Cold, sleety, miserable days like this make me hanker for an indoor–especially if it happened to be one of these.
Stork’s Nest Farm
Location: Czech Republic
Designer: SGL Projekt (Prague)
Dimensions: 112 feet in diameter, 41 feet in height
Why it’s amazing: Inspired by some 90 generations of storks that nest at this farm each year, the riding arena is built with arched timber beams covered in translucent polycarbonate and a woven nest of oak logs. This unique design, which includes a large operable skylight in the center of the arena, allows some natural daylight to filter through while providing enough shade to avoid overheating. The stands seat up to 200 spectators.
Location: Fulpmes, Austria
Architect: AO Architekten
Why it’s amazing: Terraced into the hillside, the arena incorporates a sloped roof and boulders to harmonize with the surrounding landscape. The structure is enclosed by a windscreen that protects horse and rider from the elements while disclosing stunning mountain views. Very Frank Lloyd Wright… I like it.
Grand Central Farm
Location: North Salem, NY
Dimensions: 180 X 108 feet
Architect: Jeff Pearson of Pearson & Peters Architects (Lexington, KY)
Why it’s amazing: Who says indoor arenas have to feel claustrophobic? This arena’s laminated timber arches rise 55 feet into the air, giving it a cathedral feel, while radiant heaters can warm the indoor to 45 degrees. The arena was finished with Jolicoeur footing.
Centre d’entrainement de Grosbois à Boissy-Saint-Léger
Location: Boissy-Saint-Léger en Val-de-Marne, France
Dimensions: 253 X 76 feet
Why it’s amazing: This equestrian center is on the site of a 17th-century French castle, the Château de Grosbois, purchased in 1962 by the Société d’Encouragement à l’Elevage du Cheval Français for conversion into a harness racing track, training center and equine vocational school. The contrast between the arena’s dark wood paneling and its inset skylights and windows is stunning.
Winter Riding School
Location: Vienna, Austria
Dimensions: 180 X 59 feet
Architect: Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach
Why it’s amazing: Home to performances of the Spanish Riding School, this celebrated hall was built between 1729 and 1735 and is one of the oldest maneges of its kind in the world. Drenched in sunlight, the white hall dazzles with hues of silver and gold while chandeliers glitter overhead.
Go Riding (indoors, if possible).