Unless you spend all your time riding the trails (and we know many do), you likely need a relatively flat place with good footing at home to ride and school your horse, at least for part of the year.

Some of you already have arena access, while others make do with pasture or a flat patch of dirt in the backyard. That can work for a while but might risk the long-term health of your horse’s joints (hello, concussion and osteoarthritis), create dust that ends up in his and your lungs (and works its way into your house), and present safety issues for you and your horse (dodging prairie dog holes and wire fencing is very dangerous).

If you’re wanting to install an arena at home or improve the space you already have, here are some important questions to get you started.