As this dressage season commences, it’s important to understand the standard dressage arena layout so you can partake in or watch competitions. Additionally, understanding how to measure a dressage arena can help you to create the perfect place to practice for your performance- especially if you’re aiming for high marks!

This blog will delve into how to best measure and lay out a standard dressage arena.

Arena Layout

Large dressage arenas are set up 20 metres wide and 60 metres long. Letters surround the rectangle that help guide riding precision. Staring on the 20-metre side and travelling clockwise, the letters go: C, M, R, B, P, F, A, K, V, E, S and H.

What You Will Need

The following supplies can be collected before you start the process for maximum efficiency.

  • Four stakes to mark corners
  • Fencing for the outline of your arena
  • Dressage arena letters
  • Two 60 metre measuring tapes (for a standard 20x60m arena)
  • Two 20 metre measuring tapes
  • A diagram for reference might be helpful (like the one below)

Setting Up the Corners of the Area

It can be helpful to refer to the diagram to help you visualise the end product.

Use the first stake and place this at the corner between letters “C” and “M”.

Place the second stake at the corner between “C” and “H”. Measure these 20 metres from the first stake.

The third stake will be at the corner between “A” and “F”; this time 60 metres from the third stake position.

The last stake can be placed between letters “A” and “K”, which should be 20 metres from the third stake, and 60 metres from the second stake.


When the letters have been set up accordingly, you will need to place fencing between each stake and the letters around the arena. The attached diagram will help you to decipher where each letter should be placed, and the correct spacing required between each one.


When choosing where to set up your dressage arena, make sure the space is big enough to accommodate 20m x 60m. Check the space you have decided on for any trip hazards or holes that could be potentially dangerous for you or your horse.

Also, having access to good drainage will reduce the risk of flooding or puddles after heavy rain.

Dressage Arenas From Norton’s Fencing

At Norton’s Fencing, we take pride in being Europe’s leading fencing installer and supplier. Whether you’re looking to create an arena, or need paddock fencing, choose from our range of high-quality materials and services.

Get in touch with our team today to find out more, or alternatively you can request our Arena Fencing Brochure to browse at your leisure.