Complete Geotextile Horse Arenas


Geotex Horse Arenas & Equestrian Installations

The typical horse arena has many names; from incorrectly being called ménage on a regular basis, to the more apt French manège. Whatever you call it, there are lots of things to consider for your equestrian riding arena installation.

Construction of a complete equestrian riding arena can be a long, hard and yet delicate process. When planning, one has to ensure they have taken many factors into consideration: site access; ground level; drainage qualities; and general exposure. Once these details have been confirmed it is time to begin the actual manege construction. First comes the excavation, followed swiftly by the drainage. The latter is most commonly utilised in a herringbone pattern as shown below. It’s after this point that we, Trade Geos, get involved.


herringbone drainage pattern



Base Layer




Once the drainage is securely fitted it’s time to cover with a woven geotextile membrane, providing extra reinforcement and stabilisation. Ideally, the drainage pipes would also be wrapped in woven geotex to prevent clay and silt from blocking the drains. In our many years of equestrian specification, particularly for horse arenas, we have always recommended our 78gsm Woven Geotex for the base layer. Of course higher grade products are available but, since the membrane is being laid below the sub-base and therefore isn’t required to withstand significant point loads, there is little need to consider these. Ensure you have the right product for the job; there is no need to over-specify.


Top Layer




For the top layer of an arena there are several non-woven geotextile membranes to consider. This is necessary to prevent the stone sub-base migrating upwards into the surface, whilst also aiding the in slip resistance. Suitable overlaps of approximately a third of a metre should be secured down with Geotex Cloth Tape, preventing sand from getting underneath and lifting the membrane. All creases should be removed before laying the sand, ensuring a smooth and flat surface.