Hume Chicago blog What Is a Menage Surface?

What Is a Menage Surface?

Many people look at a menage surface and just see a finished arena or paddock, but there is a lot more to the construction of these surfaces than meets the eye. Choosing the right materials and knowing what they do, or don’t do, can have a significant impact on how your horse performs and what injuries you may experience.

Menage surfaces offer a soft and supportive surface that absorbs shock to help reduce the strain of jumping or schooling a horse. This helps prevent both injury to the hoof and the rider. A hard or compacted surface doesn’t provide the cushioning required and may cause stress to the hoof. This stress can be inflicted during the landing phase when the hoof hits the ground, the flexor tendons and ligaments load with weight and create shock waves that are distributed through the footing, legs and limbs.

Choosing the Right Surface for Your Menage: Key Considerations

An ideal menage surface distributes the shock and offers a good amount of resistance under the hoof during this loading phase and also provides the springy, active nature that allows the horse to effortlessly move into the rollover or push-off phase. A surface that is too soft or uneven will shift during this process and force the horse to use more energy to jump or work the animal, which can lead to tendons and ligament damage.

Some surfaces require more maintenance than others depending on the type and conditions of the footing material. For example, sand-based footing will need to be regularly groomed with a drag harrow to ensure that the base (the third level of the footing) is not disturbed and compacted. This can be a time consuming job and is something that you may wish to consider hiring a third party to do if your arena is large.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post