Dressage Riding Arena Size, Footing and Letters

Updated: Feb 5



A proper competition dressage riding arena has to have the appropriate arena size, footing, elevation difference, and letters. These aspects need to be considered when developing a dressage arena.



Arena Size

-the interior of the size of a dressage competition riding arena is 60 meters long by 20 meters wide (196.85 feet x 65.62 feet)

-if there is public viewing, the audience must be a minimum of 10 meters from the arena

-ideally, if the indoor arena is intended for dressage there should be a minimum of 2 meters from the wall to the low white fence




Fédération Equestre Internationale. “Annex 6 - Dressage Arena”. FEI. 1 January, 2022.https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/FEI_Dressage_Rules_2022_Clean_Version_V2.pdf


Low White Fence

-the low white fence must not be solid and must be 30 cm high

-the entrance at ‘A’ must be a minimum of 2 m in length -the fence at ‘A’ must be easily movable to let athletes in and out of the arena -rails cannot have metal components

-rails should be made to prevent hooves from being caught


Schneiders. “Wellington Dressage Arena 20 x 60 Meter”. Schneiders. 2022. https://www.sstack.com/images/xxl/41736.jpg

Arena Elevation Difference

-the riding arena needs to flat and level. there may be a difference in elevation, for drainage. -the elevation difference along the short side (width) of the arena cannot exceed 20 cm

-the difference in elevation along the long side (length) or across the diagonal cannot exceed sixty centimetres (60 cm)

Footing

-the footing must be composed of mostly sand

-the sand grain size should be no bigger than 4mm

-if you want incorporate additives,

  • fleece shouldn’t exceed 30 mm in length

  • fibres should be less than 50 mm in length

  • wood shavings should not be bigger than 40mm x 10 mm

  • wood should not be too coarse-grained or sharp-edged

  • keep in mind that wood breaks down and becomes organic


Footing Maintenance

-footing should be maintained to ensure it does not become compacted and hard

-moisture needs to be in the footing to prevent a dusty environment

-footing should not be so wet that it sticks to the horses hooves


Dressage Letters

-letters should be located 50 cm outside the small white fence

-letters should be clearly marked, without any advertising, and visible to the audience

-going clockwise, starting at ‘A’ where the athletes enter. ‘A’ is placed at the centre of short side of the arena

-‘K’ is 6m from the corner

-‘V’ is 12m from ‘K’

-‘E’ is 12m from ‘V’

-‘S’ is 12m from ‘E’

-‘H’ is 12m from ‘S’ and 6m from the corner

-judges are stationed at ‘C’. ‘C’ is placed at the centre of short side of the arena

-‘M’ is 6m from the corner

-‘R’ is 12m from ‘M’

-‘B’ is 12m from ‘R’

-‘P’ is 12m from ‘B’

-‘F’ is 12m from ‘P’ and 6m from the corner



Arena size, footing, elevation difference, and letters are aspects that should be considered when developing a dressage riding arena.






References

FEI Dressage Rules 2022.

Fédération Equestre Internationale, 2022,

https://inside.fei.org/fei/disc/dressage/rules


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