We can’t get away from it, but winter is coming. For most people, winter is the season of ‘comfortably sitting on the couch’. But for the horsey people among us this is completely different story. With rainy weather it can sometimes be quite challenging to continue training in the winter as fanatically as in summer. Especially when you only can use an outdoor arena, it can be quite a struggle. But with the tips below you ensure your outdoor arena to be ‘winterproof’.
The first thing that is important for a ‘winterproof’ outdoor arena is a well-working drainage. The drainage ensures that you can keep the water level in the arena or paddock in order. Especially in the seasons when it rains a lot, it is not desirable that the surface changes into a swimming pool. Not only is training on a very wet surface bad for the drainage system, a horse also runs a higher risk of injury. Besides the fact that you want to prevent this, another consequence of poorly functioning drainage is that when it starts to freeze, the arena will be unusable very quickly.
Are you sure that the drainage is in order and you are aware that frost is on its way? Then make sure the water level in the arena is as low as possible. This will ensure that the surface is as dry as possible, which makes the chance of freezing a lot smaller. What also helps in this matter is the addition of polyflakes (also known as Geopad). These contribute to the support and stability of the surface and keep it airy. Because of this effect, the polyflakes sort of act as an anti-freeze. For an arena with polyflakes, compared to a normal sand surface, temperatures have to drop an average of 5 degrees more, until the surface freezes.
Is the surface dry enough to prepare it for the frost? Then we recommend that you drag the arena preventively. The perfect way to do this is for example with our Equilizer. Due to its small dimensions, this arena leveler is extremely suitable for levelling a paddock or lunge pen. The Equi-lizers can even be provided with different surface drags, so that each surface can be maintained perfectly. By dragging, the top layer is finely loosened and airy, which reduces the chance of freezing. If the outdoor arena still becomes too firm when it freezes hard, then at least it is even. This makes it possible to turn out your horses without running the risk of them stepping into a pothole.