The team at Lockskinners Equestrian Training Centre searched far and wide for the perfect surface for their new all-weather fittening track. Find out how Flexiride fitted the bill.
Set in 160 acres of pasture and woodland, Lockskinners Equestrian has something for everyone. Redeveloped in 2018, the Kent venue features two cross-country courses, two outdoor arenas, two training pens, an obstacle zone, a challenge zone and a working hunting course.
When the team was looking to lay the first 432m of a 1km canter track, incorporating a brush fence, two steps and a water splash, finding the right surface was of paramount importance, as business manager Emma Welch explains.
“Our fittening track needed to be suitable for use for both horses and humans,” Emma says. “As part of the site’s complete overhaul we wanted to provide a track that could be used as a safe and supportive exercise trail for local walkers during the wet months as well as a fantastic facility for riders from all disciplines.
“We spent months looking at surfaces and, to be honest, we were really disappointed with every product out there. We were even speaking to companies overseas. Nothing could offer what we were looking for – until we found Flexiride.”
‘I’d have moved mountains to work with Equestrian Direct’
While the uniqueness of the Flexiride product provided Emma and her team with the features she was looking for, an additional reason to purchase came from the rapport built with the Equestrian Direct team, led by sales manager Becky.
“Being honest, even if the product wasn’t as good as it is I’d have moved mountains to work with Equestrian Direct,” Emma says. “That’s how great they are.”
After first making contact with Equestrian Direct, Emma and her team visited a neighbouring canter track that was laid with Flexiride. The ability to visit yards around the country that use the company’s products is one of the many benefits of working with Equestrian Direct.
Having decided to go ahead with Flexiride, the product was laid last November in time for use during the demanding winter months.
“The track got a complete hammering over the winter,” says Emma. “Since then it’s been fully booked every weekend and is in use for 12 hours every. We’ve added a bit [of extra product] in, but it’s been so stable. It hasn’t moved or flown into the grass [alongside the track] and keeps an even cover.
“I haven’t needed to harrow it once, instead I’ve just kicked over the few patches where it’s thinned from such a high volume of use.”
And those local walkers? The track has been hugely successful as a venue for young families and older walkers who don’t want to endure boggy winter conditions.
“We have ladies with double hip replacements walking on it as part of their recovery and absolutely loving it.”
As well as impressing the Lockskinners’ team, the fittening track has received rave reviews from riders and trainers.
“Everyone who has been here has been asking ‘where did you get this surface?’” says Emma. “It’s also a really strong product from a sustainability and eco-awareness point of view.
“Flexiride has got a whopping tick from everyone who has used it. As a training centre it’s important we offer the very best facilities to riders across all disciplines. We are trying to become an official centre affiliated to the Pony Racing Authority and our Flexiride track is such an important part of that. It’s certainly not something we could even begin to think about offering if we didn’t have such a kind and high-quality track.”
18 months to recoup costs
Flexiride is versatile enough to be used on top of a base, on it’s own or as a topper.
Despite the high quality of the product, when Emma received a quote for her Flexiride surface it was, quite substantially, lower than rival reputable firms.
“Based on our forecasts the fittening track will have paid for itself in just 18 months,” says Emma.
“It’s worth nothing that also includes the cost of excavating and preparing the track. We opted to spend a fair bit of time and money here, which isn’t actually necessary with Flexiride as the product is so great.”
“It’s so kind to legs and such a great product to have on site – it really is a surface that makes you look good.”