Wear life of Equestrian Surfaces: Part 2

In the second of this three part series on the wear life of synthetic riding surfaces, we take a look at coated surfaces.

Coated surfaces, those with wax or Attwood’s unique polymer coating rely on fibrous additives and a ‘sticky’ coating to bind all the components together. These types should not be reliant on water to hold them together so should remain intact when they dry out. The mechanism of wear is dominated by loss of the coating from sand and/or fibres. When this happens there is no binding mechanism so the footing becomes looser and looser, riding deeper and deeper. In fact we find many dissatisfied customers of waxed surfaces who have to keep their surface watered because this is the only way to restore some level of binding to the surface.

We have developed tests which simulate the wear process, allowing the evaluation of the wear life of a surface in a short time in the laboratory.

The pictures show a wax surface before and after the test. Note how the sand has separated from the fibres after the test because the wax coating has stripped away from the components.

The last two captions show Attwood’s Pinnacle polymer coated surface after the same test – no deterioration is evident.

Some manufacturers supply coated surfaces with a guarantee against faulty materials; usually this is no longer than 5 years. However there are invariably strings attached, and we routinely come across dissatisfied customers who are experiencing difficulties holding the manufacture to account.

Next time we’ll look at what can be done to repair a worn out surface, as an alternative to replacing with a new one.  So stay with us as the final part of the series will be out in a few days!

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