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New Arena Trouble. Help!

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  • New Arena Trouble. Help!

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    I have ridden on my brand new, just professionally done arena two times. It has not been ridden on wet and I haven’t put a drag on it yet. It was just done 4 days ago. I’ve only done basic walk, trot & canter on it. Is the base supposed to come up? If not, why is it happening? Dirt was compacted with a roller. Next, the base was laid down, then was wet down with hose, and compacted with roller. Then sand on top.
    Thank you
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  • #2
    Nope. Call hem and tell them to come fix it.


    • #3
      How much of the base material - # of inches - is on top the dirt?
      How much sand put over that?

      I had my indoor base put down over compacted (mostly clay) soil.
      9" of gravel compacted over that, then 3" of angular sand, also compacted by roller.
      I have had the occasional base rock come up through the sand in the 15yrs since it's been done.

      If your sand layer is not deep enough, adding more could solve your problem.
      Adding is easier than removing to redo your base.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #4
        Ideally it needs to sit and settle for months. Yes, Months. Mine was done in the fall and it was not ready for prime time - I used it a little bit but after the winter freeze/thaw it was perfect, and has been for 15 years.


        • #5
          I agree that it needs to sit and harden up a bit. If it's just a bit from the toe of the hoof, I wouldn't panic. If the hoof print is gouging down into the base, I would panic! I couldn't tell from your pix. Probably should have the contractor come back out anyway to reassure you or fix it.


          • #6
            How long does a finished arena need to sit before it's okay to ride on?


            • #7
              I've never heard that it needs to sit and settle If the sub-base, and the base, are thick enough and properly compacted , they should be hard enough that a truck driving on it doesn't leave tracks. Then if you've got a thick enough layer of a good top footing, you should be good to go.

              The problem with just sand as the top footing is that you can't put too much down or it's too "squishy" - more suitable for reining and cutting than sporthorse work. So if you've only got, say, 2" sand on top, then that's likely the issue.

              We're constantly working to keep the top footing from hardening up/compacting, so giving it time to sit and settle and do that doesn't make sense

              I had 3" of screenings/bluestone put down as my top footing, on top of compacted washed sandrock, on top of compacted red clay. I was riding on it as soon as it was finished, and normal use did not begin to punch through.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • #8
                Yep, totally disagree that a base needs to sit or "cure." Not disagreeing that this might be a perfectly fine step for the construction of some arenas (material and builder dependent), but my arena guy laughed when I asked him if that was a necessary step when he built mine. That was 15 years ago.....he built mine in a couple of weeks (8" of 1 1/4" rock wetted/rolled with a giant vibratory roller, 4" of quarter inch minus wetted and rolled over and over and over again with the vibratory roller, and then my 2" of coarse washed sand). I started riding on it the day it was finished and it has held up beautifully for the last 15 years.

                My guy told me that the top inch or so of my base would mix in with the footing over time. But I've never seen big rocks come up from the sub-base (I can't tell if your picture is a rock coming up or just the base material). So is it normal? Impossible to say. Depends on how it was built and what materials were used.
                Flying F Sport Horses
                Horses in the NW