• John Ryan
  • John Ryan
  • John Ryan


Neglecting maintenance will shorten your arena’s life. High traffic areas will tend to compact down, or the topping material will be flicked to one side. Ignore it for too long and you’ll find your horses working on the compacted sublayer.

Traffic wear is easily dealt with when tackled early, with a light harrow-like device that will not only redistribute the material, but penetrates a little, helping to loosen any compaction.

Given the gradient placed on an arena, the tendency is for the sand or other surface material to slowly but surely migrate to the outside.

If you ignore this tendency for too long, your only option will be to get a small excavator with a split bucket to gently scrap it back towards the crown.

Keep an even distribution of the top layer across the whole arena, to avoid thicker or thinner areas or with hollows in some places and mounds in others.
why? Otherwise the surface properties will be inconsistent, which has an adverse effect on performance and has the potential to increase injury risk.
Prevent compacting of the top layer, especially on the track or at the entrance.
why? A common problem in older or badly maintained surfaces is that a hard “crust” of compacted material has formed below the top layer. Such a crust can reduce traction and grip, which will increase the risk of horses slipping and falling. Compaction also increases impact hardness, which has been shown to increase injury risk. Crusts can be prevented by appropriate maintenance regimes.
Maintain correct and consistent moisture
why? The properties of a surface change substantially depending how dry or wet it is. A dry surface is harder/deeper, making it more taxing for the horse, and creates dust, which can affect the airways of horses, riders and trainers/coaches
Keep the arena free from manure! This is a strong recommendation from many commercial producers of fibre- sand/waxed surfaces, but it is also very relevant for traditional arenas with sand-wood mixtures. To be really thorough you should also make sure that tractor tyres and horses’ hoofs are clean when entering the arena.
why? Manure that gets blended into the top layer affects the properties of an arena and will shorten its useable lifetime. One undesirable effect of manure is to decrease grip and traction. In waxed sand arenas, manure can cause the wax to dry out. Manure left on a surface can also affect air quality for horses and humans and cause bacterial growth, especially in warmer climates.

We are always on call when you need on going maintenance.

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Head Office
RH13 6NZ

Stone House Farm,
Handcross Road,
RH13 6NZ

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