How to Build a Rodeo Arena. Whether you are a barrel racer or a calf roper, you will need to use an arena to practice your skills. Many towns have arenas that you can use to practice, but it costs money each time you ride and have to travel. Build your own arena at your home and save travel time and money by following these steps.
Pick an area on your property that is level and open. You may have to remove a few trees or have the area leveled by a professional. The area must be large. A standard barrel racing arena is about 150 feet by 240 feet. Make it larger or smaller according to your needs.
Have a professional look at the soil and area to determine how the arena should drain and what footing materials you should use. Drainage is very important and should be done by a professional. The ground may look fine, but after a week of rain you don't want to have to wait a month for the arena to dry out.
Haul in loads of base materials. Your base will be determined by what kind of soil is in the area and what materials are available. Clay is most often used as the base material, followed by a mixture of gravel and sand, with a layer of lime on top of that. These layers should each be compacted and not just dumped and spread around.
Choose a top layer for your arena. This will be the footing on which your horse works. Many people use a mixture of sand because it allows water to drain more easily than dirt. Sand also doesn't create as much dust. This layer should be thick enough to cushion your horse's legs against the compacted layers below.
Build an arena fence after your ground materials are finished. Use wood, vinyl, metal or livestock panels. The most popular choice is livestock panels, but this can get costly.
Hang gates at each end of the arena and possibly on the side. Allow access to both ends of the arena. Install chutes and small pens if you need them.