Equestrian Surfaces Woodfibre Arena Leveller

It is essential that a woodfibre surface is maintained. Harrows should not be used as this just moves the woodfibre and disturbs it too much so that it never has a chance to bed in and settle. Maintenance is therefore the key to a good woodfibre surface. This is an email and pictures we received from one of our arena customers who constructed a DIY woodfibre arena leveller. It is doing such a good job of levelling our woodfibre surface and it is so cheap (a word not usually associated with our beloved equines!) to put together that we thought it would be helpful to show it on our web site for others to see and make.

woodfibre1Our 1year old Ransfords woodfibre arena was previously levelled with a section of chain harrow, but it seemed to disturb it too much, even with the spikes upwards so we built this one and it’s fab and cheap. Its so light that I can tuck it under my arm and carry it in and out of the arena with ease.

It’s made from two 6? by 3? sheets of 50mm square steel mesh, the front is 40mm light box section with the bends welded on (these bends are just to stop the bar from digging in to the side boards when it hits them), though I’m sure that tube would be just as good and easier to bend. (We used an old shop clothes stand recycled) This bar is welded to the front section.

The hinges are made from 12mm OD steel tube. I used two 45mm lengths for the end ones (they keep the two sections in line) and ten 10mm lengths equally spaced out, (these keep it close coupled). These are then slit length ways with an angle grinder (carefully!) and pushed over the two sections of mesh before being closed up by tapping with two hammers.

woodfibre2The hinged middle helps the mesh to travel flat over the surface and allows for really easy storage and carrying of the leveller. I’m sure a workable option could be made with the mesh tied to a wooden front bar (fence rail perhaps) and the two sections of weld mesh just wired together or fixed together with cable ties.

We have found that the best way to get a good finish is to drive in oval shapes working from one end of the arena to the other and sort of glancing off the sides to level the ‘track’ and then, to finish off with, around the edges and up and down length ways in straight lines. We use a ride on mower with the cutting deck lifted.

If the surface ever gets really kicked up we could revert to the harrow first to fill any holes and then as above. We hardly ever do that now though.

Cheers Linda and Bill