Now that your new riding arena is level (see part two: levelling the arena), we can start laying the base materials for the arena.
- 13 tonne (or similar) excavator – This can be hired from large plant hire companies, with or without a driver.
- String line
- Tape measure
DrainageIt is very important that any fast moving water is directed away from the arena or collected and diverted.
This is normally achieved with a toe or cut-off drain at the bottom of the cut bank (see diagram below), which will collect water coming down the bank and steer it away from the arena.
If there is a large amount of land, car parking or other hard standing situated above the arena, we recommend diverting water from there with an earth bund and/or a drain at the top of the bank.
Measure out the arena size ensuring that corners are at 90° right angles.
The easiest way to do this is to measure from corner to corner across both sides – the measurements should tally. Insert some corner pegs.
Mark a line halfway between the bottom of the bank and the edge of the new arena. Now, dig a 300mm (W) x 450mm (D) trench along the bottom of the cut bank, emptying out the collected water into the field (or a convenient ditch).
Now it’s time to lay your pipe in this trench. You can line the trench with membrane or, alternatively, wrap the pipe in membrane to avoid the pipe becoming clogged with washed in mud.
Make sure the trench has a slight fall in the chosen direction to allow water to drain away.
In most ground conditions (especially on clay soil) we recommend that you dig drains through the arena every 10 metres.
For example, a 20 metre wide arena would have one drain down the centre to help drain excess water. This drain can be linked into the cut-off drain.
Laying the Lower Membrane and StoneWe recommend that you lay your lower membrane and arena stone at this stage as this will ensure that you have a hard base to work from during wet weather.
Run a string line down one long side of the arena and unroll the first strip of your membrane, making sure that approximately 150mm of the membrane projects past the fence line.
When you roll out your next run of membrane, make sure that you have a minimum of 300mm overlap.
We recommend that you avoid rolling out too much membrane in one go as it can become unmanageable in windy weather conditions.
Lay your stone roughly as you go, keeping it back from the edges of the arena by about 1m to give yourself room to put up your fence. We recommend placing all the stone on the area at this stage but leave grading it to a later stage.
Some of the stone can be used to fill up the drainage channels.
Ready to start installing the fencing?