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Arena re-levelling

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  • Arena re-levelling

    I'm posting this here, mostly because I want the opinion of people who have to use an arena for jumping and dressage.
    We are going to re-do our indoor arena because it needs re-levelled (badly) and the base needs to be re-done. How deep should the base of grits be over a clay soil? And how deep should the sand be on top of that?

  • #2
    I used USDF's booklet called Underfoot which you may purchase on line at their website for $15 or so. It will tell you all you need to know about arena footing and grading. Our combo arena is a 6 inch stone dust base (I think that's what you mean by base of grits) over sub-base fill, with 2 inches of putty sand as the top layer...but ours is an outdoor arena. Depending upon your water table and drainage you may want to have a fabric layer between the clay and grits so that the clay cannot "bubble up" and mix or work its way into the grits. If it's dry underneath and stays that way, then it shouldn't be an issue. Heavy riding usage will promote mixing just like tractor trailers ruining a road base by extended usage.


    • #3
      I own the book some where in my collections. If you want to borrow it, I will look for it. Are you going to MSPCHT?


      • #4
        Riderboy--you don't have to go nearly as deep with the stone in an indoor as you do in an outdoor. When I redid my west indoor I went with 4" of dusty 12's (3/8's and down) and ran the compactor over that, rode on it until it got hard and added 1.5 inches of washed concrete sand. It's been great, though it gets less use than my bigger indoor (which hasn't been done yet and is on the list for regrading and refooting later this year). On my outdoor I put down a layer of 8's (which are fist sized) and then about 12 inches of what ended up being dusty 12's (started with dust, didn't set up, added 3/8, regraded and that worked). My outdoor has been perfect, it rained 4.5 inches the other day & we rode in it about an hour later.


        • #5
          LAZ, did the outdoor already have tiling underneath? Or did you put any in? I'd like to put in a small outdoor, but don't need to cause anymore runoff than I have currently.
          "Treat people like you want to be treated" Harold Streu, my friend.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks guys. Not going to Midsouth, wish we were! One other thing, we get some pretty heavy hay trucks that drive in the end doors onto the arena to access our storage area. Would that require a thicker layer of crushed stone base?


            • #7
              Originally posted by aroundtuit View Post
              LAZ, did the outdoor already have tiling underneath? Or did you put any in? I'd like to put in a small outdoor, but don't need to cause anymore runoff than I have currently.
              No--mine does not have tiling under it. I asked my farmer friend John (without whom I would be lost) where the best draining place on the farm was, he showed me and that's where I put the ring. Didn't hurt that was where I wanted to put it logistically!

              I stripped off the topsoil down to clay, crowned, and compacted then laid geotextile fabric down, then the big rock, then the stone. I can use it after torrential rain--we had almost 6" here on Monday morning and it was rideable half an hour later.

              Riderboy--John (the previously mentioned farmer friend) runs his hay wagons/seed carts/etc in my indoor when he needs a hidey hole from weather and it hasn't hurt anything as of yet (4.5 years). Sometimes when rain is threatening they'll have 15 hay wagons stacked up in there until they can move it to their destination.


              • #8
                This is great information as I am in the process of putting in a new outdoor arena. Thank you!