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S24 W33285 Sutton Ridge Ct.
Dousman, WI 53118

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BGF Arenas

BGF Arena Construction - Serving Southeast Wisconsin

The construction of a professional quality riding arena is crucial to both your horse’s health and your own success in competition. Simply spreading sand over the top of bare dirt or grass field won’t work.  

Over the years, we’ve built professional quality arenas for our own showjumpers here in Wisconsin and in Florida. In both places, many local professionals have come to BlueGate Farm to take advantage of the size and footing of our arenas, even when they have their own. That’s because of the way we’ve designed and built them – the right size, a solid base, good drainage, and the right sand blended with the right type and amount of additive.

Let us build your next riding arena. We’ll work with you to meet your budget and riding needs, and we’ll help you determine the right size and best location on your property. 

Blue Gate Farms New Arena ConstructionNew Arena Construction

  • Complete Design and Build Service
  • Small Practice Rings to Large Competition Rings
  • Outdoor Arenas
  • Base Prep and Footings for Indoor Arenas

 

Blue Gate Farms Existing Arena ConstructionExisting Arena Renovation

  • Expand your Arena
  • Rebuild and Level Base
  • Add or Replace Sand
  • Improve Drainage
  • Add or Repair Irrigation Systems
  • Sand Amendments
  • Arena Fencing and Railing Systems

 

You Can Design Your own Arena to Meet Your Riding Needs and Budget

  • Pick a location on your farm, and a custom size and shape.
  • Select from a number of Sand Additives; some even offer a choice of colors.
  • Surround your new arena with a low rail, a 3 or 4 Board Fence, a concrete or Timber curb, or Hedges.  Finish a Mounded edge with a timber retaining wall.
  • Choose a manual or automatic irrigation system to keep the arena ready at all times.
  • Add trees or other plantings to the corners or even the center of your arena.
  • We can build a viewing, video or judges stand or even perimeter benches for spectators.

BGF’s Basic 7 Points to Building a Riding Arena

Base Construction – The first step in building a good riding arena is to proper grading.  First the topsoil is removed, and the sub-soil is graded to 2-3% for drainage. On top of the existing graded ground, we add a layer of solid material like Traffic Bond or Crushed Concrete, and finally a layer of Ag Lime (aka Barn Lime or crushed limestone) to create a solid surface.

Drainage – A poorly drained arena can result in a soupy, muddy mess for several days after a rain.  But a well-drained arena can be used during and immediately after a storm.  This starts with grading to a slight slope or in a dome that allows drainage in two directions.  We use either a simple French drain system imbedded in the base, or a sheet drain system using a fabric membrane and a layer of clear stone. (see illustration below)

Blue Gate Farms 7 Points to Building a Riding Arena

Sand – There are many types of sand, and not every quarry has the type of sand that should be used in a riding arena.  Arenas need sand with body – typically a slight clay-fines or silt content that can be compacted just enough to form a firm, but cushioned base.  

Sand Additives – Additives or Amendments are very important for most riding disciplines.  If properly mixed with the sand, they provide cushion and prevent penetration of the sand that can result in injuries to your horse.  There are many types of sand additives – rubber granules, shredded carpeting, fragments of felt, short and long fibers – and literally dozens of sources for each type.  They all work to some degree, but selecting the type and amount depends on how you intend to use the arena as well as your budget.

Irrigation – Although good drainage is important to prevent a mucky, sloppy riding surface, a dry and dusty arena can be just as bad for horse and rider.  So it’s important to find a way to quickly and thoroughly keep the sand moist and firm.   Designing an irrigation system that provides complete coverage can be difficult and expensive, especially when the flow and pressure of your water source is limited. 

Fencing – Several options are available: a Low Rail, a standard 3 or 4 board fence, Hedges or other plantings, concrete or timber curb.  

Arena Grooming and Drags – Many choices, from $500 to $5000.  The object is to smooth the surface without disturbing the basic firmness underneath. We’ve found that some of the simplest tools are the best.

Request an Arena Construction Estimate

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