Fix for slippery arena footing?

I just bought a boarding facility with what I thought was a nice half-enclosed indoor arena. Turns out none of the boarders canter in it because the footing is very round pea gravel causing the horses to slip. :no: (Yes, I’m a total newbie and in way over my head.)

I’m wondering if I need to have the pea gravel removed (It’s not very deep.) or if I can bring in something different in to add to it to make it safe.

Please help! Thank you!

I would pull it out, evaluate the base for compaction and levelness, and then put angular sand in. You can use pea gravel around the farm for a variety of other uses.

Congratulations on your new place!
Pea gravel is great for sacrifice areas, around water troughs, drains well, etc. and I hear it is GREAT for the bottoms of their feet (especially if they are barefoot). But it is NOT good for riding on. I would be very concerned about soft tissue injuries.
I would remove it, and use it elsewhere. Do a good inspection of your base to be sure they aren’t slipping on that, then add a new footing.
Good luck!


I would check around your area for a professional in the sand and gravel business. They know what is available in your area, and they should also be able to give you some thoughts as to the easiest way to fix it.

As it many things try to get a second opinion, as well.

Not sure how recent this is but i did the same thing and bought river sand which was not sub-angular. so ended up having to scrape this out and use concrete sand that had more varied and angular particles. The we felt it was too compacted and added the Foam Footing from Performance Footing, made from yoga mats which made a world of difference.

I also heard adding some sediment may help but no more than 5% or so or adding textile additives. Ultimately I felt those were bandaids and bit the bullet and redid all the sand.