DO I NEED TO BUY SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT FOR MY ARENA SURFACE?
The answer to this is yes. Waxed and dry surfaces need different care. All surfaces are dynamic and respond to climate change and workload. You should not use a chain harrow or other agricultural piece of equipment as they can cause a lot of harm to the surface. Depending on the size and type surface we have a piece of equipment you can purchase for the job.
HOW DO I MAINTAIN/GROOM MY SURFACE?
Prior to using your recommended piece of equipment, rake back on the perimeter of the riding track, any loose material from the retaining boards or edges by means of a rake or four pronged fork.
When maintaining your surface do not go in the same direction twice, always groom in alternate directions and vary the starting point to as many different locations as possible. If using a Towmaster or Arena Master, maintain a consistent and steady speed i.e. active walking pace.
CAN I CHANGE THE DEPTH OF HOW THE SURFACE RIDES?
Yes. The going can be altered by adjusting the height of the tines and it is imperative that the tine depth is altered in stages at 1cm at a time so you create a gradual even depth.
Compaction is created with the crumbler roller and the hoof ‘cushion’ with the tines.
The deeper the tines are set, the more ‘cut’ the surface will have, the less deep the setting, the firmer the surface will ride. Try different settings ranging from 10-50mm and decide which setting suits your requirement the best.
Be careful when adjusting the tines to a deeper setting if a membrane has been installed beneath the riding surface as you don ‘t want to run the risk of puncturing the membrane during the maintenance procedure. You also need to be careful if you have lots of fibres in the surface as you don’t want to pull these out of the surface they need to be mixed into the surface.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MY ARENA FROM FREEZING?
If very cold weather is forecast maintain the surface with the tines of the maintenance machine 1cm deeper than usual to ensure that the surface is not too compacted. Compacted surfaces prevent surplus water from draining causing a ‘backlog’ of moisture in the surface, which can then freeze. This will apply to wax coated surfaces as well as dry materials.
Carry out this additional maintenance ideally before, or when, the frost is catching.
Check the surface the following morning . It may well be ready for a gentle maintenance pass to ease any ice crystals that may be in the surface.
HOW DO I COPE WITH SNOW ON MY ARENA?
f it snows on the arena ideally allow it to melt before using. However if you have to use the arena when snow is present use common sense. If it’s a light dusting then ride carefully and don’t use the Arena Master as you don’t want to work the snow deeper into the surface. If there is a heavy cover of snow, do not leave it but remove as much as you can carefully with a shovel.
NEVER use an arena leveller or your maintenance equipment to break up snow or ice on the surface. This will create an uneven depth and compaction as well as increasing future freezing. It will also be detrimental to the components in the surface
HOW DO I LOOK AFTER A DRY SAND ARENA?
Dry arenas – without a wax coating need to be watered regularly – especially if they are indoors to ensure that it retains its stability and consistency. A correctly installed surface should be watered and compacted (with a Bomag 120 double drum roller - or similar) and groomed regularly.
During dry weather conditions, it is likely that the surface will ride with more ‘cut’ or become deep. To combat this, watering is essential to ensure that the fibres mixed into the sand are retained and don’t rise to the surface. The tines on the Arena Master should be raised so that they merely remove the hoof prints. If you allow your surface to dry out you will need to both power harrow and rotovate the fibre back into the sand and follow this with thorough watering and rolling. Once completed, the surface is ready for use.
During cold weather you will find that these dry surfaces will ride ‘firmer’ and you can adjust the tines a little deeper to alleviate compaction. Be careful not to ‘pull’ the fibre out of the sand by setting them too deep.
DO I REALLY NEED TO CLEAR LEAVES AND DROPPINGS FROM THE ARENA?
Yes. Debris and horse droppings should be removed at the first opportunity as if allowed to remain they will dry out, contaminate the surface and reduce the effectiveness of the wax coating.