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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
    Location
    Midland, NC, USA
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    7,267

    Default Outdoor Arena Mirrors?

    Where does one buy the acrylic safety mirrors? I want to put a couple of mirrors up in my outdoor ring.... 4x8 I think.... but that is not exactly something they carry at Lowe's..... :-)

    Jennifer



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2007
    Posts
    184

    Default

    Search for similar posts here, there are lots.

    I did the same project, 32' x 4' mirrors on two sides of an outdoor dressage court. We discovered as others have that the acrylic mirrors are pretty horrible, unless you like funhouse dressage. They warp, ripple, distort, and scratch.

    We used regular 1/4" glass with a very heavy safety film on the back that sit in a heavy metal frame. While somewhat pleased with the arrangement we have several cracks in the mirrors from the frame settling. I will replace all the glass this summer (about $300 a sheet) and put some rubber padding inside the frames to try to reduce the cracking.

    The good news is because of the safety film, there is NO loose glass. Nothin'. The cracks are like a crack in a car windshield, start small, maybe run off a ways, but stay just a hairline crack.

    While we love our mirrors, it was an expensive and somewhat frustrating project. But the quality of reflection, and therefore usefulness, is excellent. I was very concerned about safety, of course, and using the very heavy safety film solved that problem for us.

    Here's lookin' at you!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2000
    Location
    Alvin, TX
    Posts
    1,056

    Default

    Actually, it IS something they carry at Lowes...or Home Depot.

    My friend used, and I am about to use, mirrored closet doors. They come in pairs and each door is 4' x 8' -- you mount them horizontally. Friend has had hers up outdoors for about 4 years and they made it through hurricane Ike with just one broken mirror out of an entire short side of them. Hers are in a frame, and floating in the frame so she can slide panels out and replace as needed. The closet doors already come with 'safety glass.' when her one panel broke, it shattered - but the glass stayed put in the frame.

    As others have mentioned, the acrylic is pretty useless. I rode at a barn with some up - you could not tell anything by looking at them...the image was that distorted.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    1,536

    Default

    Another place to look is wherever they sell mirrors for gymnastics or dance studios.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2000
    Location
    Alvin, TX
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    1,056

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by atlatl View Post
    Another place to look is wherever they sell mirrors for gymnastics or dance studios.
    Dance studio mirrors are wicked $$$$.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2000
    Location
    Lake Norman, NC USA
    Posts
    646

    Default

    Our three, 4x8, thick glass mirrors were bought at a glass company, who installed them on the frame/marine plywood we put up. I believe the company was Statesville Glass. I understand they had done other horse installations before.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    19,990

    Default

    Dressage farm by me had glass mirrors without safety glass or film. Stallion got loose in arena and....no more stallion. Personally, I wouldn't take a chance on mirrors not meant for an arena. I would definitely talk to a glass company about the application and risks.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
    Location
    Midland, NC, USA
    Posts
    7,267

    Default

    Mirrors will start going up Thursday, thanks guys!

    Jennifer



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2007
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    299

    Default

    For anyone else, I just saw an ad for them today on Ebay - $165 per 72"x100" sheet. Seems cheap???

    http://cgi.ebay.com/DRESSAGE-ARENA-M...item230662c7e5



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2008
    Location
    Sonoma County, California
    Posts
    2,524

    Default

    For those of you who have installed outdoor arena mirrors....

    How did you construct the framing/bracing for the mirrors to withstand a heavy wind?

    Which direction did you face your mirrors? Ideally, mine would face due South, but I'm concerned about the sun reflecting on them too much.

    Do you install them on the rail, quarter lines, center line?

    Thanks! I'm going to install the closet mirror panels *outside* my arena fencing for safety.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2007
    Posts
    1,899

    Default here are a couple of mirrors in use




  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
    Location
    Midland, NC, USA
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    Default

    I think if the mirrors would normally be tilted down slightly sun shouldn't be a problem.....

    Jennifer



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2007
    Posts
    184

    Default

    We had large metal frames welded that hinge at the top, as we knew we'd need to adjust them after install to reflect the right area of the arena. Think of upright poles with a metal frame that pivots a bit off the top of the poles. There's a bolt and nut arrangement to lock in the pivot angle at the bottom.

    Again, they work dandy except for a couple of settling cracks, but safety glass makes that a non-issue.

    Ours are located about 24" beyond the low perimeter of our dressage court, so theoretically a horse couldn't kick one... although a horse did a few days after the install!

    As the OP said I would be cautious about mirrors if they are used where a horse could be turned out near them. Ours are tucked in a back corner relative to most activities.

    Worst thing about the mirrors is you see how fat you've gotten, while the darn horse looks just the same!

    We find ours very helpful.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
    Location
    Midland, NC, USA
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    Default

    One down, three to go....

    Jennifer



  15. #15
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    May. 14, 2003
    Location
    Sixth Grade Land!!! USA
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    1,331

    Default

    Jennifer, where did you get them? There used to be a place in Charlotte that carried them, but I don't remember the name.
    Member-Arab Dressage Riders Clique
    RIP Barichello



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
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    Midland, NC, USA
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    Default

    I went with the safety-glass closet door suggestion.... which is GREAT! one door (2 80x36" mirrors) for $99. Lowes had them... Home Depot had zip.

    Jennifer



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2008
    Location
    Sonoma County, California
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    2,524

    Default

    Thanks for all the info on arena mirrors! Very helpful!



  18. #18
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    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    1,588

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Dressage farm by me had glass mirrors without safety glass or film. Stallion got loose in arena and....no more stallion. Personally, I wouldn't take a chance on mirrors not meant for an arena. I would definitely talk to a glass company about the application and risks.
    I knew I had seen something about this.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2000
    Location
    Alvin, TX
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tasia View Post
    I knew I had seen something about this.
    Simple solution - don't turn horses out in the arena. For the sake of my footing alone - my horses are never allowed in the arena.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    And if someone is thrown while riding, you basically have a turned out horse.



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