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What Is a Manege Or Menage?

A manege or menage is more than just an enclosed arena. It’s the canvas on which horse and rider become the brush and paint, creating equestrian masterpieces of grace and precision. It’s the dance floor for ballerinas, requiring grace and harmony between human and animal. And it’s the stage that a seasoned performer uses to captivate an audience.

A menage’s size, fencing, surface, and markers are meticulously chosen to craft the perfect training space for specific disciplines. For example, a jumping menage must be composed of a material that provides the best traction and cushioning to ensure safety for horses as they leap into the air. Silica sand with shredded rubber – such as from old door seals or medical waste – or chopped telephone cables are common choices. On the other hand, a dressage menage should have a softer, more natural spring. Silica sand mixed with shredded carpet or insulation, for instance, is ideal.

Manege or Menage: Is There a Difference

Likewise, a dressage arena is usually marked with letters around the perimeter to help riders follow predetermined dressage tests and exercises. Regardless of the discipline, however, all menages must be designed and constructed with the utmost care to ensure a safe training environment for both horse and rider.