How to Build Your Own Dressage Arena

Build your own dressage arena using inexpensive, durable and attractive PVC piping.

View from C | Photo by Elizabeth Art

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1″ diameter PVC pipe (cut into 83 lengths, each one 2′ long)
  • 3/4″ diameter PVC pipe to be the rail (about 512′)
  • T connectors for 1″ pipe (need 73 of them)
  • straight coupling socket fitting for 3/4″ pipe (need enough to join all the rail sections together)
  • 90 degree reducing elbow socket fitting – 1″ to 3/4″ (need 10 of them)

I started by measuring and spray painting the ground where I built the arena. The dirt where you place the arena needs to be soft enough for you to be able to pound the 1″ pipe sections into the ground with a rubber mallet.

Begin by installing the 1″ diameter pipe sections that will be the vertical supports for the rail. These sections being 2′ long, I buried 6″ so they stick up 18″ above ground. When the rail is in place on top the total height is about 22-23″.

Use two supports at each corner for each side of the arena. Continue placing supports spaced 2 meters apart. There will be on 31 on the long sides, 11 on the short side at C and 5 on each side of the entrance gap. (This will make the entrance gap at A 4 meters wide.)

Place the T connectors on the top of each vertical support. The bottom 1″ hole fits onto the vertical support and the cross-hole, being 1″, makes a loose hole for the 3/4″ rail to pass through. After installing the rail use the 90 degree elbow sockets to join the ends to the supports at each corner and at A.

The only maintenance I have is straightening some of the vertical posts in the spring after the ground thaws (I pound the tops of the T connectors with a rubber mallet) and gluing the connections where the deer insist on barging through.