Horse facilities are a major financial undertaking if you’re doing it for the first time. They can range as low as $40,000 and as high as $500,000 but can earn more than tenfold in a lifetime by building a state-of-the-art arena.
If you construct and maintain your horse arena the right way, it can become a highly-lucrative business. You have the opportunity to appeal to discipline riders and casual horse owners alike with a safe, competition-ready facility.
We want to explain in detail the cost to build a horse arena and maintaining it.
Understanding the nuances between how much it costs to build an indoor riding arena vs. an outdoor one, you can learn more about the factors you should consider.
That will give you a picture of what the initial investment would look like so you can enter the industry prepared.
Average Price to Build an Indoor Horse Arena
Indoor riding arenas serve as a covering for horses when training or trotting in cold weather. They also protect against heavy rain and hail, depending on where your facility is.
These run more expensive since you’ll pay for electricity, a ceiling, and other costs that an outdoor arena doesn’t require. However, you can save by choosing to build a riding arena with cheaper materials, such as a wood or steel arena.
We recommend building an indoor arena if you’re going after serious discipline riders whose dream is to train in a fully-functional facility.
The riding arena cost per square foot is higher than other facilities, but it will be a lucrative investment for years down the road.
Cost per Square Foot
Average Price to Build an Outdoor Horse Arena
You’ll find just as much use with outdoor horse arenas since most horse owners love enjoying the outdoors. The construction price is significantly less than an indoor arena, which is why they are more common among facility owners.
On average, an outdoor facility costs between $1 to $10 per square foot, including the amount you’ll pay for footing and a fence line. But it can vary depending on the additive and fence quality.
Serious jumping, dressage, and other riders look for well-maintained outdoor arenas. They must have competition-approved footing and a solid arena foundation to prevent future horse injury.
Average Price to Build a Prefab Riding Arena
If you’re on a budget and are looking for a low-cost investment option, we recommend a prefab riding arena. These are pre-made building kits that a company ships to your facility.
To reduce the price, you cannot have the same material as indoor arena steel buildings or outdoor metal buildings.
You can assemble them on your own or with the help of paid laborers. A prefab riding arena, overall, is much cheaper than the materials for a majority of indoor and outdoor horse arenas.
Cost per Square Foot
Average Sizes to Build Competition Arenas
Whether you build an indoor, outdoor, or prefab arena, you’ll need the proper dimensions if you’re appealing to a specific discipline.
They need enough space for trotting, jumping, turnarounds, and more, depending on their preferred sport.
You may pull in riders by advertising an arena with top-of-the-line footing and fencing, but you won’t retain them once they see the facility is too small.
Follow these size guidelines to ensure you’re constructing a large enough arena. Then, you can calculate the average cost to build your arena by using the cost per square foot for the materials above.
The standard competition size for dressage arenas is 66 feet by 132 feet. That means the size of the arena is 13,002 square feet total.
On the other hand, you’ll need a much larger arena for competition jumping arenas. These 100 feet by 200 feet facilities create a massive 20,000-square-foot surface to train on.
We recommend building a facility with extra room for hunting riders. The specific dimensions depend on the class of riders and the specific competition requirements.
In general, you’ll find most hunting arenas at 150 feet by 300 feet (45,000 square feet).
Similar to dressage, you’ll be constructing a 13,002 square foot indoor or outdoor arena with the same dimensions. This means you can market the same arena facility to 2 disciplines for increased business traffic.
Costs to Maintain a Horse Arena
Horse facilities are an expensive investment, especially if you plan to use the arena as a full-fledged boarding facility.
Although there are various costs associated with maintaining an arena, you’ll have a better facility than your competitors. In the end, that drives more revenue and a successful equine business in the long term.
Most casual backyard horse owners get away with arena sand on top of the base. However, competitive riders understand that footing determines how confident their horses train on the surface.
If it’s uneven, has dips, or has high spots, they’ll either hesitate or have a career-ending injury. You must purchase stable horse footing to cater to this audience.
That’s why it’s wise to prepare by paying for the best product on the market.
You can keep up with your horse arena’s dust with less hassle if the footing additive already reduces it. But it may be necessary to purchase a separate product to take care of the problem.
What you may not know is that a horse’s respiratory health is just as important for high-performance as conditioning. Riders may have invested tens of thousands into the horse, only to find it catches a breathing disease from your arena.
Even the best horse footing becomes ineffective without properly taking care of it with a sprinkler system. Watering is crucial for the footing to stay loose and flexible rather than becoming rigid and untrainable.
The average cost of a sprinkler system is $1.35 per square footing, meaning you’ll pay thousands for installation and daily watering.
Or you could purchase waterless horse footing that doesn’t require any moisture whatsoever.
Lighting is crucial for horses to see while training outdoors or indoors. The facility may not have bright natural light or be an enclosed space.
Horses can’t perform their best during training if they can’t see the footing surface or obstacles in front of them.
Arena size and many other factors affect the kind of electricity you purchase and how much it costs daily. We recommend speaking to a local lighting specialist, as we could not do it justice to provide an amount.
Build a World-Class Equestrian Facility
While riding arena costs can help get you started with a horse arena investment, it’s best to speak with a professional who can give an accurate quote.
Our equestrian-run team would be glad to tell you more about foundation, footing, drag, and dust control products and how much they cost. We can even refer you to a local aggregate company to quote you for the cheapest infill.
Call our arena specialists today by calling (877)-835-0878 to speak with a representative so they can help you build an indoor riding arena or outdoor facility.
They pride themselves in asking in-depth questions about your arena set-up so you can get quoted for the best products on the market.