Training young horses can be a ton of work. Between the bucking and rearing and running off, it is really important that your arena is safe, enclosed and not spooky. When Linda Spain of Rolling Woods Farm started training young horses, she realized her gorgeous open fields might be nice to look at, but they were no place for training horses. She began researching her options and found the perfect indoor arena from ClearSpan Fabric Structures that had all the benefits of riding outside, without the risk of a horse running loose.
After retiring from her job as a teacher, Linda turned her 37-acre tract of land in Warren County, Iowa into a farm for training Morgan horses. As it is difficult to find a trained Morgan horse in Iowa, Linda started buying young horses and getting them adjusted to working under saddle. With only one horse years ago, Rolling Woods is now home to twenty horses in various stages of training.
When Linda first moved to Rolling Woods, she only had a yard, pastures and the road to ride on. She explains, “With young stock, I knew riding in these spaces was dangerous, so we leveled off the top of a hill and made an outdoor arena.” Unfortunately, this solution did not solve all of Linda’s issues. She continues, “This worked when the weather cooperated. However, Iowa weather seldom cooperates. It’s too cold, too wet, too hot, or too windy and usually two of those at a time! Young horses need consistent practice to get them ready for sale.”
In order to train year round, Linda needed a place she could ride regardless of the weather. “I knew that an indoor arena was what I needed, but I never liked the idea of riding in a building. Part of the fun of horseback riding is getting outside in the fresh air and enjoying nature. I heard about ClearSpan from a friend and learned that their buildings have sides that could be rolled up and knew they would be for me,” Spain said.
Linda got exactly what she was looking for with her ClearSpan arena. “I like how light it is inside the arena. I need no artificial lighting during daylight hours. Also, it really is noticeably warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. My building doesn’t feel as confining as a metal building. It is open and airy, especially in the spring, summer and fall when the sides can be rolled up. Even in the winter when the sides are down, the height and brightness make it seem less artificial,” she happily explains.
Linda found an unexpected benefit of the building as well. She notes, “I have more company now as other people want to bring their horses to my place to use the arena. Plus, it is so good for the horses to get used to working in this type of building because it prepares them for all sorts of experiences.” Besides being able to share her space with other riders and desensitizing her horses, Linda is also able to use the wide open space in the arena for a variety of training exercises. “I use the building for all things related to horses—working on the ground, riding, driving, grooming and more. I can set up a round pen in the center of the arena and still have plenty of space around the pen for riding.”
Linda is pleased with both the ClearSpan building and experience. “I highly recommend ClearSpan buildings. The company was great to work with and really wanted to please me. My building is so impressive that I now have a lot of drive-by traffic from people who want to see it. I love my arena!”
Do you train young horses? Where is your favorite place to do it?