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Perfecting and Maintaining your Indoor Riding Arena Footing
Whether you are in the process of planning, or building your indoor arena or you are refurbishing your riding surface, having high quality footing is essential. There is no exact science for choosing your footing materials or ratios. Factors such as disciplines and the affordability and availability of certain materials affect your final product. Regardless of location and materials, your goal is to choose an indoor riding arena footing that provides comfort and protects your horse from injury.
What Are The Common Traits of Good Indoor Footing?
Our team of experts, riders, and product developers at Performance Footing understand the variance in arena footings. However, even though there is no exact universal recipe to follow, there are some general guidelines and goals that you should adhere to. The design and footing for an outdoor arena will have some slightly different requirements, but overall they are very similar.
- Retains Moisture. With indoor horse arena footings, one of the most difficult factors to maintain is the moisture. Much of the moisture control is constructed through the base and location, but the footing also plays a role. For indoor arenas, rain will not be able to naturally water the arena, so you will have to consistently water the footing. Too much water can inhibit your equine partners’ movements, but not enough moisture can cause the next problem.
- Dust. While dust is important to control in all arenas, it is especially important for indoor arenas. The lack of natural water and the enclosed space makes it easier for kicked up dust to pollute the air. Margaret Evans says in an article with HorseJournals that the level to which you maintain dust in an indoor arena “will directly affect the quality of health of your horse, yourself, and others who also use the arena – not just riders and instructors, but onlookers, helpers, and others too.”
- Traction and Stability. For every indoor arena, it is important that the horses have sufficient traction and stability. Much of the stability stems from the lower levels of the arena — particularly the base — but the footing that is too floppy can negate the base’ stability. Without sufficient traction, your horses will hesitate to take turns or make difficult movements. Or, worse, they could injure themselves. Every indoor arena needs a balance on both of these fronts.
- Cushioning. While maintaining a stable base is important, everyone — from dressage riders to jumpers— need some cushioning as well. Without cushioning, your horses could easily injure themselves, just as a person jumping on a gym floor without proper shoes could get hurt.
As you are building or adjusting your arena, these goals should inform your decisions. Even though some materials will cost more, putting in a larger investment will allow you to protect the horses and riders that use your indoor arena. In addition to materials like sand that will serve as the principal element of your footing, you probably want to consider additive products.
Should I Use Footing Additives for my Indoor Riding Arena Footing?
Whether you are building a dressage arena or another type of indoor arena, additives can provide the consistency that natural materials can’t. Most footing experts would agree that additive materials are not always required for a good footing surface. However, additives can always improve your footing from good to great.
There is a wide range of additive materials that vary in their purpose. As Eileen Fabian (Wheeler) says in her article, “additives can serve functions such as retaining moisture, binding materials together and suppress dust.” These materials also range in terms of their composition, as some — such as salt — are organic, while others are synthetic.
Performance Footing Products
Here at Performance Footing, we offer several different additive products that can help you perfect the base or footing of your indoor or outdoor arena. If you want to improve your arena surface with a high-quality, affordable additive, we have just the product for you: FoamFooting.
This arena footing additive, which can work indoors or outdoors, is designed for the comfort and safety of you and your horse. As a team of riders, trainers, and product designers, we created this product with the goal of improving footing for a variety of different disciplines. Regardless of the composition of your, our FoamFooting comes with a variety of benefits:
- Softens the impact
- Lessens the amount of dust
- Reduces the amount of watering
- Improves cushioning
- Enables longer training sessions
- Less frequent injuries
- Happier horses
We charge $125.00 per 55 pound bag of FoamFooting. You can use our calculator to determine how much you may need. We also have varying shipping rates for pallets. If you purchase 51 bags or more, we provide free shipping!
Whether you are still finding your arena construction materials or are simply looking to improve your current footing, our team at Performance Footing can help. Schedule a free footing consultation today so that you can learn more about our additive products.