Maintaining Arena Performance

Here we speak to an arena expert at Equestrian Direct Surfaces on easy yet effective area maintenance. They also share some top tips on how to maintain and condition different arena surfaces ensuring you spend more time in the

The after-care and maintenance of your equine arenais extremely important to ensure a level, compact and even surface to enhance the performance and longevity of your investment.

As stated in the recent Equine Surfaces White Paper, published by the FEI, maintenance of your riding surface is essential in lowering the risk and preventing bone and joint related injuries in horses.

The correct maintenance for your arena surface will vary depending on the materials used, weather, type and amount of use along with budget for maintenance.

How often an arena surface is used determines the frequency of its maintenance, but irrespective of whether you use it once a month or twice a day, it is a vital task.

Overtime, you will find that the surface of your arena becomes uneven, loose or even too hard and compact, and this has the potential for major health implications for your horse if arena maintenance is not carried out.

Clean Up

One of the easiest maintenance jobs that will keep your arena looking smart and tidy is weeding and picking up droppings.

It is important to keep on top off these jobs before they become a time consuming task that is really off-putting.



Surfaces will need levelling over time especially around the edges where tracks start to form. If your arena gets plenty of work you may need to level it on a daily basis depending on the movement of your surface.

For arena surfaces such as the Flexiride and Turffloat Elite using a harrow and a rake on a regular basis can help level out any tracks or holes created whilst riding on your arena surface. This will help your surface keep a firm and even footing.

An investment in a harrow is essential for quick and easy arena maintenance, selecting one with a passive side and an aggressive side allows you to vary the amount of maintenance work the arena gets depending on its needs.

It can also help with paddock renovation; breaking up and levelling heavy soil, root aeration, as well as working in fertiliser and ripping out moss and spreading manure.

The Equilevel is ideal for Turffloat surfaces and those with binding fibres added. It makes arena maintenance quick and easy and can replace three different pieces of equipment.

The track clearer at the front of the machine pulls the surface into the leveller. Two rows of small tines condition the surface to the required depth whilst the levelling bar smooths over the surface. At the back a latticed roller finishes the surface of with a nice smooth and level footing.

Alternatively you can use a spring tine harrow and a roller separately which will help maintain these types of surfaces.

Maintaining your arena may also mean that you need to rejuvenate the existing surface. Surfaces that have become compact and hard will also start to hold more water. This can be prevented using a rotivator to help break up the compaction and aerate the surface.

Adding more fibres and additives will require more regular maintenance and may require adding water to the surface to provide a secure footing. Surfaces with added binding fibres require conditioning rather than aggressive levelling.


Surfaces that are dry may need watering to keep them in prime condition especially over the summer period when the weather is warm and dry. This will help return the moisture content in the surface giving it a firm yet cushioned ride.

The EquiLevel can be fitted with an optional water tank and spray nozzles to make light work of leveling, aerating and watering your surface.

Equestrian Direct can provide arena maintenance machinery that has been designed especially for the demands of the latest equine arenas.

For more information or a free quote contact Equestrian Direct Surfaces on 01564 794020 or visit

Author: The Editor

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