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Indoor arena complications

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  • Indoor arena complications

    Hi All,

    I have a reasonably sized indoor that I used to love and now I don't. A few years ago, when I redid the outdoor, the arena builder encouraged me to install a limestone base w sand over my clay base indoor. Since then, I've had a terrible time finding sand that works on it....the sand sort of rolls and it can be very slippery. I've tried both mason and concrete sand (I thought those were the same thing, but I've been told I am wrong). Has anyone else encountered this problem, and if so, how did you solve it? Thank you in advance. NH PS...I did a search most of this afternoon, and couldn't find information.

  • #2
    A Google search for me turned up Premier Equestrian's very informative article about types of sand.
    If I were not tech-challenged, I'd link to it.

    I knew angular sand is what you want, but it turns out sub-​​​angular is better footing.

    USDF has a cheap booklet providing information on footing.
    *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


    • #3
      You need sub angular medium to medium fine grained sand for good cohesiveness while still remaining soft. The finer the particles, the more it will pack and require proper watering and dragging. The coarser it gets, the less you need to do with it but it will not be competent to support the horse. Water is the other variable. You want a surface that can compact vertically when the hoof hits the ground while having an appropriate amount of shear strength.

      ultimately this is a personal preference, but I recommend a medium grained sub angular sand with roughly 5 - 10% silt and clay mixed in. You can have as much if this footing piled on as you want, and as long as you properly maintain it, the depth and consistency is adjustable based on how you prep it. The base - footing system is overrated, imo. If you have a decent ground and the right footing you dont need to install a "base". It becomes irrelevant.

      Builders dont know anything about sand or footing. Best to ignore them.

      Also, if you do not have a high quality drag, dont waste your money on new footing. Too many people re surface their arenas and then do not care for them!