Unfortunately for us horse owners, it is impossible for an arena surface to remain at its optimum and promote the best performance possible from your horses without regular levelling. Even ‘low-maintenance’ riding surfaces need some level of care and maintenance.
Why Riding Surfaces Require Levelling
One of the biggest mistakes we see is horse owners who make a substantial investment in their riding arena and its surface, but underestimate the importance of quality maintenance equipment. To keep the surface safe to ride on while promoting longevity of the surface components the correct maintenance equipment must be sought.
The main purposes of arena levelling are:
To keep the surface components and materials mixed together so you can make the most out of your riding surface.
To break up a compacted surface which could otherwise lead to slips, trips and falls which could injure both horse and rider. It can also increase the likelihood of lameness.
To redistribute the surface and ensure there are no shallow areas or holes.
To promote consistent moisture retention and therefore reduce dust content.
Remember: Arena levelling and maintenance isn’t just for making it look ‘pretty’. Proper maintenance is required to keep your surface compaction free and safe to ride on, and to protect your horse from nasty injuries while maximising the lifespan of your surface material.
How Often is Levelling Required?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to how often you should be levelling your surface, as this depends on the frequency of usage, climate, surface type, type of riding, etc. However, with proper arena maintenance equipment, maintaining your surface is quick and easy, and ensures you are providing your horses with a safe riding surface that they can perform their best on.
Signs that your surface needs levelling:
We recommend using a leveller that has a built-in adjustable side blade, to automatically pull in the materials from the kick boards, rather than having to manually go around with a rake!
PatternsTry to experiment with different patterns and not use the same one every day to prevent your vehicle from creating compacted areas. We can show you some effective patterns when we deliver your ArenaMate leveller, otherwise here are a few patterns you can use when levelling your riding surface:
If you jump in your arena, make sure to regularly move the jumps around so that the landing and turning areas are not always in the same place.
Always remove manure and leaves from your arena, otherwise, these can break down and change the consistency of your surface.
If horses are frequently lunged in your arena, try not to lunge them in the exact same spot every time, as this will affect the surface where they are repeatedly going over the same area.