Proper horse arena drainage is essential for ensuring your arena is built to last and hassle-free. Preventing flooding not only allows you to use your arena at your convenience but it also reduces maintenance and prevents wear.

Here’s a guide on everything you need to know to create a proper horse arena drainage system.

Creating a Horse Arena Drainage System

Drainage should be a constant consideration when building an equestrian arena. It needs to be incorporated into every layer to ensure water can flow through appropriately.

Choosing a Location

The first step when constructing an arena is where to build it. You’ll want to find a relatively flat location with easy access to your horse. However, you should also consider the drainage implications of your chosen location.

Find an area where you’re arena’s drainage system can expel the water it collects. This area should not be higher than your arena or the water might recollect back on the arena surface.

Excavating the Area

Breaking ground on your project will involve excavating the area. You’ll need to dig deep enough for your base layer and your surface layer. Keep in mind that you should also create room for your drainage system.

Installing a Drainage System

Once the area is prepared for your arena the next step is to install the drainage system. The type of system your arena should use depends on the climate where your arena will be. For dryer climates with less rainfall, creating trenches for runoff might be sufficient.

If you’re located in an area with frequent rain, you’ll need another approach. French drains are the most common type of drainage solution for outdoor horse arenas. It involves piping the unwanted water out of your arena and into your designated water collection area.

Adding Base and Surface Layers

The base and surface layers should be added in after your horse arena drainage method has been installed. Keep in mind that all layers of your arena need to be permeable to allow water to reach the drainage system.

The base materials of an arena are usually compressed stones to create a solid foundation. On top of this layer, a geotextile fabric is placed to separate the stone from the top layer. Above this, the surface layer is installed.

Arena Surface Materials

The materials for your equestrian arena’s surface layer will depend on what type of arena you’re building. Dressage arenas will need materials that provide more cushioning. Riding arenas on the other hand will need footing materials that create more traction for your horse. If you’re unsure what type of surface materials you should use in your arena, consult one of our experts.

French Drains and Quality Footing

Having an ideal drainage system and quality footing are the most important components of a high-quality arena. To create the best arena for both horses and riders, find a horse arena drainage system that works for your climate and invest in the best footing for your arena.

Final Thoughts

Building your dream arena is exciting, but it can also feel overwhelming. If you have any questions about what’s best for your arena, contact us. We have arena construction and footing experts on hand to address all of your unanswered questions.