Footing is important. Your horse’s health and performance depend on quality footing. Whether you need arena footing replaced or new construction of an arena, we can help.
For new arena construction, an important starting point is selecting a site. A natural level area works best since there is less earth to move while prepping the site. The basic components of an arena are a sub-base, base, and riding surface. You should also take into consideration drainage solutions; it is very important to have a proper place for water to run off or drain.
Arena construction begins by leveling out the sub-base (existing location of the arena). This would involve cutting out high slopes and filling in low spots and then compacting the site. Depending on your particular situation, before putting down a base we may install a French Drain Tile System. This system consists of 5 tile lines (with drainage rock around them) ran under the base of the arena and out the end of the arena to drain water out and away from the area.
The next step in arena construction is building a base. Depending on what the arena will be used for, we would make a base that is anywhere from 4 to 12 inches deep. Base material is typically a crushed, screened limestone. The base material is spread out, leveled, and compacted before the riding surface material is installed.
Finally, the riding surface material – the footing – is installed on top of the base. There are many different choices in components for the riding surface, including sand, wood products, wood/sand mix, rubber or rubber/sand mix, etc. We typically install a coarse-washed sand footing of about 2 to 3 inches deep. Sand is durable, cost effective and relatively easy to maintain.
Proper and regular maintenance will help head off footing problems, prolong the life of your arena and your arena will stay in better shape when problems do occur. Maintenance steps may include things like regular dragging and having a watering plan in place.