Equestrian surface drainage

Problems with equestrian surface drainage?

The drainage system of an equestrian surface, manege or riding arena is without doubt the most important thing to get right!

There is no point paying for an expensive surface if the drainage and below ground construction is poorly carried out. A poorly drained surface will lead to surfaces being frozen during the winter, water logged in the spring and autumn and generally un-rideable in the times in between. A well constructed arena will have drainage consisting of a series of trenches containing perforated pipe surrounded in a clean aggregate and geotextile membrane to ensure that water is drained quickly and cleanly from the arena surface. There are various ways to do this and it usually depends on the ground conditions involved.

Is your surface waterlogged?

Waterlogged surfaces can be the result of two problems and the questions you need to ask are:

  1. Was the arena correctly constructed?
  2. Where should the water be going?

Equestrian surface drainage

Was the arena correctly constructed?

The answer to this question will depend on many factors. Did you use a professional contractor? Did they take ground conditions into consideration? Were correct materials used? This list is non-exhaustive and even answering the questions will not solve the problem in most cases. Unless you have had a recent construction with a form of guarantee then you will still be left with the problem, however, asking these questions to a contractor prior to remedial measures will be invaluable.

Equestrian surface drainage

Where should the water be going?

OK. So the drainage was installed correctly and the correct materials were used but where does the water go? Does it just drain to adjacent ground with the same drainage capability as what is underneath the arena? That will not work. Does it go to a well designed and capable soakaway? Does it drain to a nearby watercourse? You need to know. If you do not know the answers, you are taking a gamble and you will inevitably pay.

How can DJ Wilkinson help?

DJ Wilkinson offer a comprehensive range of agricultural drainage solutions. We can assess what problems you have and give you honest and independent advice on remedial measures. Surface water soakaway construction, watercourse clearance, ditching and renewal of land drains. We do it all! Have you considered that an effective rainwater harvesting system from land drainage and roof space could actually save you money?! Imagine this, all of the surface water from your arena and the rainfall from your stables could be stored and used for water feeders, wash bays, WC’s, rug washers and more! Simple.

rainwater harvesting


We also carry out a wide range of equestrian groundwork services such as equestrian surface drainage, land drainage, concrete floors, stable foundations, building works, portal building construction and horse walker installations.

Contact us for some FREE and impartial advice.


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