Need a dressage arena to practice in but you are on a budget? Make your own.
By Lisa Barry, FEI 5* Rider and Trainer
Need a dressage arena to practice in but you are on a budget? Make your own. It’s easy and relatively inexpensive.
The first step is to determine what size arena you would like to set up: large or small? Visit your local home improvement store, like Home Depot or Lowe’s, and purchase PVC pipe to match the length and width of the chosen arena. I recommend using PVC pipes that are 10 feet long with a 1.5 inch diameter. Along with the pipes, plan on purchasing tee connectors for every seam and 3-way elbows for the four corners. You can use your choice of material to make the legs for each connection. I used 24’ wooden garden stakes. To create “letters,” pick up some inexpensive traffic cones and use waterproof markers to apply the appropriate letters.
After all the math is said and done your measurements might be slightly off the “perfect arena” but not by much. You will have a great practice arena for far less than the cost of a commercial grade arena.
Lisa Barry is a four-star event rider who has been riding and competing horses for 29 years, and has 16 years of international competition experience. Her horses have had top placings at many FEI events including at the Advanced/CCI4*/CCI5* level. Lisa has trained with Karen O’Connor for 25 years, and has worked for and ridden with Karen and David since she joined the O’Connor program as a working student when she was 17. Lisa competed at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event aboard her beloved FIS Prince Charming, aka “Peanut,” a tiny, feisty New Zealand OTTB. Lisa is currently training and coaching out of Lexington, Kentucky and Ocala, Florida. If you have questions for Lisa or would like to learn more about her program email her at [email protected]
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