Product Review - Premier Equestrian ArenaAid Fiber Footing Review
Updated: Feb 24
We recently ordered Premier Equestrian's ArenaAid footing additive to increase stabilization and cushion to our existing arena sand.
We have a lovely regulation size Dressage arena at home. During the initial construction of the arena, we purposely added the minimum suggested amount of surface sand to avoid having a ring that would get too deep. (I would rather add more sand when needed than have to try and remove sand.) This works great, but because our surface is river sand with a minimal amount of clay, it has very little stability, cushion, or rebound.
In most cases, I would recommend having a professional arena builder evaluate and install your fiber, but sometimes circumstances such as budget can limit your options.
When we were ready, we decided to start our search for an affordable additive that would help increase stability, plus add cushion and grip to our sand. We quickly found ArenaAid from Premier Equestrian.
The customer service department was very friendly. They sent us a generous sample which we were able to install in one of the arena corners. We were happy with the results, but we ended up waiting a few months to order the ArenaAid fiber. As luck may have it, by the time we were ready to order, they had an 11% sale on arena footing products.
The recommended amount of ArenaAid for our ring (which is 200' x 68' x 2-3" top sand depth) was at least 4,857 lbs on 3 pallets/6 bales. We knew from friends' past experiences that the suggested order often ends up being way too much fiber. So, we opted to buy less initially and, if we needed extra, we could easily order another pallet. The amount we ended up ordering was 3,268 lbs on 2 pallets/4 bales.
The order was placed on a Thursday, and it was delivered on the following Friday. At the time of purchase, the sales team was a tiny bit vague on the level of equipment we would need to maneuver the fiber, or that the fiber was going to be delivered in only 4 bales. I would say this was our only con in the process thus far. If you do the math, which I quickly did to compare our tractor weight limits: 3,268 ÷4 = 817 lbs per bale. There were two bales per pallet, stacked on top of each other, equaling 1,634 lbs per pallet. The bucket weight limit on our compact Kubota BX tractor is only 650 lbs…oops. My husband wasn't thrilled with 2 large pallets of fiber sitting at our mailbox, LOL. The erstwhile scenario we tackled was that the pallets were delivered via semi-truck and unloaded at the end of our driveway. Our driveway entrance is about 1,000 ft from our riding arena! We are fortunate to have generous farming neighbors with extra-large tractors who were able to assist us in getting the bales down to our arena. Needless to say, if you plan on installing your own fiber, make sure you are equipped to move around 800+lb bales of material. Otherwise, you will need to order from a provider that carries smaller, more manageable bales of fiber.
Once the fiber made it to our arena, we were able to start planning to install. We had to slightly modify our installation based on the equipment we had available to us. To spread the textile, the suggested method is with a manure spreader. We opted to hand-spread with the assistance of two hired helpers. We divided our arena into four sections and spread the fiber evenly throughout. We then watered to where the sand was moist but not muddy. Finally, we mixed the footing thoroughly with our arena groomer. Having a groomer appropriate for fiber footing is very important. We have the Carolina Equipment mini DragNFly D60 groomer.
Additional Installation supplies needed:
Wheelbarrow or large buckets
Masks (You don't want to breath the fiber in while it's dry)
Razor blade knife (to cut away plastic wrap)
Helpers to assist in spreading
I should note that the installation instructions suggested we install half the fiber, water, and mix then repeat the same steps with the second half of the fiber. But since we ordered a minimum amount of fiber, we opted to combine all 4 bales at the same time.
We did have a few hiccups during the installation process. First, I accidentally over watered the arena making it too moist. By doing so, I was unable to get an initially even mix of the ArenaAid into the sand. Secondly, you are supposed to continue to roll your surface for several days after installation. We had torrential rains for 3 days after installation, so we had to postpone our daily mixing until the arena dried out.
Overall, we are delighted with ArenaAid from Premier Equestrian. The fiber immediately provided structure and cushion to our sand. I would recommend this product to anyone looking to enhance their arena footing, especially if they are looking for an economically priced product. I believe we ordered a sufficient amount of fiber for our current needs. We may consider buying more bales overtime. The installation was relatively easy, but you must water to the appropriate moisture level for the best mixing results, and it does require heavy machinery to maneuver the bales of fiber.
Below was our first ride on the new footing. Please excuse the dirty marshmallow....It was 40s out.
After 2-3 weeks the fiber has evenly mixed into the sand. I was lucky enough to have recently had a lesson with Dressage Trainer & Olympic Bronze Medalist Michelle Gibson. The first thing she noticed was the arena footing. She was pleasantly surprise by our "home arena" and asked who the installer was. I was happy to report to her that it was ArenaAid fiber that we installed ourselves :)