Comparing Metal Riding Arena Prices: Prefab Vs. Custom-Built Structures
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Comparing Metal Riding Arena Prices: Prefab Vs. Custom-Built Structures

Comparing Metal Riding Arena Prices: Prefab Vs. Custom-Built Structures
Apr, 2024

Are you looking to build an indoor riding arena? It will not only give you space to shelter your beloved equine but also provide safety and security for them throughout the year. For areas with cold weather throughout the year, an indoor equestrian facility will turn out to be a great investment.

Let’s have a look at the unique features of prefab vs. custom-built structures and compare them side by side.

What Is Prefab Metal Riding Arena?

What Is Custom Built Steel Riding Arena?

  • A prefabricated or pre-engineered metal structure is designed, cut, and drilled in the factory.
  • These are more affordable than custom-built metal structures.
  • They are quick to install and ready to use within a few weeks.
  • They have, however, limited design freedom as parts are already made.
As the name suggests, a customizable metal structure is one in which clients have the freedom to select size, shape, height, or style.However, these designs must meet the local building codes of the city. These structures can be made as per the customers’ demand.
Since the entire structure is already designed using CAD, very little can be done to incorporate any add-ons later, especially into the core structure of the building. Here are some custom features that you can add to metal riding arenas:

  1. Dimension of the structure, which includes length, width, & height
  2. No. of doors & windows
  3. Size & style of doors and windows
  4. Roof style [vertical roofing suits best for larger steel buildings]
  5. Structural trim
  6. Gutter & downspout
  7. Insulator & vents

Don’t get intimidated! You don’t need to install all of these. Pick one that fits the bill and ignore the rest.

Disadvantages Of Prefab Vs. Custom-Built Structures

What Are The Disadvantages Of Prefab Metal Riding Arena?

  • You may not get the desired finishing details.
  • There may be design and expansion constraints.
  • Pre-engineered structures may be subjected to corrosion.
  • You may get low insulation or need to add another layer of insulation.
  • Prefab structures are generally not certified to withstand extreme weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Custom-Built Metal Riding Arenas?

  • The price is higher than the prefab.
  • Delivery may take time as the metal dealer must construct and ship the parts.
  • For complex designs, labor charges are higher, and the time to assemble may increase.

Advantages Of Prefab Vs. Custom-Built Structures

Advantages Of Prefab Steel Riding Arena

  • They are easy to install.
  • Labor charges are less than custom metal structures.
  • Since the building complex is smaller, assembly time is also shorter.
  • They cost less than a custom-built riding arena.

Advantages Of Custom Steel Riding Arena

  • You get the building exactly as you want.
  • You can opt for certified 12-gauge frames and posts.
  • Galvanized steels are heavy-duty and robust by nature. They are also resistant to corrosion.
  • Vertical corrugated metal roof is easy to clean & long-lasting.
  • With customization, you get the benefit of choosing a clear span.

Metal Riding Arena Prices

The average cost of a horse riding arena in the US is about $150,000. This can be as low as $30,000, up to half a million dollars, or even more. The actual price fluctuates with the steel market and add-ons.

What Factors Determine Metal Riding Arena Prices?


Size plays a crucial role in determining metal riding arena prices. The larger the size you prefer to install, the more you will have to pay. But you can’t cut corners with the sizing just because of the cost factor. So, what’s the minimum size of a riding arena?

The minimum size is 60 ft. wide x 120 ft. long x 14-16 ft. high. The height generally varies from 14 to 20 ft., depending on the horse’s height and breed. If you plan to practice show jumping, it is best to increase the height to ensure the animal does not get hurt.

When choosing a clear-span, truss-free structure, it is important to ask the metal builder for an expandable building length-wise; expansion width-wise is not possible.


The next crucial factor in determining price is the location. The location of installation indirectly affects the overall cost. Let’s see what are the cost involved:

Permit cost: About 2% of the total cost of building value will be required for the processing, review, and inspection fees.

Utility lines and setup: Underground electric lines cost about $10 to $25 per square foot, whereas overhead lines cost about $5 to $15 per square foot. Water lines will cost about $1,200 to up to $10,000 for a 6,000-square-foot metal building.

Local & State Guidelines

The length of the indoor riding arena should be about twice its width. The height of a clear-span building can be as high as 40 to 60 ft., which means you don’t have to worry about the rider’s head touching the roof.

It is best to check with the local clubs or organizations for indoor riding arena guidelines. These include building codes, zoning laws, sanitary regulations, and restrictive easements.

Besides this, you can follow safety protocols such as not talking on the phone while riding, keeping the arena doors closed, maintaining a safe distance from others, communicating with another rider, and refraining from the loud noise that might agitate the horse.

Site Preps

The site for the riding arena must be leveled, debris-free, and have well drainage. You can hire a site contractor to measure the soil quality and decide which foundation best suits your location and needs. Some of the common footing materials are:

  • Sand
  • Rubber
  • Compact stone base
  • Topsoil
  • Stall waste


Sometimes, the outdoors is too cold for both equine and humans to enjoy. This is where the steel riding arena comes in handy. When insulated properly with sealant in the right place, a metal structure minimizes heat transfer and makes the cooling or heating system work more effectively.


Adding vents helps to keep fresh air circulation inside the building, lowering the risk of moisture development. Less moisture and humidity lessen the chance of mold and mildew growth. Metal is inorganic, which makes it anti-fungal. Some metal coatings, like copper, exhibit anti-bacterial properties.

Thinking Of Indoor Riding Arena, Think Viking Steel Structures

Call now at 877-801-3263 to book your steel riding arena. We specialize in creating custom designs tailored to meet the unique needs of each customer. You can even try our free 3D design tool to create your very own metal structure. So, don’t forget to check out our website.

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