The perfect horse arena surface is not an easy thing to build and/or maintain. It is a combination of art and science. Its results should be both imperceptible to spectators and at the same time obvious to the horses, groomers and other workers of the facility. After all, the ‘sport of kings’ requires no less than meticulous and exact grooming of the surface in which the horses will traverse. So how do you go about building the perfect horse arena? Here are some factors that determine the viability of horse arena surfaces and tips for creating the optimum conditions for riders and horses.
Walk around the arena: Check the consistency of the arena by walking the area to determine whether it feels comfortable. Two things you are looking for are whether the arena is deeper in some areas than others and if there are holes present. Either condition could affect performance at the least and injure your horses at most.
Watch the horses: Watch the horses go back and forwards on the track. If their hoof prints make marks deeper than 1” then you may have a problem with shifting sand. Make sure, on the other hand, that the arena’s surface is not too hard. A surface that is very hard can create high impact shocks that can cause a horse physical discomfort and maladies such as joint problems.
Use the best quality sand: Once you have assessed the surface using the above tests, be sure to use high quality sand in building and/or maintaining your arena. Good sand isn’t cheap but it will pay for itself in the form of a consistent, sturdy track that will prevent horses and their riders from injury and won’t adversely affect race outcomes.
Check before you apply the top layer: Beneath the top layer of sand you want the foundation to be firm, and consistent. This is because a horse’s hoofs may eventually penetrate the top soil and come into contact with the surface. You do not want damage done to this layer of the track.
Meticulously maintain the arena: Horses are very heavy animals. This means that they are bond to constantly change the surface of any area they constantly travel. Weather also greatly affects those same surfaces. This is where Handozer’s groomers come into play. We offer our D3-MG groomer that is capable of grooming multiple surfaces such as horse arena. They are sturdy and made of high-grade steel.
Yes, a sound, helps to protect the horse and the rider. All the time, money and effort involved in building a horse arena are potentially wasted if it is not properly maintained. Invest the time, effort, money and equipment in building the “perfect arena.”
It is a fact that probably escapes all but the most ardent baseball fan but the vast majority of baseball play takes place on the “skinned” surfaces of a baseball field. For this reason, the condition of the infield can literally make or break the game. There are several factors that affect the quality of the infield and all of them should be considered carefully.
Drainage: The most important component of infield drainage is the surface grade. If the soil is packed too tightly water will not be able to drain off the infield effectively. Using the proper infield groomer along with the right kind of infield soil can be critical in helping an infield drain properly.
The proper soil type: Another important element that helps make a well maintained and “skinned” infield surface is the correct kind of soil. The base soil should ideally be between 4 – 6 inches and it should be packed tightly but not too tightly. Here just the right soil and sand combination are critical. There are several studies online that address the ideal combination of the two. Remember, however that sand absorbs water.
Moisture control: It is important to remember that your infield will constantly be exposed to varying temperatures, humidity, rain and wind. You should take this into account and know the rate at which your infield will absorb water. You will need to apply water to your infield surface regularly anyway. This is why it is so important to choose the correct sand/soil mixture and why it is important to groom the infield regularly. Proper watering will also help promote uniform bounce on the infield surface.
Another thing to remember about infield grooming is that it allows maintenance people to contribute greatly to a game in their own way. This may go unnoticed by spectators but a properly maintained infield using durable infield grooming techniques will be appreciated by players and managers alike. Proper infield maintenance allows grounds crews to leave their distinct signature on the field of play. Our levelers are affordable, durable and can handle other surfaces too such as driveways and horse arenas. Our American made pull behind road grader/lawn tractor graders will help your driveway, horse arena or infield to be more attractive and most importantly safer and more resilient. Ask us for help in determining which implement is best for meeting your personal requirements.
Is water seeping into the asphalt or gravel in your driveway? Is this causing problems such as cracking, chipping and uneven surfaces? Does this water then freeze in winter causing even more problems? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then chances are your driveway is improperly graded and you need help creating a flat, even surface that is divot and rut-free. These imperfections affect not only the appearance on your driveway but also its safety and its longevity. The first step is to acknowledge and examine the problem. The second step is to excavate the gravel/asphalt. The final step is to grade your driveway.
Evaluating and Understanding the Problem
The impact improper grading makes on surfaces such as driveways, horse arenas and baseball infield is enormous and should not be underestimated. First, if water is not draining correctly then flooding or pooling up or corrosion can occur. If these things take place water may then flow towards your garage, shed or building foundation. Improper draining also shortens the life of your investment in your home and/or driveway. Lastly, gravel or asphalt that is uneven and has perfections creates a dangerous trip hazard for you and your family. All of this is why understanding the scope of the problem is such a vital first step.
Excavation and Removal
Proper excavating is the second important step to replacing your imperfect driveway surface with a new flat, surface. First, check to see if excavating will disrupt underground utilities by calling your local utility company. Next, you should test to see how fast the soil absorbs water. Finally, removal can begin with any number of machines that are easily found on the Internet such as a back hoe.
This is where Handozer comes in. We can provide you with quality driveway grading equipment that will get the job done. Our ATV driveway grader and accessories are durable and are homemade (USA only). (That is, providing that the soil beneath has been properly prepared.) When you’ve decided that you want to replace the gravel/asphalt in your driveway with a more functional surface we are here. As a company with much practical experience we offer you the following tips to grading.
- Be sure to dig deeply in order to loosen up the gravel. Dig as deep as your deepest pothole.
- Make several passes in order to further loosen up the gravel.
- Scan for washouts or floating gravel.
- Distribute loose gravel evenly over the fresh surface.
Any job doing is a job worth doing well. Once you’ve committed to the job of replacing your worn or cracked surface – be it a baseball infield, driveway or horse arena – make sure that your project will be a successful one by buying one of our pull behind road grader/lawn tractor graders.