A few facts
The ArenaMat is sustainably manufactured from surplus imitation leather that comes from the automobile industry. The design with the nubbed structure should not only allow water to flow off easily, but also to be stored for longer, which in turn should reduce dust formation.
Measuring 1.25 x 0.8 m, an ArenaMat is exactly one square meter in size, 4 cm high and weighs 19 kilos. The above-mentioned nubbed structure ensures sufficient grip in the substrate.
The material appears very soft in warmer temperatures, which is great for covering slight curves and transitions, e.g. to slopes. In winter, the material is less elastic, but can still be laid well.
Installation according to regulations and otherwise
As with all products we test, we follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. For this reason, we have provided a test area with a levelling layer of approx. 5 cm of sand, laid the ArenaMats on top of it and then filled it with sand. Since we are curious, we selected another test area in autumn, which already had about 5 – 10 cm deep mud. Without sand underlay, we simply laid the mats there and also did not fill them with sand, but spread mud directly on them. In addition, every time it rained, it dripped from a defective gutter onto a section of the roof.
The actual laying – whether directly on sand or in the mud – is very easy because the mats are simply laid on the ground. Edge to edge with an expansion joint of about 1 to 2 cm. Afterwards the backfilling takes place. Whether one fills the plates only up to the upper edge or a little above it, one can argue about that. The more sand is used as a treading layer, the more cushioning and water retention is naturally achieved. Also the mats have less abrasion and there are no problems with slipping horses.
But, conversely, more sand unfortunately also means all the more opportunities for an unhealthy bacterial world to develop from urine, horse excrement and hay residues. We ourselves therefore only use a thin layer of sand and let horses walk on the surface. Here the ArenaMats score with their structure, which offers hooves a lot of grip.
In our experience, an edge mounting for the ArenaMats does not seem necessary, because the panels lie very firmly on the ground due to their own weight and the nubby surface. Even steering with the tractor on the spot or horses spinning on their hooves are not impressed by the ArenaMat in any way.
It is optimal if the surface to be paved is built with a slight slope so that water can run off directly at the surface in the desired direction and does not have to seep completely through plates and filling into the ground.