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Equestrian Surfaces

Labosport assists in the construction and renovation of equestrian surfaces by reviewing plans, assessing the quality of proposed materials, offering technical advice, and providing recommendations at key stages.

Equestrian surfaces are surfaces that are specifically designed for use in equestrian sports and activities, such as horse riding, jumping, and dressage. These surfaces are typically made of materials that are soft and forgiving, in order to provide a safe and comfortable surface for the horses to perform on.

There are several different types of equestrian surfaces, including:

  1. Sand: Sand is a popular material for equestrian surfaces, as it provides good footing and is relatively easy to maintain.
  2. Fibers: Fibers, such as wood shavings or rubber, can be used to create a surface that is similar to sand but more durable.
  3. Synthetic turf: Synthetic turf, made of synthetic fibers, can be used to create a surface that looks and feels like natural grass.
  4. Natural grass: Natural grass can also be used as an equestrian surface, although it may require more maintenance and may not be as durable as other options.

Equestrian surfaces should be carefully chosen and maintained in order to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the horses.

Equestrian sports, such as show jumping or track racing, require the surface to be well designed and managed in order to minimize the risk of injury to the horse.

Labosport works alongside bio mechanics experts from around the world to maintain its unique expertise in equestrian surfaces. Our surfaces testing systems are based on the latest scientific research.

Labosport uses equipment that reproduces the impact of a hoof upon contact with the ground, accurately accounting for angle, speed and energy. Special devices calculate the response of the surface using several sensors to assess the hardness, flexibility, adherence and homogeneity of the surface, as felt by both the horse and rider.

There are 4 key parameters to consider on an equestrian surface:

  • Firmness – This is the hardness of the top layer, which represents how the shock wave forces are distributed during landings.
  • Cushioning – This shows the hardness of the under layer​, which offers protection to the horse.
  • Energy Restitution – This refers to the resilience of the surface, specifically its ability to return to its original form.
  • Grip – This is important because it aids in absorbing shock during the landing phase and provides support and traction during push off and turns.

We test these properties on all kinds of surfaces.

  • For training, a floor must provide enough comfort for the horse to freely and fully indulge, but also a surface that offers protection. ​
  • For CSO events, a floor should favor performance. ​
  • For galloping tracks, a loose and a deep surface is best.

Labosport tests surfaces for every parameter:

  • impact toughness
  • flexibility
  • adhesion
  • homogeneity
  • moisture behavior

On synthetic soil, additional laboratory analysis ensures the composition (sand, fibers, paraffin) is perfectly adapted for use and the environment (dust and volatile emissions).