Arena surfaces

Research on training and competition arena surfaces and precautions to reduce the likelihood of injury.

Research on training and competition arena surfaces and precautions to reduce the likelihood of injury.

We have helped to fund research to evaluate training and competition surfaces for riding horses, in order that the likelihood of injury can be reduced. 

The research highlighted some areas that should be carefully considered when constructing an arena.  

Key considerations

  • Plan the construction of any arenas in line with local planning permissions and with the help of experienced contractors.  
  • Ensure the arena has good drainage 
  • Think about how the surface will be affected by hot and cold weather (e.g., will it freeze?) 
  • Pick a surface that is suitable for the disciplines you wish to use the arena for – surfaces better suited to dressage and jumping may not be suitable for Western riding, which requires a looser arena surface.  
  • Ensure you are aware of the maintenance needs of your chosen surface and have the tools and equipment to manage it effectively, to ensure it is safe and durable.  
  • Make sure arena maintenance is part of your daily or weekly plan, depending on how often it is used and what it has been used for.  

You can read the full leaflet here

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This is just one example of how World Horse Welfare has supported research. World Horse Welfare offer a small range of grants and bursaries to help support research on subjects that have an impact on horse welfare. Most are undertaken in collaboration with veterinary schools and institutes. Find out more about these here. 

Bay horse being ridden in an arena wearing a dressage saddle with maroon boots and saddle pad which matches the rider clothing
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