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The secret ist underneath the sand!

The OTTO-PerforatedMat was the very first invention of footing legend Werner Otto and it remains one of the most groundbreaking inventions in the equestrian surface sector worldwide.

Being a product specifically designed for equestrian sports, the OTTO-PerforatedMat has an enhancing effect on the safety, performance and durability of the riding surface thanks to its numerous features.

All of this has led to several millions of OTTO-PerforatedMats being installed in over 6,000 riding facilities worldwide during its 30-year history.

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-PerforatedMat, however, creates a clean and durable separation between subbase (in most cases crushed stone) and footing (sand/textile blend).

    This is possible by means of so-called ‘sand-locking-rings’. Due to their conic shape, neither can sand subvert the Mat nor can stones travel up into the footing. That is why the term ‘separation layer’ is often used in connection with the OTTO-PerforatedMat.

    Moreover, the sand-locking-rings provide stable fixation of the Mat and prevent it from shifting.

    sand-locking-rings
    Interview with Klaus Balkenhol

    “We have used the OTTO-PerforatedMats for 20 years. During all this time, no material from the subbase ever travelled up into the footing. Likewise, the sand doesn’t trickle down. So, this separation really works perfectly – over decades!”

    Klaus Balkenhol
    Olympic Dressage Rider

    Watch the complete Interview here!

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

    The solution: The OTTO-PerforatedMat lets any excessive water drain quickly. In combination with a suitable subbase and a water-permeable footing, this means that there will not even remain a drop of water on top of the surface.

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

    A total of 252 drainage holes with a diameter of 3 cm each provide the OTTO-PerforatedMat with a total drainage area of 1,781 cm2.

    Thus, almost 18% of the OTTO-PerforatedMat are responsible only for drainage.

    Even after long, heavy rainfalls, the arena is immediately rideable and the horses will never have to stand in puddles or mud when they are out in the paddocks.

    Interview with Shannon and Steffen Peters, USA, Olympic Dressage Riders

    “Previously, we had to cover the arena up with a PVC liner before every storm. And even then, we weren’t able to ride right after the rain stopped.

    But ever since we installed the OTTO-PerforatedMats, the rainwater drains instantly. Even during the ‘El-Niño’ storms with up to 180 mm of rain, we are able to ride during the storm. This has been really fantastic.”

    Shannon & Steffen Peters
    Olympic Dressage Riders

    Full Interview

  3. 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-PerforatedMat, enough water is stored to consistently supply the footing with the needed moisture for an extended period of time.

    Up to 4 liters/sqm can be stored in the Mat’s water cups. In combination with the textile content in the OTTO-ArenaTex Footing, this amounts to a total of up 10 liters/sqm of stored water.

    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.

    Interview with Billy Twomey - British Showjumper

    “I only water my outdoor arena twice a week because my OTTO Sport surface can store a lot of water itself. The surface is really simple to maintain and easy on the water supply.”

    Billy Twomey
    British Showjumper

    Full Interveiw

  4. 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-PerforatedMat.

    According to a scientific study by the German Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV), the OTTO-PerforatedMat absorbs more than 40% of the force applied on the surface.

    This means that a large part of the force is absorbed by the surface instead of travelling back into the horses’ legs and being a considerable strain on joints, tendons and ligaments.

    The shock absorption properties of the OTTO PerforatedMat are certified by the TÜV (German Technical Inspection Association)
    TÜV certification of the shock absorption properties of the OTTO PerforatedMat

    The build-up of layers gave in approx. 40%. (…) The above-mentioned tests showed that a cushioning effect is guaranteed when it comes to the build-up of layers already elaborated on.

    TÜV Inspection certificate for elasticity and concussion absorption in equestrian arena base mats.

     Download TÜV certificate (PDF, 225KB)

  5. 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-PerforatedMat has been specifically engineered for this purpose.

    Due to the ideal density of the recycled PVC material used to produce the OTTO-PerforatedMat, 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-PerforatedMat
    Testimonial from John Whitaker - British Showjumper

    “During my decade-long career as showjumper, I have competed on countless different types of surfaces.

    But every time I rode on OTTO Sport, a trademark of the surface was always an increased power when jumping off and accelerating.

    This is one of the many reasons I chose OTTO Sport and their famous OTTO-PerforatedMats when I renewed my own surfaces at home and I have not regretted this decision once.”

    John Whitaker
    British Showjumper

  6. 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-PerforatedMat, the footing is provided with enough stability will not shift, even when the horses make very sharp turns.

    Alexandra Townsend - Australian event rider

    “What I really love about the OTTO-PerforatedMats is that you can just feel that the horses have more stability. Especially the horses like to go nuts and speed around, but they don’t slip and you can tell that they’re more confident. So, you really don’t have to worry about anything when it comes to safety.”

    Alexandra Townsend
    Australian event rider

    FULL INTERVIEW

  7. 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-PerforatedMat maintains what it promises.

    After all, millions of OTTO-PerforatedMats have been installed worldwide in various types of climates – and they work perfectly.

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

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

    Ramzy Al Duhami - Saudi-Arabian Showjumper

    “In my training arenas at my home in Riad, the OTTO-PerforatedMats 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

  8. Since the OTTO-PerforatedMat 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-PerforatedMat can be left untouched. After merely replacing the top layer, the arena will be in perfect shape, just like on its first day.

  9. 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-PerforatedMat might be one of the most proven products in equestrianism worldwide, but its installation is quite simple.

    Since the OTTO-PerforatedMats 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-PerforatedMats!

    You can find more about our installation service here.

Technical specifications

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

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

Testimonials

John Whitaker
British Showjumper

“During my decade-long career as showjumper, I have competed on countless different types of surfaces.

But every time I rode on OTTO Sport, a trademark of the surface was always an increased power when jumping off and accelerating.

This is one of the many reasons I chose OTTO Sport and their famous OTTO-PerforatedMats when I renewed my own surfaces at home and I have not regretted this decision once.”

Billy Twomey
British Showjumper

“I only water my outdoor arena twice a week because my OTTO Sport surface can store a lot of water itself. The surface is really simple to maintain and easy on the water supply.”

WATCH THE INTERVIEW

Klaus Balkenhol

Olympic Dressage Rider

 

“We have used the OTTO-PerforatedMats for 20 years. During all this time, no material from the subbase ever travelled up into the footing. Likewise, the sand doesn’t trickle down. So, this separation really works perfectly – over decades!”

WATCH THE INTERVIEW

Shannon & Steffen Peters
Olympic Dressage Riders

“Previously, we had to cover the arena up with a PVC liner before every storm. And even then, we weren’t able to ride right after the rain stopped. But ever since we installed the OTTO-PerforatedMats, the rainwater drains instantly. Even during the ‘El-Niño’ storms with up to 180 mm of rain, we are able to ride during the storm. This has been really fantastic.”

WATCH THE INTERVIEW

Ramzy Al-Duhami
Saudi-Arabian Showjumper

“In my training arenas at my home in Riad, the OTTO-PerforatedMats 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-PerforatedMat is a product specifically designed for equestrian sports and can be used for almost any type of equestrian surface and discipline (dressage, showjumping, gallop tracks, lunge rings, paddocks). For every other discipline, e. g. western disciplines, please contact the OTTO Sport team for assistance.

By means of its numerous functions, the Mat establishes perfect elasticity and skid-resistance, saves water and ensures a clean and lasting separation between substructure and footing. Furthermore, the Mats absorb up to 40% of the hoof’s impact and rebounds it back when jumping off.

The dimensions of one OTTO-PerforatedMat are approx. 117 x 85 x 5 cm, covering approx. 1 sqm. One Mat weighs 18 kg.

 

The OTTO-PerforatedMat has 221 drainage holes.

 

The OTTO-PerforatedMats has so-called sand-locking-rings on its bottomside, which have two functions: For one, by means of their upwards narrowing shape, they prevent any stones from travelling upwards into the footing layer. Two, they prevent the sand from trickling down underneath the Mats and pushing them upwards. This way, the OTTO-PerforatedMats with their sand-locking-ring ensure a clean and lasing separation of footing and substructure.

 

To prevent the horses from skidding, a diversified surface structure is vital. A surface with an only shallow profile will not provide the footing with the needed grip. Similar to a snow avanlanche, the footing may detach from its substructure as a consequence, causing the horses to skid. The profile depth of an OTTO-PerforatedMat is very distinct due to its 426 knows and their several heights (profile depth: approx. 2,6 cm).

To reduce the risk of sand and dust being whirled up, the OTTO-PerforatedMat has a water retention system. Up to 4 liters of water per squaremeter can be stored in the cups on the topside of the Mat, constantly providing the footing with the needed moisture by means of capillary action and giving it the right amount of stability.

 

The OTTO-PerforatedMat is produced using elastic recycled PVC.

This way, our company actively contributes to protecting our environment and sustainable development, which is why we have the support of the European Union.

The OTTO-PerforatedMats are installed in offset and with a gap of 2 – 3 cm. The numerous little knobs as well as water cups need to face upwards.

Similar to wood, the OTTO-PerforatedMat can be cut to size using a saw, e.g. bandsaw, chainsaw, jigsaw etc. Please do not use an angle grinder as the material will become too hot!

No. By its mere weight (approx. 18 kg) and its sand-locking-rings, the OTTO-PerforatedMat skid-resistingly stays in place and does not need to be fixated in any way.

 

Due to temperature fluctuations, a functioning expansion gap is absolutely vital when installing a separation layer between sand and substructure. Every material, especially synthetic, expands when exposed to heat and shrinks when it gets colder. Interlocked separating layers without a functioning expansion gap will curve upwards after some time, creating hollow spaces underneath themselves into which sand can trickle. As a result, the separating layer cannot take its initial place anymore and, with time, will be pushed upwards. The OTTO-PerforatedMats are installed with an expansion gap of 2 – 3 cm. In conunction with the sand-locking-rings, this ensures that sand cannot trickle underneath the Mats and push it upwards.

Due to temperature fluctuations, a functioning expansion gap is absolutely vital when installing a separation layer between sand and substructure. Every material, especially synthetic, expands when exposed to heat and shrinks when it gets colder. Interlocked separating layers without a functioning expansion gap will curve upwards after some time, creating hollow spaces underneath themselves into which sand can trickle. As a result, the separating layer cannot take its initial place anymore and, with time, will be pushed upwards.

The OTTO-PerforatedMats are installed with an expansion gap of 2 – 3 cm. In conunction with the sand-locking-rings, this ensures that sand cannot trickle underneath the Mats and push it upwards.

 

No. The OTTO-PerforatedMats are installed with a gap of 2-3 cm to each other, allowing the Mats. In conjunction with the sand-locking-rings, this ensures that sand cannot trickle underneath the OTTO-PerforatedMats and push them upwards.

 

During installation, the OTTO-PerforatedMats are filled with a filtration layer to filter out possible fine parts, which may be created in the footing due to abrasion of the sand or through external components such as leaves. This way, these fine parts are kept from reaching the drainage layer and clogging it. Furthermore, the sand is cannot simply trickle into the drainage layer.

 

The OTTO-PerforatedMats have to be installed on a slope / incline to ensure proper drainge of excess water. After quickly being transported through the Mats‘ drainage holes and through the drainage layer, the water needs to be able to drain to the side. Otherwise it would ‚dam‘ inside the drainge layer. All of this is made possible by means of a slope / incline.

 

Where necessary, the natural soil is stabilized by means of a crushed stone blend. On top of this, a drainage layer of crushed stone with a grain size of 8/16 mm and 7 cm thickness is installed, on top of which the OTTO-PerforatedMat is layed.

 

No. Round stones should not be used as substructure underneath the OTTO-PerforatedMat. Contrary to crushed stone with a grain size of 8/16 mm, these stones do not wedge among each other. Instead, they roll and, therefore, do not give the OTTO-PerforatedMats the grip they need.

 

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