How to Design a Pole Barn to Use as a Horse Riding Arena

How to Design a Pole Barn to Use as a Horse Riding Arena

An indoor riding arena is an excellent place to train and exercise horses. A pole barn’s design can be modified to be used as a riding arena. Here are some things to consider.

Always have your riding arena designed by a qualified architect or engineer. Check to make sure the designer has factored snow loads into the calculations and plans. Make sure the builder is using the right size poles to support the weight of the roof.

If you are not sure how much space you need, err on the side of getting a slightly larger building. This will make it easier to train and exercise your horses, particularly if you plan to work with more than one horse at a time. If you are going to ride in groups or train horses, make sure your riding arena will be long enough. If you are going to jump horses, the ceiling should be at least 18 feet high. The doorways should be 12 to 14 feet high and 16 feet across.

You can save money on electricity and reduce the risk of a fire by using natural light. Sidelights are easier to install than skylights and can be made larger to allow in more light.

Choose a metal roof instead of shingles. It is easier for snow to slide off a metal roof than one with shingles.

An overhang or awning can extend from the roof along the sides of your riding arena and provide shelter and shade. It can also create a more finished look. An overhang or awning should be at least 12 feet long.

Rain falling on an uninsulated metal roof can spook horses. Vapor barrier insulation can muffle the sound and can also eliminate condensation caused by heat produced by the horses.

When you are ready contact CHA Pole Barns to talk about your pole barn project.


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Contracting with CHA since December 2009, to have two very large buildings constructed at our farm. We have personally referred several friends, relatives and neighbors to use them and we have never heard anything but praise for their workmanship and hard work. Our experience with CHA has shown us that they are most honest, reputable building company we have contracted. Their staff is very hard working, polite and very conscientious about their work. They got the job done on time, work tirelessly and waste no time while working. At the end of the day they clean up the job site and put all their tools and equipment away leaving the job site spotless.

Carin Guelich