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How you can build your high-quality outdoor riding arena yourself with OTTO Arena.

Many of our customers have opted to build the riding surface themselves.

It is very important to us that your riding arena "works" in precisely the same way as if it had been installed by a team of experts.

OTTO Arena supports your do-it-yourself project with detailed installation instructions, a list of machinery required and, last but not least, expert advice by telephone or in writing.


We hand our expertise over to you.

A self-build offers maximum ease and safety for horse and rider.

Benefits of the OTTO riding surface systems:

  • A skid-resistant and firm surface
  • Excellent shock absorption properties provide relief to the horse’s tendons and joints
  • Perfect elasticity and springback
  • Avoidance of puddles with the smart drainage capacity, even after heavy rainfall
  • Can be used practically all year round
  • Perfectly adapted footing


  • Healthy, happy horses
  • Greater safety and support for your horses, confident performance

Our quality standards for the wellbeing of your horse

OTTO only sells and installs top quality products, because we only provide the best for your horse and your facility. Whether it's a full-service installation by our partner OTTO Sport, a large equestrian event or a do-it-yourself installation - every one of our products performs a specific function, fits seamlessly into the riding surface system and is the result of decades of experience.

Our core concept is therefore: the same high riding surface quality for all - and worldwide!
Whether it’s a small private riding arena or a large competition venue - every riding surface is constructed based on the same construction model.

Building instructions for the outdoor riding arena.

This is how you can build the riding surface in 4 layers:

1) Gravel drainage layer as a permeable layer

2) OTTO PerforatedMat as a separation layer

3) Backfilling or filtration layer

4) Footing with washed, high-quality, quartz sand with various aggregates

Substructure of the outdoor riding arena

Is your sub-base layer concrete, a field or a clay soil? Depending on the substructure available on site, we will find the right solution for the riding arena you are planning. Will your riding surface be built on a field, farmland, clay soil or concrete? Just ask us, and we’ll be delighted to help you.

TIP FROM THE OTTO TEAM: We recommend a maximum edge gradient of 1%. The gradient also increases the drainage capacity. Our team will be happy to provide any advice you may require.

4-layer structure of the OTTO riding surface


A drainage layer of chippings (5-11 mm to 8-16 mm grain size) is applied to the load-bearing sub-base layer and levelled with laser precision.

The layer of chippings ensures effective water discharge.

2) Install the OTTO PerforatedMat

The OTTO PerforatedMat can be installed on a sub-base layer that has been correctly prepared and finished.
It serves primarily as a separation layer between the sub-base layer and the footing to provide skid resistance, water storage and shock absorption.
You can see all the benefits of the OTTO PerforatedMat here.


How to install OTTO PerforatedMats in the riding arena:

OTTO PerforatedMats™  should be installed offset with a joint spacing of c. 2-3 cm. The system of raised studs of varying heights and a water storage system must be installed on the upper surface of the mat.


What are the benefits of installing OTTO PerforatedMats on the riding surface

Separation of the sub-base layer and the footing
Without a riding arena mat, the sand would gradually mix with the sub-base layer (gravel, etc.), particularly if the horses are training on the riding surface. The OTTO PerforatedMat is an effective way of preventing this. It creates a clean and permanent separation between the sub-base layer and the footing sand.

Skid resistance
Your horses will enjoy cantering around the riding arena, because our special system of raised studs of varying heights on the upper surface of the mat prevent skidding and slipping. The studs provide excellent bonding with the footing and therefore guarantee a high level of stability.

Drainage function
It is often not possible to use the riding surface, particularly after heavy rainfall, as mud and puddles may cause the horse’s hooves to slip and lose traction, posing a risk to both horse and rider. But not with OTTO: The drainage holes in the mat prevent excess water from accumulating on the footing and therefore mud cannot form. Excess water can drain away through the layers. The riding surface remains mud-free, even after heavy and persistent rainfall.

Water storage
The OTTO PerforatedMat has a water storage system on the upper surface of the mat, which can store up to 4 litres of water to maintain the required moisture level of the footing. This ensures that the riding surface remains firm and prevents sand and dust from being stirred up.

20-year functionality guarantee
We are confident in the longevity of our products - and therefore give you a 20-year warranty on the functionality of OTTO PerforatedMats if they have been correctly installed and maintained.  

3) Backfilling with washed coarse send or chippings

The OTTO-PerforatedMat is backfilled with chippings or water-permeable, washed coarse sand to prevent the fine sand or organic material from migrating down through the drainage holes of the mat.


4) Layer of washed fine, clay-free sand, with no aggregates

The OTTO-Arena footing can now be applied.
It consists of a homogeneous mixture of high-quality, clay-free, quartz sand mixed with textile and fibre aggregates or shavings.

A self-build in competition quality

You have a completed new, high-quality and self-built outdoor riding arena in guaranteed OTTO quality.

Individual footing - the correct riding arena sand:

We only use washed quartz-sand mixtures.

Properties of the OTTO Arena footing:

  • High-quality quartz sand in specific grain sizes
  • Clay-free for optimum drainage

Quartz sand is one of the hardest sands in the world:

  • Extremely durable with the correct care and maintenance
  • Suitable for all equestrian sport disciplines

Long service life
Our footing is highly durable provided it receives the correct care and maintenance. We want you and your horses to enjoy your riding arena for many years to come.

We adapt the sand formula to the requirements of your equestrian sport:

  • All-round riding arena
  • Show jumping arena
  • Dressage arena
  • Competition surface

Training tracks:

  • Tölt and flying pace track
  • Gallop track

Is my sand suitable for my riding arena?
Do you have sand already and want to know if it is suitable for the riding surface you are planning? Send us your sand sample or enquire about our OTTO-ArenaTex footing and the sand mixture that has been specifically developed for riding arenas. We will be delighted to help you.

Sand analysis

The riding arena border

Enquire about our riding arena borders. We are also happy to offer solutions for individual borders to provide the right surround for your riding arena.


Get a quote now! Free of charge and non-binding.


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