A menage for horses is an enclosed area where horses are exercised and/or ridden, ranging in size from small schools to indoor arenas. They can be constructed outdoors or indoors and may be fenced to prevent escape or to contain an event such as a dressage competition.

The footing, or surface, of a menage is carefully chosen to provide optimal traction and cushioning for the horse’s movements. It may be made of sand, clay or rubber. It is regularly groomed and watered to ensure it stays supple and safe for riding.

Designing Your Dream Menage for Horses: Tips and Considerations

Dressage, arguably the ballet of the horse world, requires a delicate partnership where the rider’s subtle cues are interpreted and translated by the horse into graceful and precise movements. To achieve this, lunging and groundwork are important skills that can be honed on a well-maintained menage.

An indoor menage (or manage if you are French) is a riding arena used for training, practice and competitions. The size of an indoor menage varies between countries and disciplines, but it is generally much larger than a traditional outdoor arena.

A riding arena is also known as a school, ring or pen, although some facilities call theirs a ‘manege’ to imply it is an especially large and fancy facility. I’m not sure why people do this, it’s almost as silly as dropping a couple of French words into a sentence just to sound posh. A manege is a fenced enclosure for one or more horses, often used for housing, feeding and exercise and sometimes to allow them to live out of stables at times.