Surface Maintenance

Although different surfaces require different methods of maintenance these methods are all intended to:

  • level the surface
  • make the surface physically consistant
    • even compression - soft spots are an injury risk for horses
    • even traction - slippery spots are an injury risk for both horse and rider
    • even depth - excessive depth is a strain injury risk
  • maintain surface characteristics
    • maintain shock absorbtion - hard surfaces are a long term injury risk for the horse
Typically these objectives are achieved using three types of actions
  • Grading - moving material to level the surface
  • Harrowing - using a tined implement to break up the surface
  • Rolling - using a roller to compress a surface
There are machines that do each of these operations and combinations of these operations

Sand and Particulate Arenas

This type of arena is easily graded and harrowed - harrowing is often used to maintain the shock absorbing characteristic of the sand. Sand arenas are rarely rolled.

Fibre Arenas

Fibre arenas benefit from rolling as this ensures that excess air is pushed out of the surface reducing the instance of soft spots. Harrowing fibre arenas is usually not recomended once the fibre has been merged in with the sand. Furhter harrowing can result in the sand and fibre being split from each other. Grading fibre based arenas is both less required and more difficult than for sand arenas as the fibre is added to the sand to make the sand move less freely.