Riding Arena Design
Building a good riding arena (also known as a sand school or manege) is not easy, but our design expertise will make it straightforward and provide excellent value.
The Foreshore EffectOur arenas are designed to be usable in anything up to once-in-a-decade storm conditions. 'Single sized' sands drain extremely quickly, passing water straight through to drainage layers beneath, yet will maintain a certain degree of moisture (this is dependent on the sand's critical tension, which is related to the grain size). It is this combination of fast drainage and moisture retention that creates the 'foreshore effect' -- a riding surface that mimics that of a beach foreshore. The surface stays firm enough to prevent the hoof sinking in, yet yielding enough to avoid jarring the hoof on impact with the ground.
Our designs usually consist of a 'single sized' sand surface underlain by drainage layers. By understanding the engineering properties of the sands and gravels used, a top quality, long lasting riding surface can be created without the need for expensive trenching and piping.
How much will it cost?We offer a reasonably priced consultancy service to help you get the right quality at the right price. A basic consultancy would cost about £350 + VAT. We feel that our consultancy is well worth the charges, as it guarantees you an arena that is fit for purpose. You are also protected by our Professional Indemnity Insurance cover.
Find out more about our Riding Arena Consultancy.
For those who wish to take a more active role in the design of their arena, these articles explain why we specify our designs the way we do, and give you the information you need to begin specifying your arena yourself. Bear in mind that these examples are drawn from using our own sands. If you are not in the West Wales area, your local sands will have different properties, and the design would need to vary to compensate. Site conditions can also impact substantially on a design. We recommend that you pay for professional advice before beginning construction
The first step in any arena design is to calculate the permeability of the ground upon which the arena will be built. We show you how with this simple test.
If you are solving problems in an existing arena, rather than building a new one from scratch, we will ask you to work out the 'critical tension' of the existing surface material. Here's how.
One of the most frequently misunderstood aspects of arena design is the use of geotextiles, and their alternatives. We have provided this article especially to help you to decide which is best for you.
A crash course in arena design, from top to bottom. We discuss choice of surface, how this affects the design of the graded filter, and how to work out the depth of the drainage layer for lateral drainage.
Chipped Rubber also needs care -- here are our quick tips.
Arena design is a complex subject, but the best way to learn is by example. Here we consider three designs for a 20m x 40m arena -- two raised, and one sunken.
How to keep your foreshore effect for years to come.
We encourage you to make use of our Riding Arena Consultancy service. We will give you advice, source, price and test products in your locality, arrange for their delivery (via an account with us), and arrange for a quote.
Disclaimer: The foregoing articles are intended as a guide only. Material properties can vary. Site conditions can impact substantially on a design. Professional advice is recommended.