The big day has arrived and you’re about to receive your new riding surface! Exciting times!
But before you can test your new riding surface you have to offload and lay it.
A simple step which can easily be overlooked. Whether you are having a riding surface topper or standalone you will need to make sure that your horse riding arena is prepped and ready for laying the new surface.
Standalone: For a new build arena, your groundwork must be complete and the non-woven geotextile membrane laid, at least one section towards the furthest point of the arena.
                       For existing arenas it is prudent to remove your old surface and dispose of it responsibly, taking your arena groundwork back to the aggregate beneath, before laying a fresh non-woven geotextile.
Topper: Many people will have an existing sand base. If laying on top of a sand base you should ensure that any unwanted objects are removed and the area levelled.
Horse Arena Surfacing
First of all you will need to make sure you have ample room for the delivery vehicle to gain access and park safely, remember to include room for manoeuvring when offloading your new riding surface.
Once the delivery vehicle is in place and ready for offloading you will need some mechanical means to move the surface off the trailer and into your arena or yard space where you are storing the bagged surface ready for spreading. Many people use a telehandler, front loader or forklift to offload the surface.
Superior Fibre Products for Arena
Placing Your Riding Surface In The Arena
Standalone: If you have laid only one section of the non-woven geotextile you will need to place the bags evenly across each section. E.g. 20m x 40m arena depending on how much you overlap the membrane sections, will typically take x4 sections. The amount of bags of riding surface for a standalone application is x40. So x40 bags divide by x4 sections = 10 bags per section.
It is best to place, split and lay each bag individually when laying on a section by section basis, ensuring you do not cover the area of the membrane that is needed for overlapping each section.
Alternatively you may lay the membrane in its entirety, but you must make sure when evenly distributing the bags across the arena that you do not turn the wheels of the vehicle which is transporting the surface, as this will rip up your membrane.
Topper: Since you have an existing base surface driving on it is less of an issue, however make sure you do not make any sharp turns to avoid churning up your sand base.
A topper surface for a 20m x 40m arena is x20 bags; again distribute the bags of riding surface around the arena making sure you have place at least x1 bag close to each corner.
Equestrian Surface Sand
Laying The Riding Surface
Now all your bags are in place it is time to start laying your new riding surface.
Simply slice open or tip over each bag and safely lift away the bag using a machine (forklift, telehandler, excavator etc), leaving behind the riding surface in a pile.
Hand Laying: If you are feeling full of energy you may be laying the riding surface by hand. Evenly rake out the surface in all directions, taking care to make sure than you have a uniform depth throughout the arena.
Excavator: Many people hire an excavator with driver for the day, which is the most efficient and easiest way to lay the riding surface. An excavator does not get tired and with broader strokes of the machine arm can be easier to evenly spread the surface, not to mention it’s a lot less effort to knock out the larger piles of the surface using a machine!
Power Harrow Blending Fibres


No doubt it’s taken a lot of work to get to this point and now is the time to stand back and enjoy your new surface, you deserve it!
Horse Riding Arena
N.B. Riding surfaces are prone to settling and compacting when being stored and transported.