WHY DO YOU NEED AN EQUESTRIAN FACILITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
To achieve the level of success you seek in the equine industry, you can’t undermine the role of a good infrastructure (along with great planning and management). With an estimated one million domestic horses and over $6 billion worth of contribution to the economy each year, the equine industry is one of the growing sectors in Australia.
Running horses and doing shows, however, is not a cheap business today. You might be looking to cut your cost down on different things and maybe even increase the profit on what you are doing. Small injuries in horses can lead to career-ending consequences and leave you with a great amount of financial loss, not to mention the emotional stress you will have on the field of your passion. While some unavoidable accidents can bring about these losses, for which you have to grow a thick skin, some can be avoided with accurate planning and smart management.
The appropriate infrastructure installed at your facility gives you the flexibility to operate different equine activities in your premises all year round, any time of the day regardless of the weather conditions. On the other hand, appropriate infrastructure is very crucial for the health and wellbeing of your horses. Well planned infrastructure increases your business hours and decreases your spending on the health of your horses, providing you with increased revenue.
Having worked closely with industry leaders, professionals, and stakeholders of the equine industry of WA for decades, AUSPAN has built a reputation of a leader in equine infrastructure builders in WA. We have been able to successfully design and install a number of high-spec steel frame indoor arenas and facilities for clients in the equine sector. We understand the industry’s unique requirements.
INDOOR RIDING ARENAS
Weather is definitely a major factor in determining the activity of horse riding. The riding season is over once the weather is bad when you don’t have a proper indoor riding facility. You also need to keep your horses riding almost every day to keep them in top form. Having indoor arenas on your farm can also help you increase the revenue and expand your business.
Most horse riders may prefer riding outdoors in nice weather but indoor riding arena can give anyone a chance to ride at their will no matter the weather outside or time of the day. With indoor riding facilities come numerous benefits that are not only good for business but also for your stakeholders and patrons.
1. BEST FOR RIDERS
New learners who do not know anything about horse-riding are more hesitant and cautious when beginning. They generally feel more comfortable riding in a confined space than riding in the open pasture because they believe they have more control there. Indoor facilities also provide students and horses with fewer distractions. Since beginner riders should not be trained under limited visibility, indoor facilities also make nighttime training possible. Some indoor arenas have seating for observers that allows parents and coaches to monitor the students.
Serious riders who want to make a career in horse-riding need to train throughout the year. So they are always on a lookout for the facilities where they can train regardless of weather challenges. Indoor facilities not only let them train during bad weather but also lets them during bad light and at night.
2. BEST FOR HORSES
Performance horses generally need to be ridden every day so that they can perform at their best during events. Indoor riding arenas can provide riders and business owners with a choice to train and ride their horses at their will no matter the weather outside or time of the day. This way, competitive horses stay in shape all year round. Additionally, fewer distractions in indoor facilities make sure horses perform at their best. Young untrained horses easily get spooked with distractions. So, riding and training them in an indoor facility can be beneficial. Indoor facilities also generally have better riding surfaces than outdoor ones. Uneven surfaces can affect the health of horses, especially to their bones and ligaments.
Indoor facilities also have better riding surfaces than outdoor ones. Uneven surfaces can affect the health of horses, especially to their bones and ligaments.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHILE BUILDING AN INDOOR RIDING ARENA
If you have given any thought about building an indoor arena, chances are you probably already know what you want. While it is easy to focus on the big picture, there are a lot of details and planning you should undertake to successfully align your indoor arena with your goals. Bringing your dream riding arena into reality requires making good decisions on small things that you probably are not aware of before.
An arena is an important part of any equestrian facility. It is where you train your beloved horses and where they spend most of their time working with you. The desired outcome is to end up with a secure, comfortable arena that delivers value and is profitable.
So here is a list of areas where you need to carefully consider and plan for when looking for an Equestrian Facility building contractor before moving ahead with your indoor riding arena.
1. CODES AND REGULATIONS
The first thing you need to do before building an indoor riding arena is to research the permitting process in your area. Building codes are different in different areas throughout Australia where basically local governments regulate the rules. Additionally, you should also be aware of environmental codes too. If you are removing native vegetation for your project, then you will possibly need to seek permission from the Department of Environmental Regulation.
You will need to be clear with your planning details such as the size of your project, location of your project, the distance of your project from the major population etc. before applying for building permits or licenses.
2. Deciding What To Build
Different arenas can serve different purposes and come with different designs. So you should know what you are building before making a call. Some questions you can ask yourself can be as follows:
Do I want a covered or an enclosed arena? Enclosed arenas are considered advantageous over covered arenas especially in Australia because of weather factors. An enclosed arena gives you and your horses the flexibility to ride and train regardless of weather conditions while covered arenas may not guarantee an all-condition riding experience. If you have decided on an enclosed arena, you will also need to likely install a good ventilation system.
What other functions do I expect from my arena? Apart from being able to ride your horses at any time of day, throughout the year, you might also want to build an arena that serves other purposes too. You can accommodate horses, machinery and equipment, or even store feeding under one roof in a multipurpose structure.
What size of arena fulfils my business requirement? When planning for a new indoor riding arena, you need to consider your long term business goals. It heavily depends on the current performance of your business, your future goals, and your budget. But always make sure you thoroughly analyse the scalability of your arena and the ability to expand it if you are not going for a full-size arena to begin with.
One of the most important parts of your indoor arena is its surface. The footing of an arena is responsible for impacting health and performance of horses. The perfect footing in a riding arena shall neither be much shallow nor too deep because you can have problems with both extremes.
Horse riding experts recommend an approximately four-inch base of compacted limestone screening over the top of sand or aggregate fill in a multi-layer flooring base set-up. Choosing high-quality sand or sand mix for footing will give your horse traction and also provide shock absorption. Shock absorption can play a big role in maintaining healthy bones and ligaments of performance horses over their lifetime.
4. LIGHTING, VENTILATION, AND INSULATION
A good distribution of light inside an indoor arena is vital for riders and the horses both especially while riding at night time. Most indoor arenas are not well lit in the corners and shadows and poor lighting can spook the horses and make them nervous. Natural lighting can also make a difference in your indoor arena. You can consult with your building company and find ways to introduce natural lighting to your enclosed arena during the daytime.
Ventilation in a fully enclosed arena and plays a crucial role in circulating the fresh air inside the arena and expelling the polluted air out from the arena. The flow of fresh air is important for the health of both the horses and riders. If you have opted for an enclosed arena, then installing a good ventilation system should be one of your top priorities.
Additionally adding insulation to your equine building, especially in a covered arena ensures riders and horses both are comfortable while practising or training, particularly in the hot summer sunlight.
A lot of safety factors can be easily overlooked when building an indoor riding arena. It is important to take time and carefully consider both present and future needs that ensure the safety of riders and horses. While considering safety factors, do not forget to consider the following:
Indoor arenas should not have the roof supported by unnecessary intermediate pillars as it can create collision danger for both horses and riders. So be sure to consider clear span designs when planning.
Doors should be placed in the right direction, away from prevailing winds. Big doors can become safety hazards when left open or unsecured during windy conditions.
If you are planning to hire out or use your future indoor arena for public events or commercial use, make sure you have exit doors and a clear indication of exit points in numerous places.
There should be proper management of fire safety in the arena at all times.
Knee protection of riders and shoulder protection of horses is one of the big concerns in the indoor riding arena. An angled sidewall to the rider height on the inside walls of the arena can help protect the rider's knee and horse’s shoulder. Everything around the arena along the rail should be kept smooth and free from areas where riders can knock a knee if the horses were to lean onto the wall or lean onto the railing.
Lighting and airflow should be adequate inside the arena.
6. IDEAL LOCATION
Before building your indoor arena, finding the ideal location where it will be built is crucial because doing so will help avoid future problems and also possibly cut down the total overall building cost. To avoid the extra overhead for site preparation, choose a site that has the smoothest level throughout your property. A location that is higher than the surrounding will make sure that your brand new facility won’t be flooded. It also makes sure that you won’t be spending excessive amounts to elevate the area where you plan on constructing the arena.
Keeping weather factors like wind direction, sunlight accessibility etc. in mind and making sure which part of the arena faces what direction can also be beneficial in the long run. All-purpose arenas aren't easy to build. Different activities like speed event, pleasure horse, hunter jumpers, and driving horses prefer different settings. However, with careful planning and consideration of these details, you can make your dream come to life.
Your horses are the major factors that determine your success in the equine industry. Apart from premium facilities, you need top-performing horses to be considered one of the best. An ideal stable facility plays a vital role in providing your thoroughbred horses with appropriate nutrition and healthcare, ultimately contributing to transforming them to top-class prize-winning performers.
Understanding the behaviour of horses is very important before providing them with appropriate housing. Horses show different behaviour with age and with the amount of training they get. Most stables and barns are built with operational comfort in mind rather than health and wellbeing of horses which can lead to accidents with career-ending consequences.
1. STABLE BUILDING
A stable building should provide horses with appropriate shelter and access to adequate food and water. While planning for stalls, you should keep this in mind that different horses behave differently in where they are housed. New horses get pretty anxious around feeding time, feeling threatened by horses around them. They may pin their ears and stump and show more temper than usual. Inappropriate handling of doors can lead to cuts and accidents to horses because they often try to escape their stalls whenever they find that access is open. Half-open doors can trap horses and also cause accidents.
As health and safety is first and foremost, horse stable buildings should incorporate systems that guarantee the safety of the horses and their handlers. Having worked with equine farms across WA for decades, AUSPAN understands what it needs to build a proper stable building that guarantees safety and comfort for both the horse trainers, owners and horses.
2. EQUESTRIAN STABLES / FUNCTION FACILITIES
Having different facilities under one roof can be beneficial for daily operations. Whatever style or finishing you want for your complex, you should keep your horses in mind while planning.
With stables and function facilities together, you can have horseboxes, feed & tack rooms, washrooms, veterinary rooms, function rooms, kitchen area and offices under one roof. However, being a fire hazard, hay is not recommended to be stored around where horses and other valuable assets are housed.
Consult with AUSPAN if building such a facility of your choice is your priority. We not only specialise in structures but are also familiar with animals and their behaviour for having worked with different equine farms and schools for so long. Every equine farm is unique and requires unique consideration for their infrastructure.
3. PADDOCK SHELTER
In hot climates of Australia, horses should always be able to get out of the sun. Horses that do not have access to shade can suffer from overheating as the high fibre diet (that is regular for horses) also generates body heat from their insides. Additionally, a horse without shade from the sunlight is likely to be plagued by horse flies (that prefer heat).
Shelters in paddocks must be sized according to the animal capacity of the paddock/yard they are constructed in. Such shelters should be situated in areas that link laneways to various paddocks. An ideal shelter should be able to be used all year round.
AUSPAN is here to design and build an ideal paddock shelter for your horses. We analyse your unique requirements first and then provide you with the best solution.
4. ROUND YARD COVER
Round yard is an important area in any equine farm where training horses as well as establishing interaction between the handlers and horses occurs. It is even more important that a round yard is functional all year round if you are serious about horse riding business. A covered round yard has numerous advantages over outdoor yards as it provides handlers and horses with adequate training convenience through all seasons.
AUSPAN can provide you with the best solution if you are looking to make your round yard functional all year round. We understand that the size and requirement of different round yards vary. So we give you a customised solution that addresses all your requirements, making sure your round yard is covered from weather factors.
5. HAY AND EQUIPMENT STORAGE
Nutrition plays a vital role in the performance of horses. That is why a regular supply of fresh feed and water is crucial. Improperly stored hay loses its quality and nutrition for being exposed to sunlight and moisture which doesn’t guarantee of providing necessary goodness to the horses for their growth and performance. Proper storage shed guarantees effective storage of hay, helping preserve its quality.
Different equipment and machinery play an important role in operating the whole equine farm effectively. Accessories and tools for riding horses and other essential machinery should be stored properly so that they are not worn out before time.
A multipurpose shed for storing both hay and equipment with another section divided for the workshop can address all your hay and equipment storage needs. A multipurpose shed can ease your daily operations and save your time for other important works. However, you must give extra attention to fire safety while building such a facility.
AUSPAN can give you the best solution if you are stuck on deciding whether to build a multipurpose or single shed for each of your requirements. We can plan and build the best hay shed, storage shed, machinery shed, or a multipurpose shed according to your operational requirement.
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SPECIAL AREAS TO GIVE ATTENTION TO: FOR EFFECTIVE HOUSING OF HORSES
Understanding the behaviour of horses and giving attention to every little detail while building any facility in your equine farm can not only guarantee you a smooth operation but also help you produce top-performing horses. It also makes sure that you mitigate injuries and accidents that are likely to happen because of little things that most of us overlook.
Before planning for your structure, make sure that you are keeping the health and wellbeing of horses as your top priority.
Stable buildings should be constructed with no exposed surfaces or projections that are likely to cause injury. All surfaces should be capable of being cleaned and disinfected. Non-toxic paints should be used in surfaces that need treatment.
There shouldn’t be any sharp edges on fixtures and fittings such as tie rings, hay racks, and water bowls. Such sharp edges can cause injury to the eyes of horses. Feeding horses off the floor without the use of haynet is considered better. If used, haynets should be fixed at the horse’s head height to avoid the risk of the horse getting caught in the empty net.
Headcollars should be capable of breaking under pressure. It prevents injury in horses if they are entangled and get anxious.
Stable floors should be smooth and non-sleepy and designed to give good drainage that ensures stable waste is taken away from horses.
Stalls should allow horses to view as much surrounding as possible.
The stable roof should be high enough so that it can provide adequate ventilation.
Rugs and hoods should fit well, should serve their intended purpose and avoid rubbing, hair loss, abrasion, and restriction of movement.
Enough lighting is very essential within all stabling for horses to see and also to make sure horses are inspected and handled safely at all times.
The doors should always be either fully shut or fully open. Half-open doors can trap horses and cause injuries because horses try to escape whenever they find a chance. Sliding doors can have advantages over other types of doors in the stalls.
Manual feeding of horses makes sure that they are also inspected regularly. However, it is essential for operators to know that adult horses drink about 10 to 12 gallons of water each day. They drink even more while lactating.
Operators should be very careful while using clippers and cross ties, especially in the grooming areas. New horses feel uncomfortable and try to break free, causing injuries to their body, so it is better they are trained to stand tied as early as possible.
STABLE SIZE FOR HORSES
Most horses don’t like being stabled, but stabling them is essential for their safety and better inspection. Horses and ponies vary in size, so there might not be an ideal size to house all in one standard size. However, stable size should be enough for individual horses to lie, rise, and turn around comfortably. All passageways should be wide enough to allow horses in and out of the stalls and through the way, passing other horses safely. Keeping future use in mind while building your horse stable can be a wise decision because you will need to house horses of different sizes over the lifetime of the stable.
The standard recommended minimum stable size for horses are as follows:
Horses: 3.65m x 3.65m (12ft X 12ft)
Large horses: 3.65m x 4.25 m (12ft X 14ft)
Ponies: 3.05m x 3.05m (10ft X 10ft)
Large ponies: 3.05m x 3.65m (10ft X 12ft)
Foaling Box for horses: 4.25m x 4.25m (14ft X 14ft)
AUSPAN has been building quality equine infrastructure with innovative ideas that also have an appealing visual impact. We have worked with Governments, schools, and numerous equestrian businesses around WA. Every service that we offer comes with our unbeatable delivery time assurance. All our steel structures are made from the best materials that not only fulfil the National standard but also come with our warranty of a lifetime.
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