Bud Butler Equistrian Arena

  • Posted on: 22 February 2015
  • By: Michael Brydon

Rules for West Bench Riding Ring Users

The West Bench riding ring is a community facility owned by the RDOS, but maintained primarily by those who use it.  The following is for the guidance of the latter group in particular to spread the responsibility for keeping the ring in good condition and to avoid irritation and unpleasantness among users.

While the ring is a community facility, it was not built for all possible horse activities.  The surface is not suitable for activities such as barrel racing or ones involving moves such as sliding stops, and using it in these ways will do serious damage to the surface, especially the quite expensive material along the boards and out for about six feet (see below ** for description of this material).

Please do not ride or walk your horse across the park grass.  Go up the road at the south end and either enter their or take the path through the trees to the north entrance. 

General Instuctions:

  • CLOSE GATES when you leave especially the one at the north end into the ring and round-pen area, the metal gate on the round pen, and the board entry at the south end of the ring; all these prevent unauthorized entry (feral horses in particular) into the ring area
  • If you put up anything in the ring such as poles, jumps, barrels, cones, etc., remove and store them neatly after you are finished
  • Clean up manure; manure fork in jump shed
  • Repair any damage to the ring such as broken boards or heavily marked surface (rake in jump shed)
  • If equipment or other items need to be left at the entry, keep them out of the way of the mounting block, on the fence, neatly, or on a chair; remove all items as you leave the ring
  • If friends or other non-riding spectators are with you, ask them to stay out of the ring and preferably in the areas at the north end outside the fence
  • Young children should never be in the ring with horses unless they are riding and supervised
  • Ring users should hold current membership in the BC Horse Council

Riding in Ring:

  • If you come when someone else is already using the ring or a lesson is in progress, be courteous and work as much as possible without interrupting their riding. Usually people can accommodate another horse and rider, but some activities may not be appropriate at the same time.  Be patient and neighbourly!
  • When riding with others in the ring, the accepted behaviour is to pass on the left.
  • Avoid riding repetitively on the same path and creating a trench; if this occurs, however, before you leave the ring, rake the area to its former level.
  • Jumps to 2’6” are fine, but no higher and avoid jumping exercises if the surface is very wet or mushy as the horse’s hooves would be likely to dig into the clay-rock sub-surface
  • When jumping, check the takeoff point; if it is dug down, repair before leaving ring

Maintenance of Ring:

  • As this is a community riding ring maintained by those of us who use it, please take a few minutes after each ride to make sure you have left it in the condition in which you found it. A rake and manure scoop are in the jump shed.
  • Regular work needed includes: weed pulling in large ring, every few rides raking the surface material around the outer edge of the ring away from the bottom beams and leveling and stamping it down out about 6’, weed-eating and/or digging in round pen, and adding sand periodically to the low spots at both ends of the ring.
  • The irrigation is handled by Erin Boyd, Emerald Irrigation, and Jane Windeler.
  • RDOS staff come by once or twice a year to clear weeds around the edge of the rings and between them.

**The 6' perimeter has a green-grey, non-toxic, non-floating mixture of German-made rubber crumbs.  This product gives more bounce to the perimeter surface, the most heavily used area of the ring.  Ideally the whole ring surface would be of this material, and if any regular users wish to combine $$ to purchase more, please contact Jane Windeler for details.