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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:


Use 9-gauge chain link and make a rectangle 5 feet by
10 feet and attach to 5’ long x
1-5/8” diameter pipe (1/8” wall thickness) in front with a 5’ long x 1-3/8” diameter pipe in back. Fasten a 10’ tow chain to front pipe at both ends and then attach the chain at the center to the tow vehicle. This drag will be light enough for one person to pick up and attach to a tow vehicle. It will “float” on top of your Fibar arena re-aligning the wood fibers and, after a couple of passes, leaving it tabletop smooth. The drag will never dig up your arena base, and a
70’ x 140’ arena can be harrowed perfectly in approximately 30 minutes. If you have any questions, please call us at 800-269-1669.

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.


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.

Average depth is 25% less than recommended.

  • Surface is starting to get a little “powdery” and/or “pulpy.”
  • Surface has lost its tightly-knitted quality and loosens up easily.

The time lapse might be anywhere from about one year for heavy usage to upwards of four years for light usage. If you have any questions, call us at 1-800-269-1669.


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.


When in doubt, call us for help! That’s what we’re here for. Call Joy Dunn at our office, toll-free:

The Fibar Group LLC · 80 Business Park Drive · Armonk NY 10504 · (800) 342-2721 ·
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