Arena Maintenance is the most crucial ingredient for arena longevity.
The most common queries we receive at ELD are related to maintenance of arenas. Arena Surfaces do have a life span (generally 5 – 7 years) and regular maintenance is the only way to ensure you get the most out of your surface. An arena is no different to any other product you may purchase.
A car needs servicing regularly, when your car is driven more than usual your services come up quicker. The same applies to an investment such as your arena. If there is a lot of traffic on your arena you will need to undertake maintenance practices more often then an arena used on the odd occasion.
A ‘service’ for your arena may involve getting a professional in once every three, six or twelve months, depending on the use of your arena, to laser level the surface back to the arena’s original state.
Drag the Arena surface regularly using a product designed for arena maintenance.
After many years of building Dressage Arena’s and customers asking how they can maintain the depth of surface, ELD designed the ELD Arena Spread-a-bar®. This product is specifically designed for maintaining your arena surface on a daily basis. ELD have seen many and varied ways of dragging your arena, the most popular include gates – designed to keep horses in paddocks and tines, harrows and ploughs which can wreak havoc with your arena base layer as they are designed to rip up soil for planting.
ELD recommends using the ELD Arena Spread-a-bar® in a different direction every time. This will help ensure the surface does not build up in the same areas. Unhook your ELD Spread-a-bar® in a different position on the arena after use to avoid build up in one area. Every time place your ELD Spread-a-bar® in a different corner when you commence to help drag out any build up. It is best to start on the quarter line of your arena or at least half a metre in from the edge and work your way out towards the edge of the arena. Then return to the outer edge. Try off-setting the ELD Spread-a-bar® to one side of your towing vehicle enabling you to bring the surface away from the edges and back onto the track. Be creative by the use of circles, triangles and the traditional rectangles each time you drag your arena and you will spread the surface more evenly. Your arena should be dragged a minimum of once a week. Depending on the level of use, maintenance may need to be done on a daily basis. As a rough guide – 1 horse per day, once per week, 2 horses per day – twice a week, and so on.
Shovel Arena edges on a regular basis to assist drainage.
Approximately every two weeks your arena edges should be shovelled. Both the inside edge of the arena and the outside where horses may flick sand out over the arena surrounds (depending on the height of your surrounds). If this is not done the surface will build up affecting the drainage from your arena.
Keep Grass and Weeds away from your arena surface.
A professionally constructed arena will have the base compacted and be made of a suitable quality assured product so weeds and grass will rarely grow up from underneath, most weeds on your arena are deposited by birds flying above and in manure. They should be easily pulled out without damaging your base. If weeds and grass are left long enough, without removal, they may take root in your base causing damage to the structure. Keep weeds and grass away from the edge of your arena as this will also slow down your drainage. During storm season it is suggested that the grass is kept fairly close to the arena surrounds (within 30cm) to slow down the water and avoid the surface blowing out while dealing with the large quantities of water in a short period of time. If there is a lack of grass cover around your arena placing a bale of hay or similar will help to slow down the water flow during sudden downpours avoiding damage to your batters and surface. In Summer your arena surface will dry out more quickly than in Winter when the sun isn’t as strong and there are often more cloudy days. Summer rains tend to come in storms and downpours whereas Winter rains can tend to be more soaking and hence take longer to drain off and dry out. As a guide for every inch of rain you receive allow one hour of draining time on a well maintained and constructed arena.
Never leave horses unattended on the arena. Using your arena as a ‘stable’ or ‘paddock’ will not only result in your surface breaking down at a faster rate, but rolling and pawing can do damage to the base layer under your surface.
To prevent surfaces drying out – the ideal option is to install a sprinkler system. This will aid, not only in minimising dust levels, but also to achieve a consistent “ride” or “feel” for daily training. Surfaces have bulking factors and react greatly to the weather. As a result in dry times the surface will feel looser, when the surface is wet it will provide a firmer ride.
ELD has developed the ELD Dust Suppressant to assist with lowering dust levels on your surface and is also successfully used in stables and on roads and driveways. Our latest product release is the ELD Arena Gel – designed for longer term Dust Suppression and for use on Synthetic Surfaces.
General maintenance every week may help add an extra year of life to your arena.
ARENA MAINTENANCE SOLUTIONS
At Equestrian Land Developments we are pleased to offer a range of arena maintenance solutions to assist in ensuring the longevity of your arena or work surface.
The E.L.D Arena Spread-a-bar® has proven to be the popular choice when it comes to maintaining your arena surface. Engineered specifically to retain depth of surface the E.L.D Arena Spread-a-bar® has a flat edge and on the reverse side the in-built harrows are ideal for tilling and loosening compacted surfaces. This fantastic design also enables you to drag paddocks and spread manure with great ease. The E.L.D Arena Spread-a-bar® is available in three sizes or can be made to order upon request. It has been purposely designed with ease of use in mind and can be attached to the back of your mower, bike, utility or tractor. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use the E.L.D Arena Spread-a-bar® has an easy fold away system for storage.
ELD Dust Suppressant.
Intended for application on Dressage Arena’s, Trotting Tracks and Sand Racetracks the ELD Dust Suppressant is a natural solution to dust problems. Not only does it lower air borne dust minimising inhalation by horse and rider, it also encourages lower water usage. Small amounts of the ELD Dust Suppressant result in great results, not only in dust minimisation, but also in cutting down your arena maintenance expenses and encouraging the prolonged existence of your surface. We have also had great success using the ELD Dust Suppressant in Stables to help keep the dust levels down.
ARENA MAINTENANCE VISITS
During research tours of the UK and Europe, it was highlighted how important regular Arena Maintenance is for the longevity of both your Arena Surface and the Arena as a whole. The expected ‘surface life’ of an arena is generally between 5 and 7 years (dependent on use). In order to prolong this lifespan, daily maintenance is undertaken to ensure the surface is kept in the best possible condition.
ELD has, for many years, educated customers on the importance of regular maintenance. This was highlighted during visits throughout Europe, visiting a large range of Arena builders, owners, riders and staff at establishments – from Olympic Medallists in all disciplines to Studs and pleasure riding facilities. Daily maintenance is of the upmost importance on an arena which receives a high level of traffic. A minimum of once a week is suggested for those receiving smaller levels of traffic.
To assist with the Maintenance of your Arena, ELD offer Arena Maintenance Visits: Our professional staff can attend to your arena for regular maintenance visits using our specialist laser-guided equipment. This service along with the ELD Arena Spread-a-bar® and ELD Dust Suppressant helps to ensure you have a variety of options available for the upkeep of your Arena.
Maintenance Visits are charged at a fixed rate depending on the size of your arena.
We can also send a reminder notice to you when your arena maintenance visit is due. This is calculated on the amount of traffic your arena receives and could be every 3, 6 or 12 months.
Please take the time to read the ELD Arena Maintenance Tips above to ensure you are doing your best to keep your Arena in excellent condition.
Arena Maintenance Tips:
Arena Maintenance Visit – (Current Pricing 01/01/2017)
ELD Spread-a-bar Tips: