Maintenance of Your Fibar® Surface
Like any prized possession, your new Fibar surface needs to be properly cared for. Unlike dogs, sports cars, and horses, Fibar surfaces require a minimum of care. But, they do need to be cared for in order to get the maximum benefit from your investment. Proper watering, dragging, leveling, and additional material as the surface ages are all part of the program. If you follow the instructions below and keep in touch with your Fibar representative, your new Fibar surface will give you years of faithful service. (And you’ll never have to take it to the vet!)
Your Fibar surface will need to be dragged regularly in order to keep the tabletop smooth and level footing for which Fibar is famous. Dragging regularly means whenever the surface starts to show unacceptable tracking along the rail and unevenness elsewhere.
Here are the specifications for an efficient drag that will groom your arena in as short a time as possible:
Also note that Fibar engineered wood fibre requires approximately one (1) month to properly “knit” together after installation. Clinics, shows, etc. during this period of time are not recommended.
Periodically, you will find that the track gets banked up against the kickboard or fence and that the chain link drag will no longer level the track. This means it’s time to hand-rake the track. An apple-picker or light manure fork works best. Simply pull the banked material onto the track and then drag normally.
WATERING YOUR ARENA
In order for Fibar to perform at its best, it should be kept damp. The wood fibre particles remain pliable when wet, allowing for a more resilient, low-dust, cushioning surface.
During dry weather, the surface should be watered on an as-needed basis. If the top inch dries out, then it is time to water. Fibar will hold an amazing amount of water, even in hot weather. The top inch will get bone dry, but you will find the lower part quite damp. The trick is to keep the moisture level up with frequent, light watering. The factors that will influence how much and how often you water are heat, humidity, wind, and use. We rarely see a surface that needs more than 30 minutes’ daily watering with a good sprinkler system during the hottest part of the summer. Extreme heat, wind, and a lot of use (such as a show, clinic, or lesson program) might necessitate twice-daily watering. There will also be times when you will be able to go several days, or even weeks, without watering during the more temperate times of the year.
Periodically, you might want to check the distribution of the wood fibre of your Fibar surface to ensure the depth is uniform. This is called “gridding.” In order to grid your riding arena, you will need the following tools: (1) a pad of graph paper and a pencil, (2) a stainless steel barbecue skewer, (3) a piece of tape, (4) a ruler, (5) a friend.
Check with the Fibar office (800-269-1669) to determine what the proper average depth should be for your surface. Mark the skewer at the reported depth with the tape. Pre-draw your riding arena to scale. Then, with friend in tow, push the skewer through the wood fibre to the base every 15 feet. Write down the depth on the graph paper making certain the spot measured corresponds to the drawing. Continue this over the entire arena on the same pattern of 15’ squares. Your riding surface should be gridded at least once a year.
Now you have two pieces of information that will give you a clear picture of your riding surface. The grid itself will tell you where the wood fibre is too deep or too shallow. Calculating the average depth will indicate how much Fibar is in place. If there are significant peaks and valleys, it is time to re-level the riding surface. Contact your representative for suggestions. It is a good practice to keep on top of dragging, gridding, and re-leveling.
One or more of the following indicate that your Fibar surface should be topped off.
REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT
After several years, depending on use, some or all of the worn out wood fibre will need to be removed. If you suspect that refurbishment is needed, call your representative for advice. This is not a difficult project, but one that needs to be done properly.
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