Horse Arena Membranes – Which one should I be using?

featured image of horse arena membranes

Why are membranes important for horse arenas?

Stagnant water can lead to areas that become slushy and sloppy which is not good for equestrian arenas, as it will affect the ride quality for both the rider and the horses. Furthermore it can lead to the sub layers not performing as they should due to damage caused by the water build up. This means that without the correct drainage and membranes you will have wasted a lot of time and money!

header image for what are geotextile membranes, geotextiles explained blog post at easymerchant

What are geotextile membranes?

Keeping things basic, a geotextile membrane is something put in place beneath the ground to create a protective layer for what lies beneath. They are used most often for drainage projects, hence being ideal for the construction of an equine arena.

There are two types of membranes primarily used for horse riding arenas, they are our non woven geotextile membrane (Terram T1000) which is perforated, and our woven geotextile membrane which is non-perforated. They have slightly different jobs but both will be required in the arena construction.

If you need any further information on geotextile membranes you can seek our blog post: Geotextile membranes explained.

picture image of geotextile membrane being rolled out

Which Membranes are available?

At EasyMerchant we stock a variety of sizes, rolls and brands of membrane including:

  • Terram
  • Lotrack
  • 100 gsm
  • 200 gsm
  • 300gsm
  • 300+gsm
  • Woven
  • Non-woven

So now you may be wondering what each of these mean? Well starting with the brands, Terram is a non woven geotextile membrane that is often used as an aggregate separator. Terram membrane is a popular choice and is used for many drainage solutions. It is widely used for things like underneath patios in a garden and also as a arena membrane. It is used for it’s ability to consistently cope with maintaining separation of layers as well as being able to protect ground and stabilise an area. Lotrak is no different to Terram other than the fact that it is slightly higher quality at a cheaper price and is extremely popular among people looking to create a riding arena with adequate separation and drainage. Both of these non woven geotextile membranes are made in the UK with Lotrak having a slightly higher specification in terms of quality, aside from this they are practically the same, and do a great job of keeping the sub base separate from the above ground material in equestrian arenas so that you can get the most out of your horses.

Next it is worth looking at how the different gsm (grams per square meter) of each membrane can effect how it performs, and which is best suited for a horse riding arena or dressage arenas. As stated above there a variety of sizes. The smallest size is 100gsm which you can use but we do not advise you use this for a equestrian riding arena. Our 200gsm is really the minimum equestrian membrane that should be used for riding arenas. The 300gsm geomembrane is what we would recommend to someone who gets a pleasurable amount of use of their arena. If you are looking for membrane to accommodate a long term riding school or something similar, you would look to use the 500gsm.

Before we look at the functions of the riding arena membranes that you will be using, it is worth knowing the difference between a woven and non-woven geotextile membrane. The woven membrane is black in colour and is impermeable meaning that water can not drain through it. The non woven membrane is white and permeable meaning that it allows water to drain through it.

picture image of horse arena

What do they do?

The short answer is that both the geotextile membranes play a different role in the build of a horse arena.

The woven membrane sits below the arena’s sub-base which creates a barrier between the sub-base and drainage system below, therefore would be laid first. The reason that this is placed here is to stop any fine materials from entering the horse arena’s drainage system, as this could lead to blockages or stop it from performing how it should. Along with this it helps to ensure that the sub-soil doesn’t interfere with the sub base, as for an effective surface all sections of the bellow aggregate need to remain separate.

The non woven membrane has the job of keeping the sub-base separate from the above ground material, for example sand. Separating these two layers is important because it prevents the below stones from coming to the above area, and will also stop the upper surface from moving down into the below sub-base. Once again it is important to keep all the layers separate as they all serve their own purpose and won’t be able to act as they should if they begin to merge.

picture image of geotextile membrane being fitted

As one of our most popular products, we would be happy to help with any questions you may have about horse arena membrane, so don’t hesitate to drop us a call or email.

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One thought on “Horse Arena Membranes – Which one should I be using?

  1. avatar of heather
    Heather says:

    We are looking at doing an arena ,but do not have much of a budget sovereign thinking of putting membrane down then chippings as a surface.The ground is quite stoneyas was used as the M4 tipping ground ,any advice would be welcome

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