You and your partner may have an idea of the backyard arena you want to start building. However, it’s easy to get lost in the planning since there’s so much involved with building a horse arena.

Design and performance factors are crucial to keep in mind during your arena’s early stages. They will help you build the horse arena you actually want versus the arena you’re compromising on right now. You can have confidence in planning a riding surface that stands the test of time.

Don’t build without first thinking about these factors for your horse arena. Otherwise, you could set your horse up for career-ending injuries on deep, low, or flooded footing. And you’ll regret setting up a lousy arena rather than one that’s functional and lasts a lifetime.

Design Factors for Horse Arenas

Moving your dream arena from your head to paper can raise unrealistic expectations. You’ll discover as you dive into planning that there are considerations for riding arena design that affects how you construct your arena.

While architectural elements matter, such as framed structures and building codes, you must also consider other items for arena construction.

They are both helpful for planning and building a surface your horse is safe to trot and train on. The excavation site, arena size, and budget play a significant role in you and your partner’s backyard arena.

Excavation Site

Whether you are building indoor arena buildings or building an outdoor horse arena, the location plays a key role in your overall design. Certain excavation sites may contain tough soil contents. Plus, the ground may be hilly and require significant work to level and work it for arena use.

We recommend choosing a location that’s near your barn so you don’t have to travel very far to ride. Also, bring in a soil engineer who can identify spots on your property that pool quickly. You can avoid further drainage complications down the road by taking care of them in the planning phase.

Arena Size

How big you want to construct your horse arena impacts the design and other performance-related factors. For example, you might be a dressage rider and want to construct the official 20 x 60m arena size.

This means that you will have to pay special attention to the excavation site to ensure you have enough room to build. Also, the bigger your arena, the more base, drainage, type of footing, and fencing you’ll need to buy.

It’s never a bad idea to build a smaller arena than you’re envisioning to help with budget limitations. Later on, you can extend the arena when you have more funds available.


Money could be your biggest hurdle when building a horse arena in your backyard.. And not having enough money to build will prevent you from renting excavation machinery or purchasing arena materials.

You can research online for tips on how to build a riding arena on a budget. Although you may not be able to construct your dream arena right away with decreased costs, you can build something you and your partner are proud of. It will get something off the ground and become an ongoing arena project you can add to overtime.

Components for Arena Performance

Low spots, high spots, dust, and water pools. You may have seen these issues with other horse owners’ backyard arenas and want to avoid them at all costs. They are probably the reason why you’ve resorted to boarding facilities: you don’t trust your own arena area.

We believe you can take pride in your backyard arena and create a riding arena set up that meets your horse’s individual needs. You can preserve his health, promote his performance, and prepare him for any specific discipline.


Additives are necessary for any outdoor or indoor riding arena sand to create a durable surface for horses. They are more prone to tendon injuries and other injuries without a solid ground to train and trot on. Whether you’re in jumping or dressage, footing is a must-have for your backyard arena.

Yoga mat footing, for example, is a cost-friendly option that runs around $.35 per square foot. It’s plush, comfortable, and convenient by reducing dust and watering. This additive is perfect for the casual rider or the avid competitor that you can mix in your current type of sand.


Dusty arenas are a huge problem for any equestrian and even cause horse respiratory issues. And you wouldn’t want to deal with the same problem while riding your horses. Your outdoor or indoor arena should be a place they can feel safe rather than afraid.

Other companies insist that expensive fiber footing and rubber mulch are the best routes for dust control. But we understand that not all arena surfacing requires brand new footing. Some situations may only need a dust suppressant and that situation might be yours.

Most dust-control products clump arena footing together, fooling you into believing the dust is gone. Therefore, our team advises you to research the product before spending hundreds on it. You can save on your arena in the long run and not waste money on your arena.

Drainage and Ground Stabilization

Maintaining your riding surface is critical for a horse training facility or boarding business to keep its doors open. No rider wants to apply themselves to daily competition routines in an equestrian facility with soft and sinking spots. The same is even more true if you’re upgrading your current sand for a better riding surface.

This is why you need to install cost-effective solutions for drainage and ground stabilization in the planning stage. What most facility owners don’t know is that geocells kids can solve both problems at once.

They think they’ll have to lay down concrete under the arena and spend thousands on a complicated drainage system that carries water.

Thankfully, all they have to do is expand the collapsible BaseCore cells, fill them in with gravel, and the product will do the rest. And you can set this versatile product along arena fence arenas, gates, and paddocks for mud control too!

Build an Arena with Stability Where You Need It

Design and performance factors ultimately construct an arena that’s best for you and your horse. It’s time to stop riding on unstable arena surfaces and build one at the convenience of your home or horse barn. Boarding can be a thing of the past if you construct an arena that’s designed for your horse.

That’s why we’re committed to offering everything you need to build your arena to help you and your boarding or horse facility succeed.

We provide stability where you need it the most with our affordable prices and for your riders with our durable footing and other products. Our team would be glad to give you a call and help assess your arena needs. Also, we can estimate the costs for geocell, dust suppression, and everything else, depending on your arena size.

Give us a call today at (877).835.0878, or send us a note online. Our sales representative will get in touch with you shortly and can schedule a time for you to demo our products in person. They can also answer questions about other factors to consider for arena design.