Arena Footing and Your Horse
Selecting the right footing for your dressage arena can be a daunting task and definitely not one to be chosen lightly. You have invested so much time and money into training your dressage horse. You buy fancy tack, saddle pads, custom saddles, ensure the best feed and veterinarian care for your horse, yet many times the area we ride- the arena- gets overlooked.
Why is that? The footing feels too hard one day or gets too wet the next. It feels slick or inconsistent. No life. You fight dust, not to mention your horse breathing it in. Keeping your horse sound (and you in a sound mind) requires a dressage arena surface that will support your year-round and daily training.
Footing Questions for Your Dressage Arena
Let’s face it. There are many options today for footing and footing additives for your dressage arena. Not only does cost become a factor in your decision process, but also other considerations in which the material you ride your dressage horses on must be chosen with care and planned properly. Questions arise such as:
- What are the layers of materials I should have in my arena?
- How should I construct the horse arena base?
- How does the footing material impact my surrounding environment?
- What’s the best footing additive to use to control dust?
- What is the best footing for my indoor arena?
- What is the best sand to use for my arena?
- What is the best additive for my outdoor arena?
- What’s a good dressage arena installer near me?
- How much is it to construct a dressage arena?
( and the list goes on and on…)
Don’t panic. We have all been there and even after we have our wonderful arena built, we continue to look for ways to improve it and protect our horse (and us) from injury. *note that “us” is listed second 😃 So, let’s start at the top.
Dressage Arenas from the Top Down
It is hard to engineer or design arena footing for a dressage horse if you don’t ride dressage. I know this sounds crazy, but many of the products out there are sold by salespeople and not riders. After 40 years of riding in many of the best arenas throughout the world, as well as testing, evaluating and redoing our personal dressage arenas, we developed FoamFooting™.
We, and our customers throughout the US, have now experienced this great dressage arena additive for the top surface of your arena. Let’s discuss some of the benefits of FoamFooting™ and how they align with our core values: economical, simple, eco-friendly, and sustainable.
Benefits of FoamFooting™ for Your Arena
Let's review some professional review of the benefits of FoamFooting™
Experts agree that optimizing the arena surface is of first importance in preventing injury for your horse. They note that the biggest factor that affects arena surface characteristics is the amount of cushion in the surface, which is more important than the materials the surface material.
It must be firm enough to support the horse, while enough cushioning to dampen the impact and return the energy to the horse effortlessly.
Footing that is too slippery or too hard or too deep can be dangerous. Some additives contain oils or waxes that in different temperature react differently. This can also impact your horse’s biomechanics as it can alter the grip and traction of your horse.
Selecting the correct sand and arena footing additive for your dressage arena is an important decision but should be at the top of your list. While there are many options for your dressage arena footing, make certain to understand the pros and cons of each solution.