What's the Cost to Build an Outdoor Riding Arena in 2023? | Checkatrade
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Last updated on March 31st, 2022

Cost of building an outdoor riding arena

Dreaming of building your very own outdoor menage? It’s actually much easier and more affordable than you might think. Here, we’ll break down the typical cost of building an outdoor riding arena.

Dreaming of building your very own outdoor menage? It’s actually much easier and more affordable than you might think. Here, we’ll break down the typical cost of building an outdoor riding arena.

How much does it cost to build an outdoor riding arena UK?

ItemUnitCost - lowCost - highAverage cost
Outdoor riding arena installation (40x20m)All-inclusive arena installation company£20,000£40,000£30,000
Riding arena kit (40x20m)Not including earthworks or topping£3,000£4,000£3,500
Synthetic fibre surface Per m2£12£20£16
Sand surfacePer tonne£45£85£65
Rubber surfacePer tonne£60£95£77.50

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

The average cost to build an outdoor menage in the UK is around £30,000. This is assuming your arena is around 40x20m in size (the most popular outdoor arena size in the UK).

However, there are many variables that can affect the total cost of building an outdoor riding arena.

Outdoor riding arena cost factors

It’s hard to put an exact figure on the cost of building an outdoor riding arena because prices vary depending on a number of factors. These include:

How much does it cost to build an outdoor riding arena UK

  • Size: It goes without saying that the bigger your riding arena, the higher costs will be.
  • Surface: Sand and rubber are surfaces at the lower end of the cost scale, while wax is one of the most expensive surfaces you can choose.
  • Project management: The prices we’ve provided assume you’re getting a company to carry out the full installation for you, including foundations, materials and labour. However, you could save money by project managing yourself, but we wouldn’t recommend this unless you are confident and experienced.
  • Fencing: Costs can vary considerably depending on what kind of fencing you’d like to surround your arena.
  • Whether it’s on a slope: Depending on ground conditions, sloping sites may need retaining structures which can increase the cost considerably.
  • Ground conditions: If your ground is boggy or rocky or there are other difficult conditions, you’ll need to invest in more materials and equipment which can cause costs to climb.
  • Accessibility: Access limitations will dictate the machinery required to construct the arena and will have cost implications. In fact, poor access or ground conditions could increase the cost of building your outdoor riding arena by 25-50%!
  • Whether you use a kit: You could save costs by buying a riding arena kit and fitting it yourself, then adding the cost of your chosen surface.
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Outdoor riding arena cost

How big should an outdoor menage be?

The most common size for an outdoor menage is 40x20m. However, for jumping arenas, it can help to add an extra 5m or so to the width, making your arena around 40x25m in size. Similarly, if your arena will be used predominantly for dressage, 60x20m is likely to be preferable.

How long does an outdoor riding arena last?

Most of your outdoor riding arena should last indefinitely. However, you will need to replace the surface and fencing every so often. Most surfaces last for around three to 20 years. After this time, you’ll usually just need to top it up or replace it. However, if there are drainage issues, there is a chance you’ll need to replace the whole of your arena’s drainage and membrane.

Do I need planning permission for an outdoor riding arena?

Yes, you’ll need planning permission to build an outdoor riding arena. Most arena installation companies will obtain planning permission on your behalf and include this in the total cost. If you’re project managing yourself, however, it’s useful to get in touch with your local planning authority to find out what’s likely to be accepted before applying. For instance, they might be happy for you to install an arena but they may not be willing to let you install lighting for it. Read our guide to planning permission costs for more information.

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What others think of this article:

Sunny Lamberti-morales

On behalf of many of my horsey chums and myself a huge thankyou so much for your equine arena article, it highly informative as to the cost ect, now after reading this article two of my horsey chums and myself are now going to use one of the recommended arena companies to do our shared arena so again thankyou checkatrade

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