Arena footing issue

We just had a 100x200 arena put in. Not a small project by any means and had a hefty price tag. They used satellite and lasers to get everything graded and did an amazing job. Unfortunately there was some miscommunication ugh. They placed #57 stone down (1 inch stones) and compacted it with a roller. Then instead of doing a cracker dust layer they put the sand directly on top of that. I’m sick in my stomach thinking that the big stone is going to come up through and cause issues. Does anyone have any experience with arena footing and know if this will be a big problem?

We have a natural clay base with sand on top. Sure a couple rocks will work their way up. Weekly maintenance is key. Also a couple young kids who need volunteer hours, hand them buckets and have them pick up rocks.

Unless you have super soft footed horses, or horses with super thin soles, a rock or two floating around really shouldn’t be an issue.


Unfortunately, without a buffer layer of compacted stone dust, the #57 will quickly work its way through and to the surface. Ideally, you would have wanted base > large aggregate > fabric > stone dust > sand.


If it was one of those ginormous, vibrating rollers, maybe it pulverized the 57 to make its own dust layer. Fingers crossed for you.


Id be sure to mention my concerns to the arena builder NOW, before issues arise…


Is it just a layer of rock, then sand? If so, you are very likely to have issues.

I would have the sand layer scraped (not a difficult or expensive proposition if you just have a couple inches). Then I would put down fabric and then appropriate layer of compacted stone dust. The fabric is optional, but in a new arena with a stone base, I wouldn’t skip that step.

Yes, they need to come back and fix it. That’s a huge mistake, as in I’ve never ever heard of an arena being built that way and someone should have known better, or offered to fix it immedietly. Even if they compacted the bigger stone, it will still come through

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We had similar problem, the dirt pad worker was supposed to scrape some old gravel out, but hid it with dirt on top.
We fought that gravel in the sand for several years, finally had to pay to get it all removed, proper clean dirt put in, watered and packed properly and then sand on top.
Very costly mistake not to have seen the hiding of that gravel.

Has been perfect since, but the cost was :grimacing:

Three layers: rolled base then 3" of crusher stone, roll it, 3" of stone dust to lock down the crusher, roll it, then 3" of sand. Do it sooner as opposed to later

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Thanks everyone! Excavator came back, removed the sand, and put the appropriate layers in.