If you're building an outdoor horseback riding arena and planning to fence it in, your first thought may be to go with standard, wooden plank fencing. This is one of the most common types of fencing used in riding arenas, and it's quite easy to come by. However, it has its downsides, too. You should be careful to weigh both the pros and cons while deciding whether wooden  plank fencing is the right choice for your arena. 


Wooden plank fencing has a classic look that blends in well at most riding facilities. It is quite sturdy and will stand up to wear and tear. As long as you paint it and seal it well, it should stay in good shape in spite of the rain and sunshine. You can turn horses out in the ring when it's not being used, knowing that the fence is strong enough to contain them.

Wooden plank fencing is also a good choice for a riding arena because it's easy to drape your equipment over the fence. Do you need somewhere to hang your extra bridle while you're riding, in case you want to change it out partway through your ride? Just drape it over the fence. Do you need somewhere to hang a lung rope? Look no further than the fence. This is not easy to do with a low, chain-link fence like the type commonly used in dressage rings, or with a flimsy wire mesh fence.


Wooden plank fences do require some maintenance. You'll need to paint and/or seal it regularly, or else it will look weathered and be falling apart in just a few short years. If you turn your horses out in the ring and any of them are cribbers or wood chewers, your fence might be damaged. Wooden fences also tend to attract insects, like carpenter ants and wood bees. Some of these insects may bite or sting you or the horses.

Wooden fences can also splinter, which may be an issue for spectators who lean on the fence. If you have bleachers near the riding ring where spectators can watch, you'll need to plan the placement of the boards on your fence carefully. Otherwise, they may block the view of the ring from the bleachers.

If you're willing to do regular maintenance and can design the fence in a way that does not interfere with the view from the bleachers, then a wooden plank fence might be a good choice for your ring. On the other hand, if keeping maintenance low and ensuring a good view are important to you, you may want to consider other fencing options like vinyl mesh or chain-link fencing. Contact a local fence company for further assistance.