If you're buying our arena fibre and you'd rather not get bogged down by the details of which arena sand to choose with it, just give us a call and we can discuss your sand requirements. We can even order it for you or we can direct you to the right place to get it yourself. If you've already got sand in your arena, you can still upgrade the surface by adding fibre. If you don't know what type of sand you currently have, you can just send us a small sample and we'll suggest which fibre is best for you.
Even if you've not got the preferred sand, fibre can help improve the performance. Integrated into the sand, it can help with loose surfaces and compacted surfaces, as well as helping with the longevity of the sand. In some cases, such as courser sub-angular sands or for people wanting an even tighter surface, a fibre with Lycra may be beneficial.
Sand Grain Shapes
The variety of different sands out there can be a little over-facing. It is important, if you're buying new arena sand, to make the right choice, resulting in a well performing and long-lasting arena surface.
Firstly, let's look at the shape of the sand grains. There are three main shapes, angular, sub-angular and round.
- Angular is as it sounds, sharper with edges and sharp corners.
- Round is round! It does not have edges or sharp corners.
- Sub-angular is in between the two. It is not as sharp as the angular sand grain and has rounded corners, rather than sharp corners.
So why is the Sand Grain Shape Important in Equestrian Surfaces?
- Angular sand grains can slot into each other, eventually becoming too compact a surface. This can result in a harder surface with poor impact absorption. It can also prevent drainage, resulting in water-logged arenas. The grains' pointed corners can also fracture more easily, resulting in degradation of the surface and dusty arenas.
- Round sand grains don't fit together tightly and move around a lot, giving less traction and too much movement of the surface. They can ride too deep, sapping the horse's energy and giving the potential for strain injuries.
- Sub-angular sands are preferred - they give the right amount of compaction and traction, without riding too deep. They also aid drainage.
Remember though, if you haven't got the right shape of sand grain, adding good quality arena fibre can help, for example, but sitting in between sand which is too angular, it can prevent the grains from sitting too tightly together and thus reducing compaction. Fibre can also help reduce grain fracture, by cushioning the grains.
Hard or Soft Sand
Hard sand is strongly advised in an equestrian arena surface and soft sands should be avoided if at all possible. Hard sand is durable and will give long-lasting performance, whereas soft sand will break down, lose performance and become dusty. Crushed quarry stone sand particles are sharp and will compact tightly. Being soft sand, they break into dust sooner and should be avoided.
Sand Grain Size
Ideally, an arena surface should have a sand grain size range of between 60 and 200 sieve particles, with about 7% below 200 sieve.
High quality silica content sand is less susceptible to breaking down. If money is no object, then this would be the preferred choice, but there are cheaper viable options which still give good performance when used with good quality fibre.
The sand should be clean with most silt and clay removed. In very sandy and well-drained areas, a small amount of clay can help with moisture retention. Large grains should have been removed so that the sand is more uniform.
Sand & Fibre Arena Maintenance
Adding quality arena fibre to your sand arena does reduce maintenance, but ALL arenas of any surface still need to be regularly maintained. Good fibres help you ride on top of the surface, rather than through it, which helps prevent movement of the surface, but some surface movement cannot be eliminated. The key is to keep on top of it, before any issues arise. By regularly harrowing the arena, maintenance time is ultimately reduced. Sand and fibre arenas do require irrigation in dry conditions. Read more about Arena Maintenance here.
Add Fibre to Your Sand Arena
Fibre mixed in with the sand stabilises the surface and helps the horse ride on top of the surface rather than riding too loose and deep, whilst improving impact absorption and giving a cushioned ride. In our opinion, it is the best choice for equestrian surfaces in all disciplines, but to give the best performance, you need to get suitable sand sub-angular in shape and good quality fibre. This doesn't mean that it's the most expensive option. Actually, adding fibre to any sub-angular sand can give huge cost savings on the sand; correctly mixed sand helps prevent the surface from moving, resulting in longer lasting performance, less dust, and less necessity for the very high cost sand.
Fibre helps provide a more weatherproof surface. It adds insulation to the surface; Nylon in the fibres which is a constituent part of Endurance fibre, help to retain moisture within the surface, having the effect of both helping prevent the surface from freezing in the winter or drying out in the summer. Quality fibres should be dust-extracted thus helping prevent the surface in turn becoming dusty; a correctly maintained surface helps to slow the degradation of the sand and also aids moisture retention. Good fibres should aid drainage and be mildew and rot resistant. Fully synthetic fibres have excellent longevity, as they will not rot down, unlike wool or organic material derivative carpet fibres.
More Information/How to Buy
Endurance Arena Fibre is a high quality arena fibre at a competitive price, suitable for upgrading existing sand arenas or as a new sand & fibre surface. It uses new loom-end carpet fibres so is non-post consumer and comes laboratory quality guaranteed, dust-extracted and with no contaminants. Endurance Arena Fibre gives your horse the optimal surface for absorption & stability, giving you the perfect ride. For courser sub-angular sands or customers with a quality equestrian sand who want a tighter surface with even more stability may want fibre with lycra (Endurance Premium).
Choose from delivery only, installation or get a complete arena build. Our fibre is in stock and ready to deliver. For more information or to place an order, contact us.