New Member
Jul 15, 2021
Hi everyone,
Currently building a Ménage (20 x 40) And I’m working out what to do for its surface, I don’t need anything fancy, just something to use in the winter. I’ve looked at rubber chipping, but I worry about it getting too wet and my grey pony’s legs turning black 😂! The cheapest fibre option I can find is around £3000. Has anyone had experience with used surface from someone else’s ménage?
Thank you!
No matter how cheap it is don't get wood chip, not only does it break down but it's slippery to ride on when it's wet. Avoid builders sand too, it doesn't knit together and so rides very deep when dry and will freeze if it gets wet in the winter. Rubber will turn the legs black, but legs do wash so I wouldn't see that as a major problem.

I'd be wary of a second hand surface, after all it's being replaced for a reason and that reason is usually that it no longer rides well. It'll cost you a fair bit to transport it and if it doesn't do the job or only lasts a year or two you've wasted money getting it and will probably have to pay to get rid of it. I've known people who've done it and wished they hadn't as it's cost them more money and time that if they'd bought new in the first place.
Im afraid there are no shortcuts if you value your horse. You need to make sure the levels and the drainage underneath are done correctly or you will forever have a soggy menage.
You might be lucky and get carpet fibre and rubber mix or carpet fibre and sand from someone else, but as said probably better to go for new.
Over the years we have built a 3 or 4 and made some expensive mistakes.

I echo the comments above:
It is the stuff you dont see that is MOST important.

1 get your levels right. Cant "mend" that later.

2 (made this mistake!) Drainage, drainage, drainage. If in doubt, opt for more, better, deeper. Know your ground type. Poor drainage with ruin even the most expensive surface. Spend more time and effort researching best drainage options than surface types. If on a hill/slope, dont forget about water "run off" from the land up hill.

Think about the quality of the drainage pipe, especially if going under any ground with vehicles going over. Double walled rigid might be better.

Think, do you want to line the drainage holes with membrane to stop the stone sinking into subsoil or subsoil ingress into drainage channels and blocking over time. Many will say not needed..... Is it worth the risk for very small cost?

Size of stone. Type of stone.... The list is endless.

After speaking to the experts, speak with the real expert - local farmers or land owners around you and ask thier experience.

3 surfaces. I hate saying this because I am cynical and like a bargain.... But... You get what you pay for with surfaces. At the end of the day it is relatively easy to change the surface if you made a mistake.

Sand is sand , right. Such a big price difference between "equine" sand and the sand you can buy from any builders merchants. Exactly what I thought. Always feel others are falling for the marketing bullshit and getting ripped off. Hmmmmm, that was another expensive mistake. As a subsurface or surface it will be a mistake if you dont get silica sand (often referred to as "equine" sand).
the drainage is essential, i had a half size school and it drained beautifully and it had the right sand i.e. silica sand. There was a company using shredded carpet as a surface and they were supposed to work very well.
I have no views on surfaces. But I do have views on spelling. It's a manège not a ménage. A ménage is a household (or a sexual grouping!).

I wish people would just call them schools. So much easier and less annoying!

Sorry, rant over. I'll go away into a corner and mutter to myself now.
I have no views on surfaces. But I do have views on spelling. It's a manège not a ménage. A ménage is a household (or a sexual grouping!).
This time a million! One of my pet hates

IIRC its where "management" comes from because manèges were where people showed how well they could ride (manage!) horses. I saw a fascinating program about it which I have never been able to find since
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This is an old thread which someone has come on to add to then disappeared by the looks of things.

Sorry im one of those that spells it wrong. Im not fussed, school, menage, manege, arena.

I dont really mind what its called, i found english hard but i know what someone is refering to.
Also remember some people may be dyslexia or disabled behind that keyboard so i think better to just go with the flow sometimes.