The FEI has since 2009 supported research into the effect of arena surfaces on the orthopaedic health of sport horses. The document you can access below summarises the findings of this research.
The white paper focuses on arena surfaces within the broad context of providing training and competition arenas for sport horses that facilitate maximal performance while minimizing the risk of injury. It includes a description of the physical properties of the surface that determine how the horse perceives the footing and the effects of the footing on the horse’s physiological and biomechanical responses. It also covers aspects of composition, construction, and maintenance that are necessary to build and maintain arenas with the desired physical properties. Current methods of measuring the physical properties of the surface are described using terms that are easily understood by riders, trainers, course designers and arena builders. It is hoped that this information will provide a basis to guide future progress in this area.
This white paper has been drafted as a collection of published scientific papers and data. It is considered a work in progress and will be updated as new scientific studies and surface data become available.
To download the document as pdf, click here.