Which equestrian surface do you need and what are they made of?
EquiGrids provides packages for horse arenas both indoors and outdoors. Focusing on creating a solid base for all disciplines and weather conditions, like thunderstorms or extremely hot weather.
A good base layer can offer an effective drainage system to prevent flooding or mudding puddles on a rainy day; it can also retain a certain amount of moisture to prevent the ground from drying out in hot weather.
Nonetheless, the equestrian surface plays an equally important role in creating a comfortable area for horses, which Is what this blog is all about. There are different equestrian surface options, but they all come down to the following three materials, making them suitable for various disciplines.
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In most cases, sand would be the main element of the surface, but not just any kind of sand (so put the buckets and spades down). This is because sand grains vary in different shapes and sizes and this can make a big impact on the riding experience and the health of the horse.
For instance, some sand variations contain rounded grain particles. The problem with these particles is they would slip and slide on each other and make the surface unstable, increasing the horse’s risk of injury. These rounded particles also allow dust and slit to gather under the surface, which can turn solid when they meet rain and heat, making the surface dangerous for horses to fall on.
Then what sand would be good for the equestrian surface?
High-grade silica sand possesses sub-angular-shaped grain particles that can give horses support. These particles can lock together in place, creating a firm and sturdy surface; it generally has low clay and silt content, which means no dusty surface.
Although sand makes a good substance as an equestrian surface, using it on its own tends to absorb more water than preferred and can make the horse move in the sand instead of on the sand.
The consistency of the surface can be improved by mixing synthetic fibres. It gains firmness to the surface for support yet maintain enough cushion to enhance the riding experience for riders and horses.
A bonus point of using synthetic fibres is that there is an eco-friendly option where some suppliers are able to provide recycled fibres.
Wax is an additional substance used; it is not a necessity yet can do wonders to the characteristic of the surface. Adding wax to the mixture can make the surface resistant to freezing temperatures as well as reduce the frequency of watering the surface in hot weather.
For this reason, the waxed surface is suitable to be used all year round. It is a popular option for professionals who need to use the horse arena daily.
While people can choose an unwaxed surface to bring down the cost, there is more maintenance involved to keep the surface’s longevity.
When it comes to building a horse arena from scratch, every step has a purpose. For example, the base layer that is located underneath the surface layer provides stability for the whole area. Whilst companies use different arena construction and products, EquiGrids offer a selection of woven and non-woven membranes as well as permeable grid paving for extra ground reinforcement and a free drainage system.
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