Perfection down to the smallest grain.

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Not all sand is created equal! On the contrary: Sand is a science. Fortunately, every science has its experts – in this case, the experts are called OTTO Sport.

Being one of the  leading supplier of equestrian surface systems worldwide, we have been studying countless types of sand over the decades. In addition, we have experimented with various additives to optimize the arena sand.

In our own sand laboratory, we have researched tirelessly for decades to find the perfect footing mixture. The result: OTTO-ArenaTex.

Whether it is the Olympic Games or the small farm next door: OTTO-ArenaTex is the perfect footing for every demand.

The features

1. Longevity

Do it right once.

More about longevity


The sand part in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing is made of pure silica sand. Silica sand is an extremely hard grain and will not break even under tons of weight, allowing it to be very durable. Moreover, the OTTO-GeoTextile additive is made of a considerably durable mixture of textiles and fibers.

Combined with a reasonable amount of daily maintenance,  OTTO-ArenaTex becomes an equestrian footing which lasts for an incredibly long time.

“On my yard in Nottingham, lots and lots of riding is done on the surfaces every day. We train for the most high-ranking shows worldwide, so the surfaces are need to be able to handle that.

Still, my OTTO-ArenaTex Footing has lasted for over 10 years (Interview in 2016). Especially after the guys from OTTO Sport laser-graded the arenas again for the first time since installation recently, the footing feels like on the first day.”

– Billy Twomey, British Showjumper

2. Reliable and quick drainage

Farewell to puddles in the arena.

More about drainage


Water puddles in the arena are not only annoying – many horses refuse to walk the parkours because of them. Moreover, muddy paddocks can lead to painful hoof diseases in the long run.

The solution: The OTTO-ArenaTex Footing allows every drop of excessive water to drain quickly since it doesn’t contain any material which could block drainage (e. g. clay). Combined with a suitable subbase, not one drop of water will remain on top of the outdoor arena footing during rainfalls.

With the OTTO-PerforatedMat, muddy paddocks and unrideable arenas become a relic of a time gone by.

“We used to cover our outdoor arena up with a PVC liner before every rainstorm, and even then we couldn’t ride right after the storm was over.

But ever since we installed OTTO Sport, the water drains immediately. We can even ride during the famous ‘El-Niño’ storms when we have rainfalls with up to 180 mm. This has been really fantastic.”

– Shannon & Steffen Peters, Olympic Dressage Riders

See the full interview here!

3. Water storage

Keeps the footing moist and the money in your pocket.

More about water storage


Since sand is a water-bound material, the footing consistently needs to be kept in an earth-moist condition so that the horses have enough grip and no dust can be whirled up. This way, a riding surface which requires frequent irrigation can cause a high amount of time, effort and costs.

This is the reason why the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing is equipped with a textile/fiber additive.

This way, the footing can store up to 6 liters of water per sqm. Combined with the water cups on the topside of the OTTO-PerforatedMats, this amounts to a total of 10 liters of water per sqm.

In outdoor arenas, a large part of the manual irrigation is replaced by rain water which can save a substantial amount of costs for tab water.

The textile part in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing also increases the amount of elasticity in the surface (see feature 5).

4. Stability

Lean back and relax … or rather lean sideways.

More about stability


Safety and health of horse and rider are always of utmost importance when choosing the right footing, whether it is for high-ranking tournaments such as the Olympic Games or the small next-door yard.

That is why countless riders, event organizers and yard owners have been trusting in the tested and proven OTTO-ArenaTex Footing for decades.

An excessive amount of round grains in the sand mixture does not provide the hooves with enough stability. At the samt time, an excessive amount of sharp-edged grains can harm the hooves.

OTTO-ArenaTex contains a perfectly balanced blend of sand grain shapes to master this challenge.

After all, the sand experts at OTTO Sport have been studying this science every day for decades.

In addition to the ideal sand mixture, OTTO-ArenaTex is equipped with special fibers which act like a system of roots in the footing and prevent the sand from shifting too much.

The result: The sand/fiber mixture provides the hooves with enough stability, even during the sharpest turns.

5. Elasticity

Ready for take-off.

More about elasticity


A high amount of elasticity is an important factor in every equestrian discipline. An elastic surface returns energy to the hooves after impact, having an enhancing effect on performance and safety and contributing to the long-term health of the horses.

OTTO-ArenaTex provides the ideal amount of elasticity in the surface, especially when combined with the OTTO-PerforatedMats.

The reason for the high amount of elasticity in OTTO-ArenaTex lies in its textile content. In addition to the water storing capabilities of the textile (see feature 3), the textile is a very elastic material.

Combined with the OTTO-PerforatedMat, this increased performance considerably.

6. Easy maintenance

Maximum performance – minimum effort.

More about maintenance


Like any other quality product, OTTO-ArenaTex requires a certain amount of maintenance. Fortunately, this maintenance can be carried out very easily.

  • Removing … (droppings, leafs etc.) daily and conscienciously extends the longevity of the footing.
  • By means of suitable maintenance devices, the footing can be kept in shape very conveniently. (Check out the OTTO-ArenaLevelers here!)
  • After leveling, the arena should be watered thoroughly.

Technical specifications

Material: Mixture of quarz-silica sand, textiles and fiber

Made for: Outdoor and indoor riding arenas

Installation thickness: 8 – 10 cm (when installed on OTTO-PerforatedMats)

Weight: 1.6 tons/m3

Volume: 0,63 m3/t

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How does drainage work in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing?

OTTO-ArenaTex is water-permeable. In combination with a correctly installed subbase, this means that any excessive water can drain through the footing layer and all of the lower layers. By means of the arena’s incline, the water can then flow to the side and out of the arena. This way, any puddles or mud will be avoided.

At the same time, a sufficient amount of water is stored thanks to the additives in the sand, so that a certain amount of moisture is retained in the footing, provided that adequate maintenance is carried out. OTTO-ArenaTex can store up to 4 liters of water more per sqm than other types of footing.

Does drainage in OTTO-ArenaTex work by means of top surface drainage?

The OTTO Sport Equestrian Surface System is not engineered to work with top surface drainage. The entire build-up of layers including the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing is water-permeable, so that any excessive water can drain right away without any puddles or mud being created on top of the footing.

Another advantage is the consistency of the surface: a water-permeable surface maintains its elasticity while surfaces with top surface drainage which need to be a very firm or even hard to be able to let the water drain.

Why is silica sand used in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing?

Silica sand is almost abrasion-free and hardly contains any fine particles. Also, nearly pure silica sand does not contain any clay. These features prevent the footing from clogging the drainage system and, hence, guarantee trouble-free drainage.

Moreover, silica sand is a very hard grain and almost abrasion-free, which makes it very durable and long-lived.

How high should the amount of silica in the sand be?

We recommend using sand with silica content of min. 95%. Our own OTTO Sport blends have silica content of up to 99.9%.

How can the quality in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing be determined?

OTTO-ArenaTex Footing is a blend of several high-quality silica sand types which are mixed according to the individual requirements. In our own sand laboratory, the exact grading curve can be determined which provides excellent information about the sand quality. The fineness of the grain as well as the correct combination of grain sizes within the sand mixture are of considerable importance in this regard.

How does silica sand affect the hooves?

Silica sand tends to have the reputation of grinding down the hooves. But not the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing! The horses’ health is very important to OTTO Sport. Therefore, they pay close attention to a balanced mixing ratio of round and edgy sand grains.

How fine does the sand in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing have to be, and why?

The sand part in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing has a grading curve of < 0.5mm. The grain fineness is a decisive factor for high-quality equestrian sand. However, the ideal composition of several grain sizes is just as important for the perfect consistency of the footing. The sand must be able to provide low caving-in under the hooves, firmness and grip, especially in showjumping.

Why should river or pit sand not be used?

River and pit sand types are too soft and have high abrasion. Abrasion creates dust. Also, fine particles tend to clog the drainage system in the long run.

How high is abrasion in silica sand?

Due to its natural hardness, silica sand is nearly abrasion-free and, therefore, produces almost no fine particles.

Why are additives used in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing?

The OTTO-ArenaTex (sand/textile/fiber blend) has several advantages. For one, it provides increased elasticity to the otherwise very hard sand layer. Also, it binds the sand to some extend. The most important feature, however, is that it can store water. The OTTO-ArenaTex Footing can store up to 4 liters more per sqm than regular types of footing.

Which types of additives are there, and what are they used for?

OTTO Sport recommends adding the OTTO-GeoTextile additive, a textile/fiber blend, which can be used for every regular equestrian discipline.

Moreover, it is possible to use only natural material, i. e. sawdust. The OTTO-ArenaSpan blend is produced exclusively upon order. The lifespan of sawdust, however, is considerably shorter than the OTTO-GeoTextile’s. Due to the natural wood material, abrasion is a lot higher and, therefore, dust is produced. Also, this footing has to be filled up from time to time.

Does quality vary concerning the different types of additives?

Of course, given the large number of additive providers on the market, materials and quality vary. The important thing is that the additive does not dispense any additional fine particles and is dust-free. Moreover, the lifespan of a textile/fiber blend is considerably higher than that of sawdust.

Are additives mandatory for equestrian footing or can it be used without them?

Using footing without additives is possible, but OTTO Sport do not recommend it to a limited extend, except in paddocks. For showjumping under tournament conditions, a sand footing without additives is not suitable, as the required quality for this purpose cannot be achieved in this case.

If footing is used without additives, we point out that a considerably higher maintenance effort is needed in this case. In order to achieve sufficient stability in the sand, a larger amount of irrigation is required.

Do the additives store water, and if Yes, how much?

The textile in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing can store up to 4 liters of water per sqm.

What do you have to keep in mind regarding the different colors (white, yellow) when using the sand for equestrian footing?

Sand is a natural product. Therefore, colors may vary. However, this does not affect quality in any way.

Yellowish silica sand is more rare than white silica. Choosing the right color of the sand is mainly a matter of preference. However, in areas with high sun exposure and longer hours with sun, footing with a higher content of yellow sand is recommended as it does not reflect the light so much.

What is the installation thickness for the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing?

In classic equestrian arena construction with the OTTO-PerforatedMat, we recommend installing the footing with a layer thickness of only 8 – 10 cm, measured from the top edge of the knobs. If, for whatever reason, you do not wish to install the OTTO-PerforatedMat, the footing layer needs to be raised to a thickness of approx. 12 – 15 cm.

When constructing an OTTO-Ebb&Flow arena, a layer thickness of approx. 13 cm has to be calculated to ensure the capillary effect from the subbase up into the footing. After installation, the layer thickness also amounts to approx. 10 cm measured from the top edge of the knobs.

How is the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing maintained?

Regular irrigation and daily removal of droppings and other dirt (e. g. leafs, wood etc.) will extend the lifespan of the footing considerably. Otherwise, the sand may clog up after some time and limit the drainage ability of the surface.

Moreover, it is recommended to level the arena regularly by means of arena leveling devices. This levels uneven spots, fills holes and levels the hoof track around the arena. When the surface has packed down too much, the harrows should be applied to the surface with a depth of 1–2 cm. Please refer to our “Maintenance guide for your original OTTO Sport Equestrian Arena”.

Which maintenance devices are used for the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing?

OTTO Sport recommends using an arena leveler from their own range, whether it is the OTTO Sport BASIC, OTTO Sport VARIO or OTTO Sport DELUXE – each with individual features which will fit your needs perfectly.

Moreover, you can now get the most revolutionary arena leveler on the market: the motorized OTTO Sport CASANOVA, based on an ATV by YAMAHA.

For more details about the individual models, please contact our sales team

Are horse droppings (urine, manure) harmful to the footing?

On a chemical basis, horse excrements have no effect on the footing. Merely the manure may cause the sand to clog up if they are not removed on a daily basis, which may limit the footing’s drainage ability.

Does the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing need to be watered on a regular basis, and why?

Any sand footing, no matter what type, needs to be irrigated, as sand is a water-bound material. This way, ideal, long-term consistency of the footing is ensured. Thanks to the additives in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing, a considerable amount of water is already stored within the footing and passed on to the sand (4 liters per sqm). Still, irrigation is mandatory.

How long does the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing last?

Due to the longevity of silica sand and the fact that the OTTO-GeoTextile additive does not decompose, the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing’s lifespan is nearly limitless, but subject to conscientious maintenance.

Are there any differences in installation of the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing when it comes to indoor and outdoor arenas?

Regarding the exact mixture of the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing, there is no difference between indoor and outdoor arenas. However, when it comes to the entire build-up of layers for the arena, an incline of approx. 1% has to be created outdoors to ensure water drainage. This is not necessary indoors.

Are there any differences in installation of the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing when it comes to the classic system and the OTTO-Ebb&Flow System?

In classic equestrian arena construction with the OTTO-PerforatedMat, we recommend installing the footing with a layer thickness of only 8 – 10 cm, measured from the top edge of the knobs. If, for whatever reason, you do not wish to install the OTTO-PerforatedMat, the footing layer needs to be raised to a thickness of approx. 12 – 15 cm.

When constructing an OTTO-Ebb&Flow arena, a layer thickness of approx. 13 cm has to be calculated to ensure the capillary effect from the subbase up into the footing. After installation, the layer thickness also amounts to approx. 10 cm measured from the top edge of the knobs.

Is there a special build-up of layers when the surface is built for Icelandic horses?

The gait of Icelandic horses is tölt. For this, a special blend of footing is required. Please contact us if this is the case for you.

Any other questions? Call us at

+49 (0) 9187 97 11-0!

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