7 Things You Need To Know When Choosing Surfaces For Your Horse

Making sure your horse is comfortable as well as safe is essential to maintaining its health. Mainland Aggregates Ltd is a good choice for surfaces.

7 Things You Need To Know When Choosing Surfaces For Your Horse

When choosing surface materials for your horse’s home and arena it is important to consider the best comfort and safety for them, as well as how reliable the surface will be to damage or other forces. All surfaces materials have their own advantages and disadvantages. At Mainland Aggregates we supply specific equestrian surfaces which are proven to suit all equestrian requirements. Follow our guidelines.




If your horse has particular sensitivities these should be considered, particularly for their stable. Crushed rock with fines is recommended over that without. Some horses are prone to chewing or eating at their bedding so make sure you use something that will not harm them, or thoroughly cover their surfaces with something that is edible such as hay or straw.



Allergies can be particularly irritated by accumulating amounts of dust. Certain surfaces produce more dust than others. Although masks can be worn, it is advised that the comfort of horse and owner is taken into consideration before choosing your surface. Stone based aggregates and concretes have a much lower risk of dust than soils and wood chip bases. Proper ventilation is essential in stables. Outside arenas should be cautious of exposure levels to wind; dust circles and potential falling trees are just a few hazards.



Regularly exercising your horse is an important part of caring for it and keeping it healthy. Making sure your horse doesn’t slip on a surface is crucial so traction, as well as the horse’s shoes, needs to be good. Rounded gravel, concrete and wood chip are less advisable in comparison to Silica Sand and Rubber based surfaces for arenas. During wet weather the tractability of wood based surfaces is known to suffer but this can be prevented as much as possible by avoiding constructing on a sloped or uneven area.

 Horse shoe


Sustainability to damage/wear

The overall cost of maintenance may be something else to think about. Some materials can be cheaper to purchase but require more regular care; Silica Sand is long-lasting. The forces of erosion and as a result of the impact of your horse should be factored in. Materials should compact to a firm, slip-resistance surface.



Our Silica Sand surfaces consist of a sand with sub-angular grains, providing quality drainage which is useful for urination and wet weather. When choosing an area to construct your arena a discharge for the drainage system should be located to avoid the build-up of puddles. It may be necessary to approach your local council for help with this.



Stabled horses should be thoroughly looked after with frequent cleaning. A dirty stable can cause illness and unnecessary stress for a horse. When outside, riding arenas should be maintained too in order to prevent slips, so surfaces that are easy to clean are the most appropriate. Having the right tools, clothing and technique is essential when cleaning to guarantee your horse the best environment and keep surfaces well managed.


Natural appearance

Blending surfaces into the surroundings can make for a better overall appearance of your horse’s shelter and riding arena. Various materials are more appealing to the eye but it is largely down to personal preference. Typically an all weather riding arena consists of a drainage system, a sub-base, a Silica Sand surface and usually a Rubber Chip topping as seen in our Riding Arena Construction Diagram. When designed and constructing your surfaces, please talk to our advisors to help suit the style to you.



Have a look at our range of products for equestrian surfaces. Our Riding Arena Construction Diagram provides more comprehensive information on choosing the various surfaces throughout the building of your horse’s stable and riding area. You can talk through your queries or plans with our team today at Mainland Aggregates.