sections.

    Two things I splurged on when I build my arena, mirrors and lights. Never regreted it. Great training aid and makes the arena seem bigger and lighter.

    The cost $3500 installed, the value priceless!!


    • #3
      There was an earlier thread on the topic with great info on size etc. you might want to search for it. Someone also said NOT to glue the mirror on wood, but I forgot what the reason was. Maybe warping/breaking in freezing temps?
      Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
      Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

      Originally posted by mbm
      forward is like love - you can never have enough


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bronte View Post
        Glued the mirrors onto plyboard, then attached to the wall.

        Excellent way to mount. Where I ride they were installed the silly way using clips at corners
        mounted on a 2x4 at the top and bottom. One fell down recently while I was riding sending my horse bolting thru the arena. Oiy vey. The folks who did the installation sadly were not open to suggestions.
        \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup


        • #5
          my mirrors, which are 1/4 inch float glass recycled from a hotel lobby ( for a grand total of $50) are mounted outside and have survived 10+ years of snow, rain, hail, wind, temps ranging from -10 to 110.

          If you are outside, do not glue the mirrors- the plywood will absorb moisture and expand and ctronct and the glass will expand and contract with temperature- the two materials have different rates of expansion, so if glued, the mirrors may warp or crack.
          Do NOT mount them with "mirror clips"- those are meant for residential , not sport use, and in weather, the screws loosen and come out of the pklywood and the mirrors will fall.

          We have ours mounted on 3/4 inch plywood backing. There is a 2 x 4 frame around the plywood. The frame gets mounted, then the mirror is mounted inside the frame and 1 x 1 or 1 x 2 is applied, nailing carefully into the 2 x 4 frame with finishing nails to hold the 1 x 2 on. The mirror "floats" within the frame.

          Liz Steacie, who sometimes posts on this board, originally had closet door mirrors mounted in her arena and they worked great. They come already mounted in frames and you can hang them from the the closet door track, fastened to the arena wall. Another inexpensive option, especially if you go to a house demo sale and can find them second hand!
          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


          • #6
            Great post CatOnLap. Printing for the barn-to-be file
            ~ Kimberlee


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bronte View Post
              Five years ago I mirrored right across the shortend. Fortunately found a local company with arena experience. Glued the mirrors onto plyboard, then attached to the wall. Mine are not angled, they start at 4 ft and go to 8 feet. They are in 8ft sections.

              Two things I splurged on when I build my arena, mirrors and lights. Never regreted it. Great training aid and makes the arena seem bigger and lighter.

              The cost $3500 installed, the value priceless!!
              Essentially the same here, but the plywood went up first, and the mirrors have a safety backing. They were then glued to the wall. There is a support rail at the bottom. ( a!/2 to #/4 inch board router-ed to fit the bottoms of the mirrors). and mine may be a little, but not much higher. Above stirrup height, on a 17'2" horse.

              Shop around for price, there are differences, but that price is in the ballpark. Sadly
              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


              • #8
                I found mirror for the entire short side on craigslist. A local ballroom dance studio was doing a re-model. It took me 8 months of daily watching, and quick action to be the first to nab them. 60 feet of mirrors for under $100

                I have not mounted them yet, but have collected a small file on information for when the time comes. Many articles do mention to avoid glue and be sure to have the mirror floating in a type of hanging frame.

                other great places to find affordable mirrors are at ReStores (recycling stores that support Habitat for Humanity), local papers, eBay. Watch for gyms, restaurants and hotel lobbies- they get redone quite frequently.


                • #9
                  feisomeday you are one lucky girl! I have been watching for a while now. How did you move them? Did you have to hire a glass company? I'm afraid if I buy some, I'll break them all trying to transport them. That would be just my luck! I also heard that you need a special tool (strong magnet or something) to pick them up???


                  • #10
                    I had the same concerns. Even talked to the local glass shoppe to see if I could rent their special truck, or if they could move them for me, but that would have eaten into my budget (paltry). The dancers at the ballroom helped me load them into the back of my F250. I wrapped the mirrors each carefully with those UHaul moving blankets. No problems driving them home, where they are leaning against the wall of my husband's workshop, while he builds frames for them using recycled lumber. No hurry, as my horses are all still green and tend to kick out and wild a little. Need to stop that before hanging mirrors. I won't need them until we're steering, wtc both directions so it's just a work in progress. I'm guessing they'll be up by April 2008


                    • #11
                      I got my mirrors off of craigslist, too. I got 11 8' mirrors for $500. They were from a hotel that was being torn down. I transported them in a horse trailer standing up with horse blankets between them and then secured them to the wall with straps.

                      They were just installed about a month ago, and I paid two guys $800 for labor to build the mirror wall and mount them. Purchased the materials before and don't remember what that cost, but the wall is 68' long by 4' high and is studded every 16", then covered with plywood. The wall is tipped forward 1 inch at the top so I can see myself 200' away on the other side of the arena. I am guessing I have a bit less than $2,300 in the entire wall.


                      • #12
                        Thank you for the advice!


                        • #13
                          Anyone else want to comment on the size of their mirrors? I'm looking at some that are 3x5, 3x10 and 3x7. Do those seem too random to put together on one wall (for a 22ft span)?


                          • #14
                            I just scored some closet doors on www.freecycle.org (everything is FREE!).

                            Those of you using closet doors... did you put something on the back of them to protect the cardboardy stuff from the weather? I actually kind of like the closet doors better than my other big mirrors, they're lighter weight and seem more flexible (more forgiving) than the thicker bathroom wall style mirrors. The closet door track seems like a good way to mount them, except there's two tracks (one for each sliding door) and it seems like water would collect in them during the rain. Any input there, folks?

                            xhalt... I think the different sizes would be fine if you put them all together in one stretch. 3' isn't going to give you a huge view from ears to hoof, though, unless you're on the centerline.
                            European bloodlines made in America


                            • #15
                              Re the kicking young horses, a large deluxe boarding barn here has hinged covers for the mirrors that cover the bottom half or so of the mirrors. They hook to the mirror frame when in use and fold down when not needed.