Two applications have been made to create manèges or outdoor riding arenas in Herefordshire, while a third has just been approved.

Wayne Barnes of New Linden, formerly part of Old Gaines Farm near Whitbourne beside the Worcestershire border, has applied for permission (number 233584) to create a “20×33-metre all-weather horse exercise and turn-out area (menage)”, along with two stables, tack room, tool and hay store on the site of former cattle sheds.

The manèges would have wooden fencing on three sides, while the hard base of the former barns would be covered in rubber chippings and sand, claimed to be safer from horse and rider.


Intended to resemble a competition showjumping facility, it would “improve our standards enabling us to compete at higher levels”, the application says.

An application by a Ms Hogan (numbered 240094) meanwhile seeks permission for “a ménage, a stable building, water harvesting system and additional fencing” by Hill Top Farm, Doward within the Wye Valley area of outstanding natural beauty.

Bounded by a post-and-rail fence, the proposed manège would measure 40×20 metres, the stable, 12×9m and 4m in height. There would be three downward-facing LED lights.

“Rural, equestrian use is already strongly represented locally,” the application points out.

Thirdly, and largest of the three, a 65×35-metre manège has been approved on what is currently a storage area at Upper Lyde Farm, Lyde north of Hereford.

Planning officer Ollie Jones concluded that Mr A Paske’s proposal “would not change the site’s established private equestrian use and is appropriate to the rural location”.

All three are referred to both by applicants and council planners as menages or ménages.

But according to Horse & Hound, calling an outdoor riding arena a ménage “really needs to stop”.

“The word ménage in French refers to a household (to help you remember, ménage à trois means a three-person household), while a manège is a riding arena,” it explains.

Ms Hogan’s application can be commented on until February 6, Mr Barnes’ until February 8.