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Barn Blog

November 16, 2015

Designing a Pole Barn to Use as a Riding Arena

Pole barns can be used for many purposes, including animal barns, hay storage, and homes. Pole barns are sometimes used on farms as indoor riding arenas so that owners can practice riding horses and the animals can get exercise regardless of the weather.

If you are thinking about using a pole barn as an indoor horseback riding arena, it is important to have it built correctly. A riding arena is a large, open area, so it needs to be constructed differently than other types of buildings. A wider span building needs larger posts and more supports than another type of pole barn.

A steel frame riding arena can be built wider than a post frame building but will be more expensive. A steel frame building is more difficult and expensive to heat and insulate than a post frame building and will take more time to build.

A metal roof is better than shingles for a riding arena because it is easier for snow to slide off a metal roof. You should insulate the roof to reduce the amount of noise from the outside and avoid spooking your horses.

An overhang or awning can provide shelter and shade and give your riding arena a more finished look. An overhang of at least 12 feet is recommended.

If you don't want to install electricity, you can allow natural light into your riding arena by using side lights instead of skylights. Skylights are more difficult to design and install and can increase the construction price. Side lights can be designed to be twice as large as skylights, so they can bring in twice as much light.

The size of your riding arena will depend on how you plan to use it. The most commonly chosen sizes are 60' x 120' and 80' x 200'. It is important to have a clear span with no posts or beams in the interior of the riding arena. If you will be training or riding in groups, it is a good idea to go with a longer riding arena. Most people choose a height of 16 feet, but if you plan to jump horses, you should choose a building 18 feet high. Doorways should be 12 to 14 feet tall for horses and riders and 16 feet across.

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