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OK, talk to me about arenas - how much would it be for a fence?

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  • OK, talk to me about arenas - how much would it be for a fence?

    I have a middle pasture that is already flat, great grass, open, and has a nice sand base. If I wanted to just leave it grass, and just build an arena fence, about how much would that cost? How much extra would it be if I wanted to make the outside track sand?
    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!

  • #2
    How many feet is it? What kind of fence do you want? It's usually pretty easy to get a ballpark price for fencing per linear foot. Keep in mind that tools and fasteners and concrete and gates and delivery are usually forgotten in those estimates.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


    • #3
      I built mine out of 4x4's for posts (got 12', cut in half, buried the post 2 ft deep=4 ft high). Then I put 2x4's on top for a rail and braced each post laterally with 2x4's.

      So you just need to figure out how many posts and 2x4's for the size ring you're planning. Then add in a few sacks of concrete to set the posts and screws to hold it together.

      I attach everything with screws, because I find a power drill beats all that hammering.

      Oh, and a gate! I got mine from TSC.

      ETA: The tools needed for the above project: circular saw; power drill; extension cords to run your power tools at the site; carpenter's level; a couple of wide-mouth clamps (unless you can get your husband to hold things for you - mine vanishes when I get that build-something gleam in my eye ); tape measure; post-hole diggers; shovel and wheelbarrow and a hose for mixing up concrete - I think that's all. Oh, wait - spade bits for setting the gate pins into the post.

      I love my arena. I held off building it for a couple of years but got in the building mood one winter. It has tons of uses - riding; training; space to put a friend's horse when she rides over to visit; space to stash your own horse when you need to work in his field, etc. I don't know how I did without mine now.
      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


      • Original Poster

        I'm not even sure where to start! It doesn't have to be a massive arena, but I do like to jump, and do a little Dressage. I'd like to eventually get back into taking a training horse every now and then, and maybe, one day, teaching lessons again.
        The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


        • #5
          How big a space do you have available?

          Mine is 150' by 60'. I wish it were a little bigger - say 100' by 200'. Do you have that much room?
          I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


          • Original Poster

            I'll have to measure it out, to see, but I think I could do 100 by 200.

            So, a few more questions?

            Am I delusional in thinking that keeping it grass will be OK? I can afford to plunk down a few thousand in fencing - I can't plunk down $10,000 in footing.

            So, which would be better - panels, or a 3 board wood fence?
            The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


            • #7
              Another question to consider will be whether you want it to just be an enclosure for riding or whether horses will ever be left on either the inside or outside of your existing fence.

              Grass can be fine, but things that will affect that are:

              1. Your tolerance for holes.
              2. The specific nature of your soil, and how it reacts to moisture
              3. Grass on some kinds of soil can be slippery
              4. The intensity of usage it will get. One horse a day is quite different from 20 horses a day.
              5. the current grade - is it level with a slope or will it collect water?

              Do you ride on it now?

              As you say, sand and site prep for an arena are super expensive. You might consider whether tractor implements can make an acceptable riding surface from your existing land. You can consider making a small area of better footing and then a large area that is acceptable typically. Lots of ways to attack the problem.
              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


              • #8
                The ring at the barn where I board is grass, for the record...and it's actually pretty nice. I do take care not to ride on it right after it's rained but it drains pretty well. The BO has asked that we take care not to just ride in the same track around the ring all the time to prevent wearing down the grass but it's like me and one other rider so it really is only about one horse a day when all is evened out, if that.
                The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                • Original Poster

                  The field is pretty flat already, in fact I used to ride in it all the time. I mainly want an arena, so that the kids will have a safe enclosure to ride in - my 2 year old LOVES her pony - and so that I can maybe take a training horse in, every now and then. I'd also love to be able to start teaching a few lessons at some point.

                  The grass is a very thick Fescue, and has always been kept short, so there is hardly any weeds in it. The soil is very sandy, and even though it's a bit of a low spot, it still drains well.

                  I would love to be able to stay within $3,000. I talked to my parents, who want something nice looking - so electric tape, rope, etc. are out. It would either have to be NICE looking panels, wood rails, or artificial wood fencing.

                  What I would like, is to have 3 rail wood fencing about 4 ft high.
                  The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                  • #10
                    The only way you can get an accurate number is to measure it and either estimate and price materials or get an installed estimate from somebody who does fencing in your area.

                    If you just want a brainstorming number $10 a foot is probably a reasonable installed guess, or half that for materials and DIY labor. So 100x200 would be about $6k or about $3k DIY. Timber and labor prices vary a lot by region though.


                    • #11
                      We built an arena at our private farm and befoer building it I researched sizes. If you want to be able to jump across the diagonal, you'll need an arena that is a minimum of 90 feet wide. Mine is about 100 x 210 and I wouldn't want it any smaller. It's big enough to jump a small course and comfortably have up to 3 riders riding in it at the same time.

                      We fenced it with wood, posts set in concrete (get sackcrete, it's easier to use) and a nice metal gate. Since our pasture borders it on two sides and our neighbor's property is on one side, the fencing is 4 feet high. If you didn't have to worry about horses getting into your arena (or out of it) you could probably keep the fence shorter and save on materials.

                      In order to come up with a realistic estimate, first you need to know the size. I would recommend using string and stakes to plot it out so that you can visualize the size of the arena and how it will fit with the rest if your property BEFORE making any final decisions.
                      Last edited by Prime Time Rider; Oct. 31, 2012, 12:37 AM. Reason: spelling