5 dream indoor arenas to train in this winter

In the depths of winter, we need all the daylight we can get to keep us trudging through the wind and rain with our horses — and a dusty indoor school with murky lighting is enough to make us ditch schooling altogether until the spring. These luxury indoor venues — all available to hire by the hour — will help brighten the darkest of days.

1. Bishop Burton, East Yorks

bishop burton1
With a flagship competition arena plus a second indoor school and a third currently being refurbished, this busy college offers a range of options. There’s room for polo, horseball or driving, with waxed surfaces and extensive facilities including showers, hard-standings and out of term-time accommodation.
From £30 per hour for up to four horses (lighting included)
Tel: 01964 553087


2. Stretcholt EC, Somerset

A popular West Country venue offering a quality waxed surface in a 20x60m indoor arena. The well-lit environment comes complete with showjumping and working hunter jumps and a heated gallery, plus wi-fi, speakers for music and full-width training mirrors.
From £25 per hour for one or two horses plus £5 for lighting
Tel: 01278 683312


3. The Dovecote Stables, Oxon

The Dovecote Arena
This naturally light, calm and inviting 22x55m school is ideal for young horses, with German-designed slanting kickboards and an integrated mounting block that can be stowed away with the push of a button. It boasts a heated client room and viewing gallery, a high-performance waxed surface and a full sound system, plus mirrors on the short side and diagonal.
From £25 per hour regardless of numbers, plus £5 for lighting
Tel: 01608 658743


4. Ingliston, Renfrewshire

For a full-on, buzzing atmosphere to help desensitise your horse for big shows, try the 80x45m main arena with its swags, fillers and bright lights. A quieter option is the 25x45m warm-up arena. Visitors benefit from waxed surfaces and superior facilities including a sound system, varied jumps and rider/trainer headsets.
From £25 per hour (warm-up arena) and £50 (main arena), regardless of numbers. Full lighting options extra
Tel: 0845 3011010


5. Fairoak Grange, Berks

Fairoak grange
This quiet, spook-free 20x40m school offers flexible training options. Warm up in an outdoor arena before riding inside for an authentic competition experience. It’s a friendly, affordable venue, with a top-notch waxed surface, mirrors, a heated judges’ box and an open side for ventilation. Showjumps are available.
£20 per hour, regardless of numbers (lighting included)
Tel: 01635 299367

This article was first published in the 21 August 2014 issue of Horse & Hound magazine

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