Equestrian arenas and riding surfaces

We have earth moving equipment and a team dedicated to arena and riding track construction. With a variety of riding surfaces on the market we can assist with recommending a suitable solution for your requirements and site.

horse arena construction

We are constantly seeking ways to improve equestrian arena construction methods, and over the last few years have developed a new blend for our fibre arenas.

Often an arena footing consists of a washed silica sand,  but we have found that using a new mix with a black sand has better binding qualities. The compaction properties of this sand are quite different to washed silica sand, it has a much higher density and holds ten times its own weight in water. 

We worked closely with Stable 88, the New Zealand distributor for the GGT fibre product and the German manufacturer to perfect the new blend for local conditions, by installing and testing the new footing on Harrison Lane’s own 65x35 arena.

Read more about the new arena surface here

Choosing The Arena Base

Choosing the right base for your arena is just as important as the final surface, and there are many options to choose from! 

Sometimes options that might appear initially more expensive at the outset will actually work out more cost efficient in the long run - once all the infrastructure that is required to maintain them is taken into account. 

Having the best performing base allows a greater choice in the riding surface, and the better the riding surface the more likelihood of sound healthy horses. 

Both types of arena mentioned below should be maintained with a purpose made arena groomer to protect your investment.

Base Type – Free Draining

Subsoil drainage constructed with layers of hardfill to allow water to drain quickly. Riding surface options are cushion ride, sand, or sand and fibre mix. Irrigation is necessary on sand and fibre surfaces, and preferable on other sand surfaces.


  • Great drainage and performs very well during winter.
  • Easy to maintain 


  • Uses a lot of water and requires reasonable infrastructure for the supply of water to – pumps, power etc
  • Dries out quickly without regular, consistent irrigation

Base Type – Ebb & Flow

This type of arena is built in a watertight liner and has pipework charged with water to irrigate from below, under a layer of drainage sand. The capillary action of the sand surface absorbs the moisture required to maintain an optimum riding platform. 

Riding surface options for Ebb & Flow are sand or a sand and fibre blend. 


  • A consistent water level is maintained so the riding surface performs at an optimum level all the time.
  • Low maintenance with the right equipment.
  • When other infrastructure costs taken into account, Ebb & Flo is often the most cost-effective long term
  • Can be built all year round


  • Requires a good water supply

"EQUITANA Auckland strives to deliver an international standard equine event to New Zealand. We are the only event to install a purpose-designed and built 3000 seat indoor arena, as well as a large 80m x 60m outdoor competition arena, and three additional education arenas in the one venue at ASB Showgrounds. It is a significant commitment, requiring considerable expertise to install these temporary arenas to our exacting standards.

Our success and reputation is measured by the standard of the arenas and facilities we install at the venue. Since 2017 we have entrusted Harrison Lane with the construction of our arenas. We have worked closely with Scott and Laura in the design and installation of the arenas and witnessed first-hand their commitment to excellence and the ability to deliver at unrivalled standards.

The Harrison Lane team's work ethic and attention to detail are enviable, and their service delivered in a responsive and uncomplicated manner. In November 2019, the standard of our surfaces was outstanding. The research that went into the construction of the arenas was the result of 2 years of development, and we are grateful to Harrison Lane for the surfaces they presented, which I believe were world-class for a temporary surface.
I have no hesitation in recommending Harrison Lane for design, building, and installation of equine arenas.”