The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default The Olympic riding arenas are on rubber matts

    The Olympic riding arenas are rubber mats ontop of gravel, the mats have a kind of pattern to the top (the riding surface, not the side down on the gravel).

    They have a series of fairly deep square indentations all over their surfaces (they look a little like geogrid), then there is a mixture of textile fibers and sand ontop of the mats, sitting down in these square indentations.

    Are there any arenas like this in the United States? Any in the midwest? This is supposed to be a popular product in Europe.

    Has anyone here ridden on an arena like that? What are they like to ride on?

    How are the edges of the mats kept aligned and closed, and the gravel kept from working its way to the top?

    How does the surface work, with the square indentations and the sand/fiber mix top layer?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2005
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,234

    Default

    This sounds kind of like what the "World Famous Lipizzan Stallion" show used when they were in town. A bunch of us went down to the floor during the break to check out their footing! No gravel base, but a gridded mat with footing on top/in it.
    That's all I know though, so I'm hoping you can get more information than what I'm posting!!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2000
    Posts
    3,948

    Default

    Yes, Debbie McDonald and Klaus B both have this arena at home.
    \
    The company says what arenas they have created in their ads,
    one oak, lots of canyons

    http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    I looked at one company - Otto Mats. I would have had to sell TEN children on the asian slave market, and i just can't get that many.

    They install a deep gravel bed, then smaller gravel, with different stages of compacting, then the mats, the mats are rolled down (with a gap between them for drainage, that's where i start to get nervous) then pea gravel is put down, then sand and textile additives, and there are optional humidifying systems.

    I understand why the miniscule grade they use drains...because there seems to be xty million tons of gravel under it, and the mats have gaps between them.

    What blows my mind is how does one level this setup and maintain it, how does one keep the mats from getting churned up when the inevitable tearing around occurs, how does one not catch an edge of a mat and lift it dumping mixed gravel, sand and pea gravel all over, how does one keep the different materials from mixing over time, how does one keep the mats lined up and level, and what does one do when the materials inevitably do start mixing, and how does one predict what absorbing 40%, rather than 3% of the force of the hoof landing, does for stability, tendons and long term soundness, and if the first time a foot lands on a spot 40% is absorbed, and the second time 30% is absorbed, what happens the fifth time a foot lands on the spot? Do you have to drag it every time a horse is in it for a few minutes? What happens when the arena isn't dragged often enough?

    and I think the answer is, who cares, money is no object.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2004
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    649

    Default

    http://www.equiterr.com/, http://www.hoofgrid.com/, http://www.stable-grid.com/, http://www.terrafirmenterprises.com/...questrian.html

    like those?

    I saw them in person at Equine Affaire last year. The company had mats that locked together and could be put down on a level grass area, or on a level gravel area. Then the "spaces" were filled either with soil (if putting grass down) or stone dust &/or sand. They had cleats on the bottom to grip into whatever surface they were put on. They seemed pretty solid but I'm not sure how they'd work out in turnout areas that horses rip around in.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2006
    Posts
    5,470

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CLB15 View Post
    http://www.equiterr.com/, http://www.hoofgrid.com/, http://www.stable-grid.com/, http://www.terrafirmenterprises.com/...questrian.html

    like those?

    I saw them in person at Equine Affaire last year. The company had mats that locked together and could be put down on a level grass area, or on a level gravel area. Then the "spaces" were filled either with soil (if putting grass down) or stone dust &/or sand. They had cleats on the bottom to grip into whatever surface they were put on. They seemed pretty solid but I'm not sure how they'd work out in turnout areas that horses rip around in.

    The second of the two makes me wonder, this does seem a rather costly envestment for a rather shoddy facility!!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    734

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    The second of the two makes me wonder, this does seem a rather costly envestment for a rather shoddy facility!!
    The second link actually makes me wonder why you would install some expensive grid like system, when you could put a geo-fabric under the 6 inches of gravel, and achieve the same results.
    geo-fabrics are WONDERFUL.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    Not where I've been.

    I do recall at one place, the owner of the place was out in the outdoor arena with a 6' long piece of rebar holding it like a post setter and vigorously slamming it into the ground, pulling it out, jamming it back in....while standing in 6 inches of muddy water.

    'Whatcha doin'?' I yells out.

    'Punching holes in my geotextile fabric, so the water can drain!' yells back he with a big smile.

    I have also seen it drift to the surface, had my horsey put a hind leg thru it and fall down, etc etc and yah.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2008
    Location
    The sandbox (aka the dressage ring)
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slpeders View Post
    This sounds kind of like what the "World Famous Lipizzan Stallion" show used when they were in town. A bunch of us went down to the floor during the break to check out their footing! No gravel base, but a gridded mat with footing on top/in it.
    That's all I know though, so I'm hoping you can get more information than what I'm posting!!
    I saw one of their shows back in February, and they were riding on what looked like cardboard that was duct taped together and down? It was odd.
    "The higher you hold your pinky, the more dignified you be." -Patrick Starfish

    "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance" -Coco Chanel



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2006
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slc2 View Post
    What blows my mind is how does one level this setup and maintain it, how does one keep the mats from getting churned up when the inevitable tearing around occurs, how does one not catch an edge of a mat and lift it dumping mixed gravel, sand and pea gravel all over, how does one keep the different materials from mixing over time, how does one keep the mats lined up and level, and what does one do when the materials inevitably do start mixing, and how does one predict what absorbing 40%, rather than 3% of the force of the hoof landing, does for stability, tendons and long term soundness, and if the first time a foot lands on a spot 40% is absorbed, and the second time 30% is absorbed, what happens the fifth time a foot lands on the spot?
    Guess the folks who use these products ride better than us commonfolk, precisely choreographing their horses' foot patterns to step on every spot precisely the same number of times to ensure even wear and impact absorption, and they perform whatever dressage moves (half-pass, pirouettte, etc.) are necessary to redistribute the various layers.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2005
    Location
    Oxford, USA
    Posts
    3,707

    Default

    This is nice too.....
    http://www.tapetafootings.com/
    Anne
    -------
    "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    9,470

    Default

    I have this stuff in my dressage court and my paddocks.

    http://www.hoofgrid.com/

    I only had to sell 2 children into asian slavery and they were bugging me anyway.
    I ride 2 horses several times a week in the arena and there is always a horse or two in the paddocks. It is works very well-no problems at all. It has been great because I live in Southern California and my horse like to be out all the time. Putting this stuff in the paddocks means mud has become a non-issue.

    In the arena it is under several inches of footing but in the paddocks it is pretty close to the surface. It doesn't get churned up.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    What kind of sub base do you have to have with that.

    Only one thing disturbs me....they say the horse cannot harm it unless the horse uses power tools.

    My pony knows how to operate power tools.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    9,470

    Default

    My arena is a few feet below the natural grade on one side and fill on the other with a diagonal grade of 1% , so we have excellent drainage naturally (hope that makes sense). We graded down and found a natural DG bed which really facilitates fast water percolation after a heavy rain. This was done many years ago so it compacted naturally before I put real $$ into the arena. But I think it should be possible to achieve something similar with other soil types with proper grading and a sub footing of compacted road base. What makes this material work, I think, is the fact we back filled the hoof grid with more DG and compressed it a couple of times. The compacted material in the individual cells gives it a lot of overall integrity and it also has excellent drainage because the cell size is pretty large.

    In the arena, there is a mixture of sand and shredded athletic shoes for actual footing on top of the hoof grid. I have railroad ties surrounding it to keep the footing from floating away in a downpour.

    So far (3 years into it), so good

    P.S. If your horse can use power tools, forget asian slavery and start paying his union dues.
    Last edited by nhwr; Mar. 19, 2008 at 12:48 AM.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2007
    Location
    Heaven on Earth--Sonoma County, CA
    Posts
    1,572

    Default

    www.equibasearenas.com

    This is the specific product being used. Two dressage instillations in the US are at River Grove Farms (Debbie McDonald) and DevonWood Equestrian Center in Oregon. It is also the footin installed in the World Cup (indoor) ring at HITS Thermal and has been getting rave reviews there. This system has been in use in Europe for years for a variety of disciplines and gets rave reviews. It is apparently not a maintenance challenge either--pick out the manure and smooth it, and occiasionally water, if installed indoors or if you live in Arizona. If you are installing it indoors, it can go down on top of you existing subbase. If outdoors, a gravel subbase is recommended.

    I have not ridden on the surface, but have spoken with several people who have and the reviews are consistently excellent. I don't understand all the science, but it seems to work like a charm.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2006
    Posts
    248

    Default

    I was in Rome for the 1998 WEG and they used Otto mats below the sand in the main arena. The footing worked impressively well, considering it rained rained rained the whole 2 weeks almost incessantly.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2005
    Posts
    2,607

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slc2 View Post

    My pony knows how to operate power tools.
    You need a dumber pony.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    a smart pony is better than a dumb pony any day. besides, he only uses power tools to drill to the hay on the other side of his stall.

    nwhr, how bad really is the price, i mean just mats, not counting any prep?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    9,470

    Default

    If memory serves, it was about $2.20 per square foot.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    6,126

    Default

    So that's 30,000 without the understone/over sand and installation.......which would likely then be 50-75k total??
    I.D.E.A. yoda



Similar Threads

  1. When Riding the Olympic Pentathlon, Things Can Go Bad
    By Mike Matson in forum Off Course
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: Aug. 13, 2012, 09:36 PM
  2. Olympic Tops on Riding Boots?
    By dcwilliams29id in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jun. 24, 2011, 10:24 PM
  3. Show me your self installed stalls/ riding arenas.
    By Briggsie in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: Apr. 28, 2011, 09:39 PM
  4. Rubber Riding Boots
    By meaty ogre in forum Off Course
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: Sep. 23, 2010, 08:28 PM
  5. need help with cleaning rubber in indoor riding arena
    By welovelabs in forum Off Course
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Aug. 1, 2010, 02:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness