East-West Arena Construction Blog

Drainage is Key To Good Horse Arena Footing

Posted by East-West Arena Construction

Mar 28, 2014 12:02:01 PM

Quality horse arena footing is a an important component of any successful equestrian center.  Equestrian centers with proper drainage will build a loyal client base when footing prevents horse injuries and increases performance.   Good water drainage design is a key factor in providing a safe arena for your customers.  

Consider the following components when reviewing your existing arena or designing a new arena's drainage.

Drainage Engineering

  • Topography - The first step in controlling drainage in your arena is the topography of the arena floor.  The most common approach is to shape the floor with a gentle fall, created with a low crown along the center with slightly sloping sides leading to drains which should direct the water away from the arena. 
  • Foundation - A good arena foundation consists of sub-base and base layers.  The sub-base is usually the native soil at the arena site.  The base layer is most-often made with some sort of crushed stone.  Grading, compacting and leveling of the arena foundation is key to providing good drainage.
  • Riding Surface - Geo-textile amendments, like GGT Footing, are commonly added to arena sand to reduce dust, maintain proper moisture balance and increase energy absorption which will decrease impact on the horses joints.
  • Maintenance - Once the arena floor is completed, the work is not over.  Look for and repair ruts on the arena floor.  Perhaps periodic wetting should be done if there hasn't been enough rain on the arena surface.  Check barn and other building downspouts and gutters to make sure water is draining away from the arena.

The U.S. Dressage Federation's Guide to Arena Construction, "Under Foot" has more information on proper arena drainage.  Also, the experts at East-West Arena Construction can assist in answering your questions about new arena construction as well as with refurbishing existing arenas.  Contact us now to schedule your consultation now.


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Topics: Drainage