Construct Easy Seating for Your Arena

by Alayne Blickle, Horses for Clean Water


Photo credit Alayne Blickle


Our horse property, Sweet Pepper Ranch, is a guest ranch and horse motel. That means we need to have certain amenities in place and are always shopping around for low-cost, effective ideas for making our place more useable. These simple, low-cost bleachers are easy to construct and fit the bill for us, providing a nice arena viewing area for guests and visitors. The version we built cost us about $1200, including the labor we hired out. Here’s how to construct some for your own horse property. 


Treated wood:

4 – 2 x 8 x 8 treated boards for the seats

4 – 2 x 6 x 8 treated boards for bracing under seats

2 – 2 x 10 x 10 treated boards for side boards

3 – 4 x 4 x 8 treated boards for corner posts

Wood screws

Miscellaneous scrape pieces of wood to be used as braces for seats.

Tools needed:

Carpenter’s lever

Cordless drill

Circular saw

The process:

  1. Dig holes to bury 4×4’s for four corners of structure. Using string, even out all four corners so that they are square to each other and even. Cement can be used to stabilize corners.
  2. After cement has set, attach 2×10 side boards from front to back on each side of bleachers. Choose the angle you want, but keep in mind that this effects the seating arrangement; steeper will allow you to have the seats closer together without having as much space between seats.
  3. Attach rows of seats appropriate distances apart (with the materials listed here you will end up with four rows of seats.) Use a carpenter level when installing.
  4. With seats in place, “T” the 2 x 6 under the 2 x 8 seat row as a brace for stability.
  5. Use the smaller pieces of wood under the seat row to attach on the side boards for added support.
  6. Repeat process for the number of seats you’d like.

This is how we did ours at Sweet Pepper Ranch but there are many variations on how this kind of a project can be assembled. Some variations you can choose from: wider width seats (i.e. use bigger boards), use pre-constructed stringers on the diagonal where seats are attached, rows can be all seats, etc. Happy seating!

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Published June 2013 Issue

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