Need a dressage arena to practice in but you are on a budget? Make your own.

  1. Condition your horses on all different kinds of footing.
  2. Cold winter days are the perfect time to plan for the upcoming season.
  3. Bits and Biting
  4. When learning new things, take baby steps.
  5. Cross training is great for horses of all disciplines.
  6. The Dump and Run
  7. Got pesky skin fungus or rain rot?
  8. Time to get organized!
  9. My horse won’t drink. What should I do?
  10. Like braiding sprays but hate the cost?
  11. Take good care of your trailer and it will take good care of you.
  12. 15-minute sessions with your horse from Perfect Partners Equine
  13. How to fill your hay net the easy way.
  14. Stay positive
  15. Putting Effort Into Relaxation
  16. Does your horse get anxious about jumping?
  17. Be Sure to Smile and Breathe When You Ride.
  18. Travel With an Extra Set of Horse Shoes
  19. Warm-up Strategy for Excitable Horses
  20. Sunscreen Isn’t Just for People.
  21. Hoof packing tricks of the trade.
  22. Expand your horizons.
  23. Save money by cleaning your own blankets.
  24. Keeping skin disease away.
  25. Make your own brush jump
  26. Whoa means whoa and go means go!
  27. Quick and easy manure stain remover.
  28. Nutrition matters!
  29. Do-it-yourself tire changing.
  30. Hey, wait for me!
  31. Do you have a horse that is struggling with skin issues or even thrush?
  32. Keep a journal of what you have learned
  33. Need a dressage arena to practice in but you are on a budget? Make your own.
  34. Seek out a new perspective once in a while
  35. How to shim a half pad with a yoga mat




By Lisa Barry, FEI 5* Rider and Trainer

Need a dressage arena to practice in but you are on a budget? Make your own. It’s easy and relatively inexpensive.

The first step is to determine what size arena you would like to set up: large or small? Visit your local home improvement store, like Home Depot or Lowe’s, and purchase PVC pipe to match the length and width of the chosen arena. I recommend using PVC pipes that are 10 feet long with a 1.5 inch diameter. Along with the pipes, plan on purchasing tee connectors for every seam and 3-way elbows for the four corners. You can use your choice of material to make the legs for each connection. I used 24’ wooden garden stakes. To create “letters,” pick up some inexpensive traffic cones and use waterproof markers to apply the appropriate letters.

After all the math is said and done your measurements might be slightly off the “perfect arena” but not by much. You will have a great practice arena for far less than the cost of a commercial grade arena.

About Lisa:

Lisa Barry is a four-star event rider who has been riding and competing horses for 29 years, and has 16 years of international competition experience. Her horses have had top placings at many FEI events including at the Advanced/CCI4*/CCI5* level. Lisa has trained with Karen O’Connor for 25 years, and has worked for and ridden with Karen and David since she joined the O’Connor program as a working student when she was 17. Lisa competed at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event aboard her beloved FIS Prince Charming, aka “Peanut,” a tiny, feisty New Zealand OTTB. Lisa is currently training and coaching out of Lexington, Kentucky and Ocala, Florida. If you have questions for Lisa or would like to learn more about her program email her at

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  • Honora Jacob

    what do you use as the blocks to support the pipes?

    • Becky

      She put the open end of the T connector pointing toward the ground, over a stake.

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