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choosing a surface  | building an arena | F.E.I report on equine surfaces

footing guides | best practices | installation | definitions

Informative PDFs

Nigel McCoard's
Arena Guidelines NZ


Day Equestrian's
Winning Surfaces to Suit All Disciplines


The Full Spectrum of Arena Care


Equine Surfaces White Paper


EQUIPRO Surfaces - Installation Guide


Definitive Guide to Horse Arena Footing


A Guide to Horse Arena Construction


How to Install a Pre-Mixed Surface

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DairyNZ on farm management of waste


Definitive Guide to Horse Arena Footing

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Horse Problems Australia

Definitive Guide to Horse Arena Footing

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DairyNZ on farm management of waste


Premier Equestrian's
Footing & Arena Surface Guide

Definitive Guide to Horse Arena Footing


product videos | installations  | facebook feed | youtube feed | short Info clips | how-to tutorials | before & after 

Why This Plant Could Save the World

Why This Plant Could Save the World

Support OCC on Nebula and get 20+ bonus, ad-free content like this extended edition about hempcrete: Sign up for Nebula using this link: In this Our Changing Climate climate change video, I look at how hemp could save the world from climate change. Obviously, there’s no one solution to climate change, but hemp and hemp cultivation could unlock a lot of alternatives to industries that currently emit tons of CO2 every year. Hemp is not only beneficial for the soil, but it also sequesters a substantial amount of carbon dioxide. Also, hemp is one of the fastest-growing crops. Hemp has over 25,000 uses which means, if grown right, hemp could replace everything from cotton to concrete to plastic and sequester millions of tons of carbon in the process. Hemp is truly a miracle crop and should be seen as a plant that’s sustainable and a viable solution to countless problems we now face in the climate crisis. Help me make more videos like this via Patreon: Email List: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: Reddit: Check out other Climate YouTubers: Climate in Colour: zentouro: Climate Adam: Kurtis Baute: Levi Hildebrand: Simon Clark: Sarah Karver: Sweet Soul Whisper ASMR: ClimateTown: Jack Harries: Beckisphere: All About Climate: Aime Maggie: Just Have a Think: Timestamps: 0:00 - Intro 0:54 - The Many Wonders of Hemp 2:50 - The Deep Roots of Hemp 4:54 - How the U.S. Stopped Hemp 7:42 - A New Hemp Revolution? 8:53 - How We Should Approach Hemp 10:51 - Sponsored Message 12:50 - Outro I use Epidemic Sound for some of my music: _______________________ Further Reading and Resources: #Hemp #Farming #ClimateChange
Nitro Equine's Arena


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Arena Surfaces NZ



Frequently Asked Questions / Answers / Hints and Tips

  • Building a new arena - where do I start ?
    Plan your project for summer/dry months. Know it can cost more for transporting than for product itself, so ask what products are available close to you. Support and source locally especially with sand. Best practice is to have a consultation with an experienced arena builder or earth moving company. They will know what is best suited for your climate, location etc. We can recommend a contractor in your region that has good reviews see our RESOURCES page. If project managing yourself, don't scrimp on the base and drainage work, event the fanciest surface wont work on a bad base. Ensure the levelling is done by a laser not by eye. Access for large truck will be required so overhanging trees, gateways need to be clear and the track to drive in needs to be at least gravel.
  • Top-Up or Refurbish - what is the difference ?
    Top up is adding more of the same product. Refurbishing is adding new product and/or additives to a pre-existing arena to improve its functionality or to you are looking to reduce or eliminate issues such as; Puddles not draining, sloppy footing. Dust from sand degradation. No cushion or re bound. Too dry no water retention. Too thin, riding on the base. Unstable, too soft or deep Too soft, riding through the surface. Track formation and compaction. Surfaces blowing away. Incorrect fall, footing is draining away. Frost impact and damage. Drying out of hooves Abrasion of hooves. Joint or tendon ailments. Organic contamination (leaves/manure). Uneven - depressions and tripping hazards. Often if the basics aren't right, no product is going to rectify any issues. Therefore it is possible that you may have to redo your arena base, scraping back all the surface, sort drainage, levels and start again. Often people’s arenas are too deep and up to 50% of the surface must be removed. The lifespan of your surface can be greatly affected by many factors such as: Lack of knowledge/advice. Maintenance Organic matter e.g. leaves and manure. Weather conditions. Climate. Frequency of use. Dust is created by sand grinding down with use. Sand doesn’t last forever and should be topped up every 3-4 years dependent on usage Adding other surface products acts as a buffer to prolong your sands life.
  • How do I work out the calculations ?
    That's easy, we have tables that gives us the required units per square meter so just send us the basics and we will work out the rest for you. To quote we need: Arena Size LENGTH x WIDTH (metres) Current DEPTH ( e.g. 2.5cm) Desired DEPTH (cm) you are wanting Square Metre (M2) or (sqm) is LENGTH x WIDTH Cubic Metre (M3) or (cbm) is LENGTH x WIDTH x DEPTH How deep should the surface be? that's about personal preference plus your climate, discipline and how much usage. Try to check out, ride on and get peoples opinion on what they like (and don't) about their arenas. We say err on the side of caution, it's much easier to add more, but harder and more expensive to remove excess. Your arena should be 50% Sand (combination of coarse & medium & fine) 50% Other Product. Recommended depth total depth 8cm and 12.5cm for fibre based. Coverage for our products is quoted in 2.5cm increments and 5cm Fibre to allow for compacting and settling. You can get some now to start with, try it and add more later, consider the cost of a 2nd delivery.
  • What protection do I need when installing ?
    When installing and spreading any of our surface products we recommend using safety goggles face mask covered footwear This is to avoid breathing in any dust particles. Ensure to wash hands after handling the product. Keep children and pets away that may ingest the product. Seek medical/poisons advice in an emergency. Once the product has been on the arena for 24 hours after dust has settled it is safe for people and pets to walk on.
  • DIY installation of your surface
    Before delivery we will email you instructions on how to map out your arena for application of the products you have purchased. Ensure to use protective goggles, mask, gloves and covered boots. BULK BAGS - custom blends | pvc granule | foam fill | euro sand | a grade sand Don't have access to a tractor? see VIDEO for unloading If Hiab delivery (truck with small crane) and access allows - have the bags unloaded and distributed onto your arena as per instructions. If recycling your bags - empty the contents by lifting from the loops with tractor and untie the chute at the bottom, the contents should easily come out, if not then use your rake handle to dislodge. If not recycling then slice the bags from the ground up beside both vertical seam, then across the bottom horizontal seam. Rake out, then spread - you can do this by hand with your rake, or with your bike and harrows or arena groomer to distribute the surface evenly. 25kg BAGS - Hydro Ride Spread with a pellet fertilizer spreader either on quad or with a hand spreader. LARGE AND XL BALES hemp fibre | coco fibre |budget fibre | wool plus For fibre or wax products there is a more in-depth process to follow that we provide upon sale and before delivery.
  • How would my order be delivered ?
    We will recommend and source products from suppliers nearest to you to save on freight cost. Obligation free quote (valid for 7 days) for delivery to your closest Mainfreight Depot. Door to Door is possible privately via Find A Load Facebook group. We have priced all our products in square metres, however freight is a little more complicated - not a once size fits all, as volumes vary due to the weight and packaging sizes of the different products. Access for a large truck may be required - this means a driveway that can easily swing in from the road, no bridges, no low-lying trees, plus and a solid and level driveway that the truck wont sink in, don’t expect the driver to drive through a paddock or mud, as it will be a hard no. If delivered Door to Door will also need a forklift, tractor or a 4wd for unloading. A Hiab truck can be arranged if you do not have any means to unload, this is at extra cost, and we will need to know this at time of ordering.
  • What sand do I need for my arena?
    Sand forms the basis of most equestrian surfaces, however, not all sands are alike... there are many options to choose from and with various names for the same products which makes it confusing. Sand is a natural product, basically crushed mineral. Different sands have varying particle sizes, shapes, colours, properties, and qualities. For a riding surface you want to have a combination of grades to avoid instability, or compaction which happens when the surface is subjected to the elements with no maintenance (grooming) sand surfaces can become compacted landing on this following a fall from your horse would be like landing on concrete. PARTICLE SIZE & SHAPE Sand is classified by particle size, rather than what type of mineral it is. Sizes range from .07mm to 4.7mm sand is aggregate smaller than gravel but bigger than silt. Particle shape is very important Angular to sub-angular particles can be jagged and pointy, but they do interlock well to provide stability. Rounded grain shape alone, can shift underfoot, like riding on marbles; otherwise, is good for avoiding compaction and maintaining good drainage. Fine particles are best to add for stabilizing particles, filling in the gaps around the other sand sizes. Ask friends and locals what products they have used for their arenas, what they would do again or do differently. Find out what quarries are you near you, find out what sands are available and whether they can provide a mixed blend. Ask if they can share any clients they have supplied to and consider getting in touch with them. By choosing a quarry closest to your location you will save on transport, we recommend supporting your local suppliers. GRADING A. When particles are all the same size it remains loose, shifty and feels deep. B. Sand with little variation in grading will separate becoming packed on the bottom and loose on top. C. A range of larger and smaller particles will help keep your footing firm but not compacted. We recommended a sand blend like this coarse sand (under 4.5mm) 30% medium sand (under 2.0mm) 35% fine sand (under .075mm) 35% With constant use and friction against itself sand will break down into dust, to avoid this happening, consider the following suggestions. Request washed sand - as this eliminates clay & silt content which can become slippery. Add a natural or synthetic surface, have it blended in with your sand for a longevity, it will hinder the abrasive properties, avoid compacting and shifting underfoot. Always remove manure deposited on the arena surface straight after riding, before it gets mixed in. Manure will break down into fine particles, also creating a dust problem. Irrigation is a must have for any riding surface this is the key element people miss but makes all the difference. Add a dust suppressant such as our Hydro-Ride or Dustex products to maintain moisture retention. TESTING Ask for a Spec Sheet which shows the curve which shows the results of sieving through mesh screens and groups the sands in particle sizes. Send a sample of the sand you are considering (sandwich sized snaplock bag) to a laboratory for a report on the sand you are considering. A sieve analysis includes an examination of the grain fineness (or ‘dispersity’) and the gradation of the individual grain fineness levels relative to each other. Get a bucket of the sand, create a hole with your hands and fill with water. The water must not pool and stay, it must drain through. MAINTENANCE Maintenance is part of having a well-functioning arena, aiding in keeping the surface consistent and moist. You are wanting to recreate a surface like the beach, but in your arena the tide doesn't come in and out, so the 2 most important factors to achieve this include irrigating and grooming. Grooming: Firstly leaves and other organic material will degrade your surface and shorten it's longevity - so pick them up, or better still use a leaf vac. If left on the arena they will degrade and change the composition of the surface. Remove manure deposited on the arena surface before it gets mixed in. Manure will break down into fine particles, contributing to the dust problem. Tip: with a suction leaf vac use a cable tie and an old duvet cover as a collection bag to get the job done in one go. Ensure the leaves are not wet! Check drainage areas are clear of organic material too, so the water can run freely. Unkept surfaces contribute to uneven surfaces, which has been found to suggest that horses modify their gaits based on the small changes in the surface, so it is always best to keep it uniformed across the whole arena to achieve optimal riding performance. Spend time on the tracks around the outside, where the coach stands and shift your jumps/course/setup regularly. Ideally you should groom every other day, but if you are working more than a couple of horses then daily or even several times a day for a public or professional arena. There are many ways to harrow the best with a proper arena groomer and a roller on the back is important for fibre mix surface