Get familiar

If your horse hasn’t been in an indoor arena before, or perhaps they haven’t competed in one for a while, it is a good idea to find an indoor arena to hire before taking the plunge into competition. This way you can iron out any bumps and be prepared for how your horse might behave when you eventually go to a show.

Tuned in

It’s always important that your horse is sharp off your aids, but the time you have to make adjustments in an indoor arena is often shorter due to the small, enclosed nature of riding indoors, your horse needs to listen to you very closely — when you say “go” with your leg, their response needs to be razor sharp and the same goes for when you want them to sit and collect.

The surroundings

Before you compete take a look at the set-up of the indoor arena so that you are prepared if your horse spooks or goes a little green. For example, is there a viewing gallery, mirrors or maybe windows at the horse’s eyeline that could distract him?

Be switched on

Indoor warm-up arenas can often be cramped and therefore get busy very quickly. Therefore, keep your wits about you and be patient with your warm-up routine and those around you. You want to keep the day as stress-free for your horse as possible.

Know your route and use your head

If you are taking part in a jumping competition, it can sometimes be easy to lose your way around the course while indoors so make sure you walk the course thoroughly. Also take note of any sponsorship banners and other distractions that might put your horse off your planned line approaching or moving away from a fence.

If you’re looking for indoor competitions, or simply an arena to hire, don’t forget to check out what’s on offer at