Glossary of Arena Maintenance Terminology

Glossary of Arena Maintenance Terminology

Whether you are new to arena maintenance, or you need a little reminder of all the different terms (which we appreciate can sometimes sound like a different language!) we have gathered the most important vocabularies and definitions to get you on your way to sounding like an arena expert in no time!

Terms Specific to Levelling Equipment

Arena Leveller: This is the most important piece of equipment for maintaining your arena. A good quality arena leveller will loosen a compacted surface and redistribute the surface material to ensure a consistent surface. All of our levellers feature:

  • Tines: These loosen or ‘harrow’ the surface, which may have become compacted as a result of riding or lungeing in the arena. They are very effective for mixed equestrian arena surfaces as they help to turn and mix the surface components together. Tines can be curved or straight at the point of entry to the surface and each method has its useful applications.
  • Rollers or Blades: These smooth out the harrowed arena surface and leave a finished surface. ArenaMate levellers are available with either a single roller mounted to the back of the leveller, or with an additional roller mounted to the front (read more here). 
  • Side blade or gate: This pulls in material from around the kick boards to relieve you from hand raking it, so that all areas of the riding arena are level.
  • Arena Harrow: The terms ‘arena leveller’ and ‘arena harrow’ are often used interchangeably, however, an arena harrow may only feature the ‘tine’ element of the arena leveller (see above) and not the rollers which aid significantly in overall arena maintenance.Hitch Types:  This is the process of joining moveable machinery (like tractors) to non-movable machinery (like arena levellers). We offer three different types of hitching systems:

ArenaMate Leveller Parts Labelled

Hitch Types

This is the process of joining moveable machinery (like tractors) to non-movable machinery (like arena levellers). We offer three different types of hitching systems:

  • Ball Hitch: The traditional ball and socket hitch. These are commonly fitted to commercial vehicles to allow towing.  In our opinion, this is the easiest and most convenient method of towing your arena leveller.

  • Hook Hitch: Acts similarly to a ball hitch, but the leveller drawbar is attached via a hook and pin. Hook hitches can sometimes be tricky to connect and don’t have a lot of rotational potential.

  • Three-Point Linkage (3PL): A widely used hitch type for attaching equipment to tractors; generally categorised into CAT 1, CAT 2 and CAT 3.  Our 3PL systems are compatible with CAT 1 and 2 linkages.

Other Common Terms

Arena Dragging/Grooming: The terms arena ‘drag’ and ‘groomer’ are sometimes used to refer to an arena ‘leveller’ - particularly in the US - therefore ‘dragging’ and ‘grooming’ are terms used instead of arena ‘levelling’ or ‘maintenance’.

Arena Irrigation System: This means having a procedure in place to maintain moisture levels in your arena surface. This could involve regularly watering your arena with high-pressure sprinklers, or installing an underground automated watering system.

Crust: When the top layer of the arena surface becomes very compacted, it develops a ‘crust’ which increases the risk of the horse slipping or falling.

Cushioning: It is important that the arena surface offers some force reduction when the hoof contacts the surface, known as ‘cushioning’.

Footing Additives: These are materials that are added to enhance surface quality as it degrades over time (such as wax treatment, sand or fibre top-ups). These will need to be added less frequently if proper maintenance is carried out. 

Grass Harrow: Not to be confused with an arena harrow, this is a piece of equipment used specifically for paddock and grassland maintenance. They should feature heavy-duty spring tines to help aerate the sword, encourage grass growth, and prevent moss and thatch build-up.  Grass harrows or chain harrows should never be used on an arena surface.

Organic Materials: When we talk about organic materials in relation to arena maintenance, we are usually referring to the manure, leaves, twigs, etc that must be removed promptly, otherwise it can introduce bacteria and change surface consistency over time.

Surface Grip: This refers to how well the surface prevents the horse from sliding when he turns or lands from a jump.

Keeping your riding arena in tip-top shape horse arena can be daunting if you’re not sure where to find everything you need. As a leading manufacturer of equestrian equipment, we can provide high-quality, precision-engineered arena maintenance equipment to keep your surface performing at its best and lasting as long as possible. 

With over 20 years of experience, we understand the needs of your arena footing and would be glad to answer any questions you have. 

Contact us for more information.

See what Jelka can do:​ 

Arena Levelling: What Equipment Do I Need?