Story Behind the Indoor Riding Arena
On October 16, 2010, Oldfields School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open its new indoor riding arena. Located on the site of the previous indoor riding ring, the new facility is 120 by 200 feet, or 24,000 square feet. This is a good size, as it allows us to accommodate all of our Oldfields riders with greater ease and safety, as well as enabling us to host local and interschool horse shows.
This facility is designed to maximize the space that is dedicated as a riding surface, as well as allocate some space for spectator viewing, restroom facilities, and a meeting room that could double as a horse show office as needed. A permanent ring fence has been constructed on the interior that frames the actual riding space. There is a moveable barrier that can be placed within the open riding space to create a holding area or a warm-up area for horses that does not interfere with the riding area. This design allows for the ring space to be altered as needed to suit both daily lesson usage as well as horse shows. On one long side of the arena, on the outside of the permanent ring fence, there is space set aside for spectators, a judge’s stand and jump storage. There is also a separate building with a restroom and meeting area.
The riding surface consists of the sand and Eurofelt Prime blend that our horses prefer. The riding department has been more than pleased with the performance and maintenance requirements of this footing in the past. In addition, a new Kubota tractor and Kiser water wagon are being used to control dust and manage the consistency of the riding surface. Overall, the facility allows the riding program to continue with its current activities, as well as provide the flexibility for future growth within the program, both in terms of rider numbers, as well as activities hosted at Oldfields by the riding department. In 1878 riding was instituted as an integral part of the Oldfields School curriculum. The popular program quickly grew and, by 1916, the School had hired a full-time Director of Riding. Since that time, Oldfields has been known for its success in interscholastic competitions, on the hunter and jumper “A” circuit, and in combined training, as well as for the riding accomplishments of several notable alumnae, including Olympian Lana duPont Wright ’57. The School has always been committed to providing a safe and satisfying experience to all its riders. Our indoor riding arena allows more students to participate, makes the School more attractive to prospective students, and provides a venue for local shows.