A covered or indoor riding arena is a significant capital expense and many riding facilities may find it out of their fiscal reach. Despite the financial commitment that an indoor arena demands, we have found that the addition of our covered arena was the single most important physical improvement we have made to our horse-riding program. Here are ten reasons you may want to consider riding at a facility that can offer an indoor arena. If you are in the business of horse riding instruction, these same reasons might give you motivation to pursue your own covered riding arena with greater fervor.


  1. Students feel more secure and willing to push the envelope in a more sheltered setting. They are more willing to move to the “next level” when there is a sense of more managed riding risk.

    Covered Riding Arena

    Horse Riders In A Covered Arena

  2. The protected arena riding environment is more climate controlled. You can ride in the rain, or out of the direct sun at mid-day.   More comfortable riding = more enjoyable riding = more frequent riding = more student growth.
  3. Parents and other students can watch from the bleachers and learn. Observers can also bond with the rider, and passively participate through the observation of a riding lesson.

    Riding Arena Cover with generational riders

    Grandparents, Parents, and children all gain from riding in a covered arena

  4. “Herd bound” horses can be trained in a more solitary arena setting that excludes interactions with other horses.
  5. Night time riding is enabled with the convenience of a lighted arena.

    Indoor horse arena with lights

    Indoor Arenas with overhead lighting allows night-time riding

  6. The consistent and superior footing of a covered arena will reduce the risk of injury to horse and rider.
  7. Mirror installations can enable riders to self evaluate as they observe themselves riding.
  8. The controlled environment of an indoor or covered arena allows instructors to precisely manage the setting of the riding lesson
  9. Unwanted distractions can be eliminated at an indoor arena. Barking dogs, passing vehicles, and other unexpected distractions can more efficiently be eliminated.
  10. A well-constructed arena shouts professionalism to the riding public. The covered arena places a riding facility in a league above all the competition that is absent a covered arena.


In our case here at California’s Marble Mountain Ranch, we opted for an open sided arena with a permanent overhead roof structure. Our intention was to enable our dude ranch vacationers to connect to the incredible mountain setting they are riding in, while simultaneously being protected for the elements. Arena riders can still feel a gentle mountain breeze, smell the scent of the conifer forest, and see the surrounding forested mountains. At the same time, the elements of a managed and controlled setting offers protection from periods of harsh weather and gives us a safer riding experience. It also enables our riders more time in the saddle. More time in the saddle usually translates into faster and greater student progress.