No arena has the perfect footing. A constant work in progress, good equestrians regularly scan the internet for options on what to add to constantly improve their arena surface. This includes selecting materials that stabilize the sand, offer firmness, cushioning, and can serve for a multitude of riding styles.
As riders, we have tried our fair share of equestrian footings and found that adding a synthetic material to the mix is usually the upgrade most arenas need. Read below for our thoughts on two popular options.
Why Choose a Synthetic Footing
For most of us, our naturally occurring arena footing doesn’t offer enough support for our horses. Over time, this leads to fatigue, injury, and potential health problems.
Sand based footings tend to shift and have poor water retention, leading to excessive dust and intermittent lakes in the middle of your arena. Other more clay-like surfaces compact down over time, leaving our horses to train on hard ground, increasing their instability and risk for injury.
The solution? Footing additives.
There are several types of synthetic additives that can be mixed into your arena that help with all of the problems mentioned above. These materials break down slower over time, have better weather resistance, moisture retention, and increased stability to impact firmness across your entire arena.
Which footing products are right for your arena depends on the types of disciplines you ride, how much use your arena gets, in addition to whether your riding arena is indoor or outdoor.
With our 40 years of experience in the arena ourselves, we have developed the highest quality and cost effective products to mix into your footing. A couple options we personally enjoy are Foam Footing and GGT Footing.
This additive is a chip-style synthetic material that helps with moisture retention, compression, dust control, and cushioning.
GGT is an abbreviation for German Geo Textile. As the name suggests, this is a shredded textile that is made from synthetic polyester, allowing it to have resistance to high heat and bright sun. To use, the textile is mixed into arena sand, ultimately helping increase stabilization, shock absorption, and moisture retention.
Special Considerations for Dressage
As dressage riders, we understand the importance of the right riding surface for the safety of you and your horse. Particularly for the fine movements found in dressage, having the right dressage arena helps keep your horse’s tendons protected against strain from either hard or slippery surfaces.
This is easier to accomplish when using a synthetic arena additive because those materials are made to work with a wide variety of sands. Unlike using other materials such as dust control sprays, the mechanical support of additives will not change texture over time nor will they be susceptible to temperature induced changes. Furthermore, an additive to your sand will hold up better over time, making it easier and more cost effective to maintain over the long run, especially for high-traffic arenas.
By Equestrians, For Equestrians
Most footing companies are run by salespeople. The thing is, unless you have been a rider yourself, you are not going to understand the needs of an arena. That’s why as riders, we developed an Arizona company to provide equestrians with help from years in the industry and first-hand experience.
Our team would love a chance to speak with you, answer your questions, and even provide a free quote. We are easy to reach, simply contact us or call directly at 877-835-0878.