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Similar to the OTTO-PerforatedMat - without drainage holes!

The OTTO-DesertMat is specifically designed for equestrian arenas in extremely hot and dry climate zones where water shortages are a major problem, e.g. on the Arabian Peninsula.

Similar to the OTTO-PerforatedMat, this version guarantees elasticity, a spring-back effect and skid resistance, and does not require drainage holes.

This doubles the capacity of the water storage system to up to 8 litres per square metre.

The features

  1. In riding arenas with an inadequate or no matting system, the hooves may dig up stones and other material from the subbase into the footing already after a short while.

    The OTTO-DesertMat creates a clean and permanent separation between the sub-base layer (mostly gravel) and footing (sand-textile fibre mix).

    This is why the term “separation layer” is often used with the OTTO-DesertMat. The sand locking rings on the underside of the mat anchor the mat in place, therefore preventing any unwanted mat movement.

    In brief: The OTTO-DesertMat ensures that everything stays exactly where it should be, including the mat itself!

    Underside of the OTTO-DesertMat
  2. 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.

    Due to a unique system of water cups on the topside of the OTTO-DesertMat, enough water is stored to consistently supply the footing with the needed moisture for an extended period of time.

    The OTTO-DesertMat has a water storage system on the upper side of the mat to provide the riding surface with the required level of moisture throughout and which can store up to 8 litres of water. This ensures that the surface remains firm and avoids the risk of sand and dust being stirred up in particularly dry regions.

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

    Water storage system
  3. In equestrian sports, especially showjumping, a considerable amount of force is applied on the surface. Considering a horse’s average weight of approx. 600 kg, up to 5 tons of force may be applied on the surface when horse and rider land after a jump.

    In order to prevent short-term and long-term injuries of the horse, an equestrian surface needs to be able to absorb a large part of this force.

    How is this possible? – With the OTTO-DesertMat.

    The force of the horse's hoof striking the riding surface is largely absorbed by the mat, which cushions the impact on the horse's legs. Compression of the joints is reduced, thus easing the strain on the ligaments and tendons. The mat is also sufficiently robust to give the horses the necessary support.

    After the OTTO-DesertMat has largely absorbed the force of the hoof striking the surface, it provides the optimum level of spring-back to return a part of the applied force on take-off. This system promotes the health of the horse’s legs and greatly improves performance (e.g. when show jumping).

  4. In addition to shock absorption, an ideal riding surface also needs to be able to elastically return a part of the applied force. This will provide the horses with increased stability and will enhance their performance.

    The OTTO-DesertMat has been specifically engineered for this purpose.

    Due to the ideal density of the recycled PVC material used to produce the OTTO-DesertMat, the Mat not only absorbs a large part of the force applied on it, but it also provides the horses’ legs with the optimal amount of rebound.

    Rebound of the OTTO-DesertMat
  5. What if the horses accelerate, make sharp turns or stop abruptly? In these cases, the hooves need especially good grip and must not slip.

    If the footing layer is applied on a flat base it will shift under the weight of the hooves. Even if the base is equipped with knobs which all have the same height, the horses will slip because, even in this case, the footing is not provided with sufficient grip and will shift, similar to an avalanche.

    Thanks to a unique system of high and low knobs as well as high and low water cups on the topside of the OTTO-DesertMat, the footing is provided with enough stability will not shift, even when the horses make very sharp turns.

  6. Countless other types of separation layers need to be interlocked or installed edge to edge.

    Since every type of plastic expands and shrinks according to temperature fluctuations, this may lead to ‘wave-shaped’ arenas, since the material does not have any space to expand.

    Whether torrential rainfalls, lowest-degree winters or scorching head: The OTTO-DesertMat maintains what it promises.

    Since the Mats are made of high-quality recycled PVC, weather conditions cannot cause any damage to the OTTO-DesertMat.

    During strong temperature changes, the OTTO-DesertMats can expand and shrink without any trouble as they are installed with a small gap between each other.

    Testimonial from Ramzy Al Duhami - Saudi-Arabian Showjumper

    “In my training arenas at my home in Riad, the OTTO-DesertMats are exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. During summer, we get up to over 50° Celsius.

    But the Mats can fully handle that and everything stays where it’s supposed to be. That’s what I call ‘German Engineering’!”

    Ramzy Al Duhami
    Saudi-Arabian Showjumper

  7. Since the OTTO-DesertMat is produced using highest-quality material, it is extremely durable. After all, the Mats come with a guarantee of 20 years on functionality!

    Even if the footing layer has to be replaced after many years, the entire base including the OTTO-DesertMat can be left untouched. After merely replacing the top layer, the arena will be in perfect shape, just like on its first day.

  8. Although the equestrian world is fully aware of the importance of high-quality riding arenas, the journey to get them intimidates many.

    But relax! The OTTO-DesertMat might be one of the most proven products in equestrianism worldwide, but its installation is quite simple.

    Since the OTTO-DesertMats do not have to be interlocked or anchored but are only laid with a small gap, they can be installed quickly and easily.

    A regular skill saw, jigsaw or chainsaw can be used to cut the Mats to size, for example on the arena border. (Please wear suitable protective clothing when cutting the Mats!).

    We at OTTO Sport want to make sure that the installation of your arena is carried in a worry-free way without causing any unnecessary costs.

    Whether it is do-it-yourself, supervision or turnkey solution: We will adapt to your individual circumstances and needs and will help you in fulfilling your dream of an own OTTO Sport surface.

    We will be happy to provide you with a detailed installation manual when you purchase your OTTO-DesertMats!

    You can find more about our installation service here.

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

Technical specifications

Made for Dimensions (length x width x height) Weight Material
Outdoor riding arenas / gallop tracks / roundpens 117 x 85 x 5cm (= coverage of approx. 1 sqm) 18kg Recycling-PVC

Testimonials

Ramzy Al-Duhami
Saudi-Arabian Showjumper

“In my training arenas at my home in Riad, the OTTO-DesertMats are exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. During summer, we get up to over 50° Celsius.

But the Mats can fully handle that and everything stays where it’s supposed to be. That’s what I call ‘German Engineering’!”

Frequently asked questions

The OTTO-DesertMat is a product that has been developed specifically for equestrian sports and is suitable for almost all disciplines (dressage, show-jumping, gallop tracks). For all other disciplines, including the "Western" riding style, please contact your OTTO Sport team who will provide excellent advice.

The versatile function of the mats ensures optimum elasticity and skid resistance, improves the water retention of the riding surface and allows a clean and permanent separation of the sub-base and footing layers. In addition, the OTTO-DesertMat provides elasticity and a spring-back effect to absorb the force of the horse's hoof striking the surface.

The dimensions of an OTTO-DesertMat are approx. 117 cm x 85 cm x 5 cm, corresponding to a top surface of approx. 1 m²; each mat weighs approx. 18 kg.

 

The OTTO-DesertMat has 426 raised knobs on the underside.

 

OTTO-DesertMats have sand locking rings on the underside which penetrate the gravel and provide anchorage to prevent the mat from slipping or moving.

 

A varied surface structure is essential to avoid the risk of skidding or slipping. A surface with a low tread depth does not provide the necessary support to the footing, and could detach from the sub-base layer like a surfboard, causing the horse to skid. The tread depth of an OTTO-DesertMat is fairly large and comprises a system of raised knobs of 426 different heights (tread depth = approx. 2.6 cm).

The OTTO-DesertMat has a water storage system to reduce the risk of sand and dust being stirred up. The water storage system in the OTTO-DesertMat can retain up to 8 litres of water per square metre and evenly distributes moisture to the sand footing via a capillary effect; the surface therefore retains the correct firmness.

 

The OTTO-DesertMat is made from recycled PVC.

Our company is therefore making an active contribution to environmental protection and sustainable development which is also supported by the EU.

The OTTO-DesertMats are installed offset with a joint distance of approx. 2-3 cm. The numerous small raised knobs and the water storage system must be laid facing upwards.

Similar to wood, OTTO-DesertMats can be cut to size with a saw; band saw, chainsaw, jigsaw, etc., but not with an angle grinder, because the material will overheat.

No, the OTTO-DesertMat simply remains fixed in place under its own weight (approx. 18 kg) and with the sand locking rings, and therefore requires no anchoring elements.

 

A functioning expansion joint is essential in the separation layer of a riding arena to allow for thermal expansion. Almost every material, particularly plastic, expands in the heat and contracts again on cooling. In this case, expansion would cause the connected separation layers to bulge upwards. This creates cavities under the surface which the sand then enters, preventing the separation layer from returning to its original position when the mats cool down. Over time, the mats will continue to migrate upwards.

OTTO-DesertMats are installed with an expansion joint of approx. 2-3 cm.

This prevents sand from penetrating the OTTO-DesertMat and it cannot gradually migrate upwards.

A functioning expansion joint is essential in the separation layer of a riding arena to allow for thermal expansion. Almost every material, particularly plastic, expands in the heat and contracts again on cooling. In this case, expansion would cause the connected separation layers to bulge upwards. This creates cavities under the surface which the sand then enters, preventing the separation layer from returning to its original position when the mats cool down. Over time, the mats will continue to migrate upwards.

OTTO-DesertMats are installed with an expansion joint of approx. 2-3 cm. This prevents sand from penetrating the OTTO-DesertMat and it cannot gradually migrate upwards.

 

No, OTTO-DesertMats are installed with an expansion joint of approx. 2-3 cm. This prevents sand from penetrating the OTTO-DesertMat and it cannot gradually migrate upwards.

 

For fixed installations, we recommend you apply a filtration layer of chippings directly on the OTTO-DesertMats. The layer of chippings prevents the fine quartz sand in the footing from clogging the expansion joints and thus assists water drainage. This allows excess water to drain through the filtration layer more effectively. In addition, the water content in the storage system is increased as the chippings have more spaces in which to retain water.

 

Where necessary, the topsoil can be stabilised with a gravel mixture base layer. A drainage layer of approx. 7 cm of coarse chippings with a grain size of 8/16 mm is then placed on top of this layer. The OTTO-DesertMats are then installed on top of the drainage layer.

 

No. Round gravel should not be used because, unlike chippings with a grain size of 8-16 mm, it does not interlock and can move around. This will mean that the OTTO-DesertMats are not sufficiently stable.

 

No, the mud layer must be removed.

 

Under certain conditions, for temporary installations in particular, the OTTO-DesertMats can also be installed on a mowed field. A fleece is then laid under the OTTO-DesertMats.

 

No, the mats are not designed to allow horses to walk directly on the OTTO-DesertMats without a footing.

 

A footing depth of approx. 8-10 cm, depending on the sand composition, is recommended for the OTTO-DesertMat.

 

Yes, but only if the footing depth is at least 8 cm and the sub-base layer is able to bear the weight.

 

The OTTO-DesertMats are delivered on disposable pallets.

 

One disposable pallet contains 50 OTTO-DesertMats, and altogether they weigh 900 kg + 20 kg dead weight of the disposable pallet (total = approx. 920 kg).

 

As the OTTO-DesertMats are not anchored into the ground, you can easily remove them at any time.

 

As the OTTO-DesertMats are manufactured using recycled PVC, you can dispose of them in the normal household waste. If, for some reason, you no longer need the OTTO-DesertMats, you’ll soon find someone will be delighted to take your used mats off your hands!

 

The OTTO-DesertMats have a 20-year warranty for functionality.

 

Yes, the OTTO-DesertMats should be installed on a fixed sub-base layer with lightweight concrete to ensure they don’t float out of place.

 

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