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flicka
14-05-03, 12:23 PM
Looking for a good surface for round yard, thought Yea river sand but Equitrak and Pea gravel have been suggested.
Has anyone tried these?

DB
14-05-03, 05:34 PM
Speaking from experience, it depends on what you are going to use your round yard for. We use ours to "get them going" and to work on wet miserable days, and to get them settled. I would rather land on Sand ANY day than the vastly overrated EquiTrak, and not onto Pea Gravel in a million years. (The patterns it could give you with a heavy fall defy imagination!) Not to mention both of the above can be quite slippery, and the first consideration of a round yard should be safety and stability for the horse. Otherwise, he's just not going to "go" happily.

Sand has been used for thousands of years with much success, so much so that most of the race tracks in America are made out of it. Only recently have people started to mess about with coverings, sometimes with disasterous results. Some of these are: putting the good surface on an unprepared undersurface, causing major slippage; not allowing sufficient drainage underneath; overestimating the amount of time you are going to spend in the structure, and wether you will have a million dollar White Elephant in your back yard. At least if you use sand, it can always be used for other things, pulled down, changed etc.

Food for thought.

blackhorse
14-05-03, 10:53 PM
I have used a wood chip base in my round yard. Not the large chips that you commonly see on gardens but a very fine chip. Underneath that is a bomba dust layer for drainage. Both were relatively inexpensive.

I have found it an excellant surface. It drains well and even after heavy rain if the wood is damp it is still not slipery. They can dig in to a certain extent but tend to "bounce" more off the more resiliant surface than you do in sand. If you have ever run on a sand arena compared to a woodchip arena you will know what I mean. I think I should describe is as woodshred, because thats more what it looks like, not little hard chips but soft shreded slivers. They use it around here on trotting tracks.

The disadvantage is you have to be prepared for the fact there will be break down. It is a product that will need replenshing every couple of years.

KelleyL
15-05-03, 12:54 AM
Can I also suggest (speaking from experience here with a disasterous mistake I made) that when you do your round yard, do not bother with putting drainage pipe etc underground. It WILL block up. Just have it ever so slightly off level so that the water drains off and out. I am unable to use mine during the entire of the winter period. Also use a road base under sand (and sand is a definite must over and above any other surface) because otherwise the footing becomes very slippery if the hoof goes entirely through the sand.