How-to Guide: Horse Arena Dust Control - Performance Footing

How-to Guide: Horse Arena Dust Control

Riding arenas commonly have problems with excessive dust—particularly when indoors. Horse arena dust control is crucial for the health and performance of your horses and riders.

Dust can irritate the eyes, nose, and lungs, causing breathing problems and other health risks. With know-how and determination, dust can be minimized through continual maintenance and dust control products, even in an outdoor arena.

Why Dust Should Concern You

As horses move, dust particles become airborne and may impede the performance of the horse and rider. Their vision may become impaired, and respiratory damage can occur.

Estimates suggest that a resting horse is capable of inhaling 16 gallons of air each minute. While engaged in vigorous exercise, this may increase up to 600 gallons per minute. This makes it more likely that your horse will inhale a significant amount of dust in their riding environment if the dust is out of control.

Watering Your Arena to Reduce Dust

The simplest solution to reducing dust is to water your footing frequently. Watering alone will not create a dust-free environment, but it will reduce it. However, the ability to retain moisture will depend on your footing materials. Our FoamFooting is an excellent additive product that absorbs water well. It can reduce the amount of time you spend watering while controlling dust too.

Your footing should be kept moist by applying water evenly in a uniform manner. This may be achieved by using a sprinkler system or other means of water delivery. However, water should not be dispersed excessively. If you soak the ground, your arena footing may become slippery and dangerous.

Salt Usage to Decrease Dust

Salt is commonly added in the form of calcium chloride and magnesium chloride to allow better water retention and prevent dust because salt can absorb moisture from the air. Typical rates for salt application range from 20 to 50 pounds spread across 1,000 square feet of footing.

There are drawbacks, though. Salt tends to cause dryness in horse hooves and can corrode metallic materials used within the structure.

Additives Used to Reduce Dust

In addition to organic additives, there are also synthetic additives to consider that can help you reduce dust.

  • Chips of wood offer good moisture retention.
  • Coconut fiber may be used to stabilize footing material.
  • Peat moss holds water well and acts as a binding agent.
  • Oil-based products may be reapplied over time as the composition of the materials changes.
  • Petroleum products help stabilize loose material and reduce dust.
  • Wax coatings are a more expensive yet long-lasting way to limit dust.

Horse Arena Dust Control Solutions

One of the dust suppression solutions available from Performance Footing is called FoamFooting. Our environmentally friendly additive is designed for both indoor and outdoor riding arenas. Not only does FoamFooting lessen the amount of dust, but it also improves cushioning, softens the hooves’ impact, and reduces the risk of injury.

Along with FoamFooting, Dust Halt is a pet-friendly additive that coats your arena to bind dust to your footing. Not only will it significantly reduce dust in your arena, but it does not cause clumps or excess water retention. Even better, it only takes two hours to apply and lasts for up to 16 months!

Need help controlling dust in your indoor arena? For a free footing consultation, contact us at (877) 835-0878 today.

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