Frequently Asked Questions
Many arenas have been built by tilling sand into the existing clay soil. This is a great way to make a consistent footing without layers. It is also a very affordable option to build and maintain. However, the existing soil must be suitable. Rocks may be an issue that continue to pop up. Be sure to use the right type of sand to maximize the value and reduce compaction.
Manufactured sand or m10s may be used for arena sand and footing. However, dust and compaction are the primary issues with using it. M10s make a firm compactable surface that adds to the traction of the horse. Over time it may have to be amended with a coarser sand as it wears rapidly with use. Irrigation can be a great tool to help keep the dust suppressed.
A standard size horse arena will need anywhere from 50 to 300 tons of sand. The biggest determining factor is the dimensions, or size, of the arena and the depth of the footing. Many styles of riding only need 2 to 4 inches of footing for their arena while some need more than 8 inches of depth. You can use are calculator to input your dimensions and preferred depth to calculate the tons that you will need, or call us and we can help.
Arena Sand is the sand you use in horse arenas and round pens. The sand is designed to be the best footing to provide traction and cushion for horses as they perform. The ideal sand is sub-angular in shape. It comes in a variety of colors, and gradations to best suit the rider’s preference. Arena Sand should be washed and screened to remove rocks and dust for safety of the horse and rider. It is also a critical part of the arena’s ability to retain moisture but also drain well after it rains.
The best sand for arenas is a silica sand, sub-angular or angular, washed, and screened sand. Silica sand is durable and lasts longer under the constant horse traffic. The sub-angular shape shifts less than rounded particles. The washing and screening process removes unwanted pebbles and dust from the footing.
Arena Sand comes in many different forms. The type of sand depends on the style of riding and the needs of your arena. Dressage and Jumpers need a finer grade sand for a firm footing. Barrel racing and cutting horses prefer a looser, deeper coarse sand for adding protection in the sharp turns. Also, amending your existing arena usually needs the same coarser particles to relieve compaction that happens over time. New arenas may need either fine or coarse sand. So, there is not one size fits all sand for horse arenas. Masonry Sand, Concrete Sand, River Sand, and Manufactured Sand (m10s) can all work but you need to start with a basic knowledge of what type will work best for your project. RSI can help you decide, and since we offer all these types of sand we can supply the best Arena Sand for your needs.