If you have an arena, it’s important to keep on top of maintenance so that it is safe to ride on. Here, Martin Collins shares his knowledge on two common arena problems you may encounter during winter and how to fix them.

1 Preventing puddles

Pools of water may gather in an arena that’s not properly drained, which in turn could create soft spots. Aside from affecting ride quality, it’ll also have a negative effect on the arena surface.

\You’ll eventually end up with uneven patches and your horse’s performance may suffer because he won’t trust the footing. This may even contribute to injuries.

We strongly advise the use of a solid, level base that drains adequately and evenly under the riding surface. Ensure that the drainage is clear and free of any plant growth or debris.

If the pipe is blocked, either manually clear it or try a power jet for blasting out wedged debris and to get deeper into the pipe.

Your arena may just need refurbishment. Timely refurbishment will ensure it lasts and retains its value.

2 Stop your surface from freezing

Firstly, make sure the drainage is sufficient and well placed to remove any rain water from the arena. If the drainage isn’t doing it’s job, the surface won’t perform to its optimum and it’ll freeze.

Maintenance is also very important. Invest in quality equipment designed to keep your arena surface loose, but not deep. This will help prevent areas becoming compacted and prone to freezing. Don’t use an old field harrow, or you run the risk of pulling up vital components of the surface.

Surfaces that aren’t waxed can be prone to freezing and some wax-coated surfaces have excellent climatic tolerance.

With a wax-coated surface and good maintenance, there’s no reason not to get full use of your outdoor arena all year round.

Surfaces that have been treated with a wax coating generally require less maintenance than un-waxed counterparts.

Meet the expert: Martin Collins began developing innovative synthetic surfaces for equestrian use over 30 years ago. Martin Collins Enterprises is the industry leader in synthetic surfaces. 

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