View Full Version : Arena Sand

01-07-05, 04:08 AM
Ok, we are just in the proess of finishing our arena (finally), all we have to do is get the sand for it, and I was just wondering what sand everyone uses on their arenas, and if they can remember where they got it from.

By the way Im in NSW.


01-07-05, 04:13 AM
How much do you want to spend and what are you doing in the arena?

The cheapest is coarse river sand, make sure you get it from someone who knows about arenas as if its too fine it will be a disaster.

Otherwise if you want a fancier surface there is a gravely one with coloured plastic thingys in it (very technical i know) and it is superb for drainage and gives extra spring and is much softer than sand, It is advertised quite a bit, I think its pro ride.

If you go river sand and you are in a very bright area, the reddish stuff is good as it cuts down on glare, but it dies the horses red too so not so good for greys or white stockings.

01-07-05, 04:27 AM
Hi Millie,

I have course WASHED river sand! 2-3 inches on a firm base that drains and does not allow the water to sit anywhere.

The reddish stuff that samie mentioned I think you will find is just unwashed river sand, hence it will still have clay particles in it. This is more like a bedding sand, it is cheaper because it has not been washed, the down side is that once it gets wet it packs down pretty firm so needs regular grooming.

There are all sorts of surface materials you can mix with sand, just depends how much you want to spend.


01-07-05, 04:53 AM
Thanks for that info,

Sami to answer your question it is for dressage, and price isnt a real issue for a good quality surface.

Is single or double washed better?


01-07-05, 04:59 AM

The better washed the better it will drain! :-)

Also if price isn't a real issue then I would suggest looking at one of the surface materials that can be mixed with sand, like the shredded rubber. There are many available, they can work out quite exy but give that extra cushioning in the surface.


01-07-05, 05:19 AM
The sand I was talking about was well washed but I think it came from some other area, it was never sticky or compacted. mybe it was died that way.

If you can afford the pro ride it is a superior surface and drains better too, so you can pretty much ride no matter what, give it 20 mins to drain after rain and you can ride.

01-07-05, 08:39 AM
ANL makes a arena mix.
Decomposed granite & tiny woodchip, They can make it in most colours.
I was sent a sample of blue & natural.
They just dye the woodchip bit, It looks great would drain well & be very spriny to ride on & fall in :-)
I was quoted $54 T compared to $35 T for washed river sand, But it is lighter than sand so it has a larger cubic mass.
Im in NSw as well.

02-07-05, 06:32 AM
Not sure where abouts in NSW you are from, but Nepean Quarries at Elderslie (near Camden) seem to be the cheapest for Double Wash River Sand. We purchased this for our square yard and mixed a small amount of blue metal dust. It works OK - not much spring in it though.

02-07-05, 07:21 AM
Just be a bit careful with which type of river sand you get. My girl friend got round grain river sand for her arena and it has never settled and moves constantly ie: gets tracks and soft patches, and causes her problems.

You need to get coarse river sand with irregular sized grains that are not 'polished' round. If you take the sand in our hand the rub a bit between your fingers it should feel sharpe not smooth.

02-07-05, 08:17 AM
Thank you for all your help.

We aren't far from Camden, in the Hawkesbury, I think Nepean quaries have a quary near us at East Kurrajong for sandstone and rock.

I will take all this very helpful information on board when I order the sand.


02-07-05, 12:48 PM
I would be careful with that granulated rubber stuff as I was talking to a company that supply arena surfaces, and lately they have been removing the rubber and replacing with sand.

He said that some people reckon their horses were geting tendon injuries because there was too much rebound, whereas sand absorbes the impact of the hoof.

Try and find a quarry or a bulk supplier, as I was given a price of $15.00 per tonne plus delivery for washed river sand, and if you go to a landscape supplier it is $35.00 per tonne plus delivery.

02-07-05, 01:10 PM
We are about to put sand on our arena. The local sand and soil place quoted $3000 for a 20x60 arena does that price sound about right or are we better off looking around a bit first for a better price?

03-07-05, 12:56 AM
That sounds pretty expensive. If you are putting down 50mm (2") of sand, a 20 x 60 arena takes 60 cubic meters. (60 x 20 x .05 = 60) The price they gave you is $50 per cubic meter. Even if you go for 75mm depth, and need 90 cubic meters, it still works out at over $30 per meter.

I would be trying to find a quarry or where they buy the sand from. As you will be buying it in full truck loads, they will sell to you. You pay for the sand and an hourly rate on the truck. If you can get a truck and dog trailer into your property, you will save on the truck hire as you should be able to get it in 3 loads. Without the trailer probably 6 or more loads.

03-07-05, 06:20 AM
Urbula, that does sound expensive, but it all depends how far you are having to have it delivered. Unfortunately the transport can often cost as much as the product when it comes to landscaping materials! Check with the supplier on a price ex-yard and delivered per cubic mtr or tonne. Wouldn't hurt to shop around and I also always insist on going and looking at the product (take a small sample with you to check what you get is what you ordered.... have had supplier try and provide a lesser product for the same money before)..

As Nicko said also check on whether they are just using body trucks or dog and trailers, but you must be sure they can get a dog and trailer onto your arena easily..... some truck drivers are brilliant, others well, they'll take one look and say NO WAY and then you're up for the transport anyway!

Nicko, I did hear something similar about the rubber, but what I heard was that people were not getting the correct ratio when mixing the rubber with sand and also not grooming the arenas regularly which allows for the surface to become uneven. That would be setting up for a disaster if your poor horses are working on dead sand, springy rubber on / off all the way round an arena. I alway try and groom my arena after about 5-6hrs of work.

03-07-05, 10:21 PM
Message for Urbula. That quote is expensive and is typical of what sand and soil places will charge no matter where you are. Your best bet is to find out where your closest quarry or quarries are and either speak to them by phone or better still, go out and look at what they have. Find out from them who does their cartage and also speak with local excavators to get a price. You'll save a heap of money that way. Plus if you organise your cartage through an excavator he will also be able to level your sand out for you. Without knowing what your base is and assuming it's good you'll only want two inches of sand, maximum of three so make sure you tell them that as very few of them know or understand about surfaces and the effect on horses legs. It is much easier to add more later on once it settles than to remove excess and nurse a horse with tendon damage. :-)

04-07-05, 02:08 AM
I have always been happy with Nepean River sand from Nolan's Quarries Elizabeth Drive Kemps Creek. But recommend you visit them and select it, the type or mix, yourself. Price good and business and delivery professional.

20-07-05, 06:52 AM
Thanks for your help everyone.

20-07-05, 08:33 AM
I am in Victoria & am also in the process of organising an arena surface - it's not easy as most people have differing opinions on what works best.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me what granitic sand is & if it is cheaper or dearer than the washed river sand?????

I have been told to put granitic sand down as my base (I already have an area leveled off with a slight camber for drainage) & to let this settle for 6-12 months or get it rolled & compacted if I can afford to & then top this with 2 inches of the washed river sand.

Can anyone tell me if this sounds adequate? I'd hate to spend oodles of money for it not to work. I only use my arena about 3 times a week & if it is really wet I would hack out or ride at a local indoor rather than on my arena.

Thanks in advance!