Arena Construction

Discussion in 'Horse Riding' started by Raw Prawn, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Raw Prawn

    Raw Prawn Well-known Member

    A few questions for those that have had them built on their own property.

    What type of surface did you use?

    What boundary fencing/border did you use?

    What companies/contractors will level out the ground?

    Are there any companies/contractors out there who will do the whole lot (leveling/compacting/surfacing)?

    Approximate cost (PM if you prefer)?

    Parents have FINALLY (after nearly 20 years of owning horses) agreed to build me an arena :) Thanks Dad!!!

    The area I am using is a very dry, well drained patch of soil, measured at 40mx20m (would have preferred 60x20 but too many trees in the way), so hopefully water logging wont be a huge problem.
  2. NorWester

    NorWester Well-known Member

    My Mum and Dad have just subdivided. They have a problem, where by the bottom property will be sold and they will keep the property with the house. Unfortunately the arena goes with the bottom property.

    They had someone come out and they did a quote for the whole lot, level and build up (as it will be on a hill), drainage, compacting and also bordering and fencing the arena.

    It was quite costly about 80K I think. But this was mainly as they needed to cut into a hill and retain the wall.

    I can get the guys details if you like, but he is in the Forrestfield/Orange Grove area?

    Cant tell what the workmanship was like as we havent done anything yet, I still havent decided if I am going to buy the bottom property yet which means we dont need to build another arena.
  3. Im just about to go on the hunt for answers to these same questions LOL although my biggest Q is price; how much??

    LOL @ Raw Prawn have your oldies been waiting 20 years for you to 'grow out of' horses and finally decided you never will?
  4. Toyz

    Toyz Well-known Member

    Man 80k to build an arena that sound bloody expensive!! must be a FLASH ONE :)* Im not sure how much they cost but! at my work alot of people get our product for there arenas because its cheaper than sand but pretty much the same!
  5. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    I guess it all depends on how level the area is already? If it needs more levelling can it easily be dug out (ie. no rocks), as getting a rock breaker in can be very expensive.

    The area where my arena went had about a 2m drop (it was quite deceptive and didn't look that uneven) across the diagonal (it is ~ 62m x 22m) so my options were dig out the high side and put this dirt on the low side or build it up. We tried digging out and of course hit major rock (that's the Hills for you). Decided it would be too expensive to get a rock breaker so built the arena up with blue metal dust (cheapest fill and it was about $4 tonne and I needed over 1000 tonne, so ~$4,000 in fill alone!). So my arena is built up quite high (~2 metres) at one short end and tapers down one long side. We put rocks (plenty of those free on our property) down the long side as a retaining wall and have continually dumped horse poo (plenty of that also free on my property) down the sides to bind it all together. The poo does grow weeds but we just whipper snip it and it looks neat & tidy. I am starting to put plants in along the edges now to create a hedge (rosemary bushes).

    Originally I was going to put sand on top of the blue metal dust but decided I quite like this surface so didn't bother (plus that saved a couple of thousand extra dollars). It drains really well (because there is so much blue metal dust to drain through before it reaches the ground) and my arena is never waterlogged even in the wettest weather. It does get a bit dusty in summer though.

    I haven't put a fence around it yet (it has been in about 5 years!) and wasn't quite sure what to do about this. As it is built up I think I will put a fence in on the ground around the arena (like a paddock) rather than directly on the arena - it wouldn't stop a horse going off the edge (hopefully my hedge will be a good boundary though)but if I did fall off at least they couldn't escape :)

    We had friends with a bobcat & tractor so I am not sure what the cost of labour would be. I think all up it has probably cost $6,000 - $7,000.
  6. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    I just got my arena done a couple of months ago.

    We used Martin Hellier in Gidegannup and he is great and cheap.

    For $1000 he levelled a 40/20 area of rock, dug post holes around the outside and also did a few other bits and pieces around the property. We had a heap of sand from a pool that we needed to fill a big hole with etc.

    Really nice bloke too and does a bloody good job!

    I haven't gotten around to getting a surface yet (my horses are tough LOL). But for fencing we put in treated pine poles maybe 7m apart, plus 2 close together for a gate way, and did 3 strands of white electric braid rope (unelectrified of course). I think it looks pretty good. The fencing we did ourselves - minus the post hole digging, so sunk every pole with half a bag of quick set cement, the fencing all up cost me around $150 - $200 plus a couple of weekends doing it.

    The blue metal is a cheap option, my neighbour has that too, but when I've ridden on there I seem to inhale the dust heaps (I think it's like a silica ?) so I've decided against that.

    I am going to get a thin layer of river sand on the top eventually just need the $$ first! He said I don't need a blue metal base as the gravel here does the job.

    When I got it done, he said to get a proper arena done - ie. levelling, base and river sand would set you back around 20K, I think that was for a 40/20. He does the arenas at Brookleigh so he is pretty awesome at what he does :p
  7. manocaaron

    manocaaron Well-known Member

    It all depends were you are and what sort of a slope you have....
    My OH builds limestone retaining walls and does the levelling of house pads too, he just did one for a guy in Chittering....(he sub contracted to another guy for this as the other guy had too much work on and couldnt do it himself...) The house pad cost him somewhere around $50k and the wall is gonna cost around that too!!!! Its not that the guy my OH subbed for is expensive its more that the block is SO sloped that it was just a massive job, something most people just dont realise when buying a block.
    the common thing is that most property owners vastly underestimate the amount of slope there actually is, often people think a .75mt wall will make it level and when the laser comes out its actually closer to 1.5 -2mt.
    So do homework carefully.;)
  8. Rainmaker

    Rainmaker Well-known Member

    Oh this is a good thread! Something we will need to look into soon. Eek :D

    We are on slope also :eek:
  9. Raw Prawn

    Raw Prawn Well-known Member

    Our place is on the flats so very little leveling would be required. Just normal sandy Oakford soil - so no rocks to blast! To be honest - its really so level already you could just chuck the surface straight on top of the grass :)

    LOL Merrylegs - I think thats what they have been hoping! Dad still carries on about the "free" pony I talked him into when I was a kid that ended up costing him a fortune in re-education and vet bills :p
  10. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    I think you would still need a base though, having sand on sand isn't going to give great would more than likely need to put down blue metal first as a base and then river sand.

    Or you could just fence the 20/40 area and have a lovely grassed arena and they can save their $$$ :p
  11. Toyz

    Toyz Well-known Member

    double helix blue metal dust is what we sell here and martin hellier and shaun get alot through us! I dont think i would use just the dust as a surface on a arena if i was building one maybe the base and sand over the top... Bon & ted is right im not sure what it is in the dust but its not good to be breathing it in think (dont quote me on this) that it can lead to cancer thats what iv heard anyway!! but in saying that it would be over along period of time
  12. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    I have never heard of blue metal dust causing cancer! But then again everything causes cancer these days... It is just the left over from crushing blue metal (volcanic basalt) rock to be used on bitumen roads. I am sure breathing in large amounts of any dust (even sand is dusty) is not good for the lungs but I am not sure about toxicity...
  13. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    From the MSDS:
    Hazard Classification - overall hazards - dangerous nature:
    Basalt is not inherently toxic nor does it contain toxic impurities. High concentrations of airborne dust may cause unpleasant deposition of dust in ears, eyes ... Products as supplied are classified as nonhazardous according to the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) criteria.

    Chemical Name - Proportion (%)
    Feldspars - 69
    Olivine - 9
    Opaque Oxide (magnetite or ilmenite) - 9
    Smectite Clay - 8
    Clinopyroxene - 3
    Calcite - 2
    Perovskite - < 1
    Total 100
    * This material does not contain free crystalline silica.

    There are no known health effects from the ingestion of basalt.
  14. Toyz

    Toyz Well-known Member

    I just spoke to the safety man at the quarry i work at!! it is silica thats in the dust!! but he rekons that sands worse so yeah i dunno:confused: I have herd over along period of time if you are working with it all the time it def not good but like you said double helix nothink is good for you these days!! Iv been here 3yrs and not dead yet ill fill use in another 25yrs lol
  15. shaz71

    shaz71 Well-known Member

    we got quoted 6500 roughly for taking about 4 inches of yellow sand and then 100 ml of crap base out (dumped in our own paddocks, good topsoil for bullsbrook!)and then cutting a leveling a side bit (extending it as well) then for a 100ml crushed granite base over a approx 27 x27 metre area.

    that also includes taking out 2 trees and a big stump and leveling our WI/WO area we also doing.

    i thought that was pretty good, we are in bullsbrook and also going for a 50ml topping of 50/50 river sand 20 ml woodchips for a surface as we have western pleasure ponies. no price on that yet. :))
  16. shaz71

    shaz71 Well-known Member

    oh and our chap, erskine? has done the arena on the left aftre the rialway crossing on catherdral ave and its awesome, he can do mirrors as well!!;)
  17. KPF

    KPF Well-known Member

    assuming the products everyone is using is whatever is nearest to their location and cheapest cartage for the contractor. Because we are also getting quotes at the moment, and there is no way we can get cracker dust for anything near the price quoted on here.

    For us, being on a clay/loam soil, we need to cart both base and surface, so double the cost. To get riversand is costly, and so is beach sand. 7mm crushed Limestone 200mm thick is about $14000, Clean Fill is a very similar price, about $1500 cheaper. White sand is alot more expensive again.

    We can get a by product from Iluka, its like a coarse red river sand, excellent drainage properties, thats carted for $15m3, so around $5000 to do arena, but useless for us as a base because it doesn't compact. Good for a cheap surface, but I prefer the limestone.

    Our problem is trying to decide the best and most economical product that we can source local and cheap to utilise as a good base that we can roll and compact, yet also drain well. White sand is the obvious option, or the right clean fill, however it seems even obtaining these products is quite pricey. So I envy everyone who has been able to get useful products at a very good price! I don't think we'll get out of completing our arena for less than $25K! Thats inclusive of subsoil drainage.
  18. magic_impact

    magic_impact Well-known Member

    A note on KPF's post above, don't assume that the closest suppliers are necessarily the cheapest. We have had quotes on cracker/crusher/bluemetal dust, (whichever you call it) from 2 separate quarries around Perth and the one that had to cart it 30-odd kms to get to us was cheaper than the one which was 2km down the road!

    Pays to ring around :)
  19. Toyz

    Toyz Well-known Member

    Sounds like the cheapest quote was from us lol dId the company start with B? i dont understand how it can be so expensive.. i work in the weighbridge at my company and take quotes all the time and i always hear the competing companys charge a fortune for this stuff we have millions of tonnes of it and its worth bugger all... I hope im not saying to much about my company but we sell it for $1.10plus gst a tonne the cartage is the killer because where in the hills
  20. KPF

    KPF Well-known Member


    I am interested to inquire what costings would be for cartage to the bunbury area? The approx figures I have mentioned are from a few different suppliers because we have been trying to do a lot of research prior to building the arena, and no matter what we look at it comes back quite pricey. If you have any suggestions I'd be happy to hear them as I feel we have exhausted most avenues down our way. Keep in mind we are needing 400mm dug out across the surface, subsoil drainage installed every 10m across the entire length and then drains run into a main channel. (Yes, you would not believe how much water we have in winter!). Can crushed limestone 9mm or smaller be supplied and delivered for a cheaper price else where? I was totally amazed at the cost to bring in "clean fill" (other people's rubbish dirt!) simply because we do not have any sand as such, and white sand, well, that may as well have been called white gold. So yep, I'm happy to here from some more quotes if anyone can supply to us cheaper than what I've stated.

    We are not using an 'arena construction' independant company as such, because there isn't one locally and figured if I hired someone from perth, all cartage would be coming from perth and associated travel costs would be more than what I thought we could get locally - but I could be proven wrong...

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