A horse arena can be a great investment for a horse owner or someone looking to start their own stable; however, it's also very costly, which is why it's good to ensure you've planned all details properly before work even begins. Note a few common mistakes that many people make when constructing a horse arena so you know to avoid these yourself and are happy with the finished arena for years to come.
1. Soil conditions
When looking at the location of your proposed horse arena, you may be considering the view and access alone, without looking at the soil conditions. If the soil is very rocky and compacted, you may have a problem with drainage issues, which can mean not being able to clean the arena properly.
You also need to consider if the area is already sloped or graded away from fresh water supplies, as you may then need to invest in sloping or grading it in a certain direction to protect a nearby river or lake. This can add to the overall cost of the arena construction, so it can be good to choose a location that doesn't require so much prep work.
2. Availability of materials
The materials you need for your arena may include lime or clay to solidify the soil and keep it strong underfoot and a top layer of soft sand. You need to check the availability of these materials, as the cost of trucking them in from out of state can be prohibitive. You may then want to adjust your plans for the construction, including the size of the arena and the top layer itself based on the materials that are more abundant in your area. You might even ask local builders what materials they use to treat soil before construction, as they may have suggestions for how to save money while still creating a solid foundation.
3. Durability of materials
If you choose a particular type of light, powdery sand for the top layer of your horse arena because you prefer the softer feeling, you might not realize how quickly it blows away in a storm or washes away during wintertime. You may also need to care for it more often, raking out footprints and trenches. A thicker, more compact soil may not have the soft feeling you prefer but it may be more durable overall, costing you less in replacement and taking less time to rake and maintain it.