Arena Surfaces...

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Arnie, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    I know it's been asked before and I've done so much research!!!

    I'm after opinions for an arena surface suitable for an area that has very frequent and strong wind and if possible some idea on pricing and contact details to suppliers.

    Oh and how much would be needed for a 60x20

    Many thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  2. Indigo King

    Indigo King New Member

    Hi Arnie,

    I live in Geraldton so we have horribly strong disgusting winds majority of the time!!! And our arena surface is crackerdust (not metal dust) and we absolutely LOVE IT!! We hold dressage clinics on it every couple of months and everyone that has ridden on it has complimented how nice it is to ride on.

    It never gets rock hard, is quite giving, not boggy at all. It can be a bit dusty but not to the extent where it bothers yourself or your horse. AMAZING to ride on if you have had some rain as well!

    Im not to sure how much we needed for our arena but we have a 61x21 full sized arena with poles half a metre in from the edge so horses arent riding right on the edge, our arena border is limestone blocks, just one high and one wide and the crackerdust has just been put in there and filled it just under the top of the limestone blocks, which are just sitting there, in no way are they cemented and they have not moved in the 10+ years that it has been up.

    As for pricing, I do recall mum mentioning it only cost just under $6000 for the lot but yes that was 10+ years ago...
  3. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Hi Arnie, with those calculations, if you went with a depth of 100mm, then a 20x60 arena would require 120 cubic metres (m3 or colloquially called cubes) of fill. You may be able to get away with 100mm but for a newly constructed arena you may need 200mm. 100mm might be a bit thin, especially if its going down on sand. The sand, if its loose, may migrate up into the fill, (compact the sand first!), or if you have no border to hold it in, it may flatten out and get thinner and thinner on the edges.

    If you wanted a depth of 200mm, you're going to need 240 m3 of fill.

    Of crackerdust, a 6-wheeler (small truck) would be able to carry around 12 cubic metres, and a semi-load would be around 16 cubic metres. Crackerdust would be similar weightwise to sand (or riversand).

    So a 6-wheeler would need to bring at least 10 loads in, (or 20 loads for 200mm depth) and I'd budget on a few loads extra because you always need more! To fill out the edges/border/low spots etc.

    I couldnt give you a estimate of cost of bringing something like crackerdust or riversand in, because its so variable on distance, where it can be sourced from, etc. But it wont be cheap! Anything to do with trucks, and moving dirt is not cheap! :p

    What is the base of the arena? Sand? Gravel? Clay?

    I know you are up in Merredin...
    You could always get a price from your local landscape suppliers for riversand, plus cartage. Tell him you want 120 cubes delivered, and go from there.
    Or if you have any quarries about, deal with them direct. (Cheaper)
    Or if a farmer around has a sand-pit...etc etc
    Up your way, It would be easier to source a coarse sand than crackerdust, I'd say.

    Indigo Kings approximate cost would be about right, maybe $8000 in todays money with the rising cost of blinkin' diesel!!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  4. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Thankyou guys! I'll ask local first!

    I'm having a front end loader come and level the area. It's already an awesome natural sloping area so that's great! Under is hard clay being the wheatbelt so we've opted to not put down a base after some research.

    For now I'll be lining the area with sleepers however in the future may replace with something a little more heavy duty. And then fenced with posts and sighter wire.

    All this also includes my round yard. Though the round yard is Withnell Stockyard panels.
  5. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Sorry didn't mean it also includes my round yard in your calculations. It's going next to my arena and being done at the same time :).
  6. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Ah, thats ideal that the ground underneath is hard clay :)
    And its good that it has a slight slope, helps with run-off.
    Good luck Arnie and let us know how it all goes (with photos of course! :D )
  7. Gamby

    Gamby Well-known Member

    I had my arena put in last year and at the time riversand had a 4-6 week wait so we decided to go with coarse drainage sand. It has been excellent! Worked out considerably cheaper than riversand and is a great surface to ride on. I had my surface put on at 10cm deep and found it to be a little deep actually and had some taken off..its at around 7-8cm now and is perfect.
    I dont get massive winds really but none of ours appears to have blown away and during winter rains no puddles etc.
  8. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Thankyou guys!

    Chances are if I find a supplier out here they won't know arenas so do I ask for say course sand that won't compact or blow away?

    For an 18m round yard if I wanted thicker then 10cm without being too thick what would the idea depth be and amount of sand?
  9. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    You'll need 25 cubes to fill in an 18m round yard to 100mm depth.
    Volume of a cylinder = (pi x radius squared), then times height. (All in metres). So 3.14 x 9 squared equals 254.34. Times by 0.1m for the height equals 25.43 m3

    We made our round yard 200mm deep but as you use it it compacts down, squashes away a bit so ours is 150mm now and its great.
    Ours is just fine sand (like beach sand) and its ok, but a coarse sand would be ideal.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  10. macklin dramero

    macklin dramero New Member

    Gamby what colour is your sand, I have seen the reddish stuff on a few arenas but haven't had any reviews about its ride-ability. :confused:
  11. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    The red sand is most likely Pink River sand.
    Apparently doesnt blow away as much as other sand but can anyone confirm?
    It's not too good for grey's though... can dye their footsies pink....
    It can be quite expensive down my way so it's not a topping i'm looking at but I like riding on it (as long as it isnt too thick because you don't want it too boggy)

  12. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    I've got the pink river sand. It doesn't seem to be blowing away just sitting there and we get some pretty full on easterlies here.

    When you're working in it or raking it you can see some dust blowing around / away but I haven't noticed a huge loss.

    Ours is about 70-80mm deep on top of a cracker dust base of about 150mm deep. It's lovely to ride on :) I also do liberty with my guys and find that it's also not too bad for moving around on on foot either.
  13. Gamby

    Gamby Well-known Member

    My sand is a creamy light yellow colour. Mine rides great and I'm super happy with it.
  14. pso

    pso Gold Member

    def don't go above 100mm on your surface!
    heavier- more exxy sands will be less likely to blow away
    do some research on silicosis before committing to a sand arena in a low rainfall area
  15. KKKiroo

    KKKiroo Well-known Member

    I had to google silicosis because I didnt know what it was...

    Have you heard of people getting this from their arenas??? Geewhiz :(

  16. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Thanks guys!

    Never heard of that PSO but what are the option then? I'm more then happy to install sprinklers if need be. Do most sands contain it?

    Work started today:

  17. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    We decided to clear the area and see what size we got. We measured 45 x 56. Can take it to 60 but it's so big I don't think I need to!
  18. macklin dramero

    macklin dramero New Member MD.pdf

    You can ride on sand tracks and the chances of developing silicosis are low as that sand has been washed naturally over time. Don't use straight silica sand as there is a high chance of developing problems for you and your horse. All sand has silica in it but the particles are harder to inhale. To avoid problems keep the area watered well and remember the horses nostrils are closer to the ground.
  19. pso

    pso Gold Member

    Yep- no problems if you keep your arena watered- we get warnings about it in the building industry too- and I believe there is a survey on horse people/arenas happening at the moment...Apparently it is the next killer on from mesothelioma/asbestosis- who knows how realistic it is- just something to be aware of!!

    I'll be going rubber if I cant get water next time around...:))
  20. tariquepark

    tariquepark Well-known Member

    Has anyone tried a woodchipped arena would like to know how they are as i am in Baldivis and its deep sand

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