Mud Management and Prevention | Performance Footing

Mud Management & Prevention


Mud Control Solutions

For those of us who participate in outdoor activities we know how important arena terrain is to the health and performance of everyone involved. Even with the most meticulous management, there remains a risk for mud when the underlying drainage of your land and surface are inadequate.

The result is a costly and hazardous battle against mud, slipping, and soil erosion. While this may feel impossible to overcome, it’s not. The solution rests just below the surface.

What Causes Mud

When constructing bases around your property or farm, it’s important to keep several factors in mind to control mud before it happened. These factors include the local climate, your choice of ground stabilization, and your footing materials. When taken together, these three factors can be balanced to create a well drained and easy-to-maintain, mud-free areas.

Planning Ahead for the Weather

The local weather and regional climate of your arena will determine the environmental factors that contribute to mud. These include:

  • Consistent, heavy, rainfall
  • Snow, then flooding on warmer weather
  • Parched desert land than cannot absorb water
  • Unstable soil that erodes and washes away with the weather

When determining your mud control method, you want to understand these factors and plan ahead. This can include adding a moisture barrier like geotextile or ground support (such as geocells) to provide better below-ground drainage and stability.

Ground Stabilization

For most arenas, topsoil, footing, and base layers all become compacted over time. This is because the more often the area is used, experiences difficult weather, and simply ages over time, the more different layers of your arena bleed into one another. This makes all layers less effective.

The best way to stop this problem is through the use of geotechnologies such as Geocells and Geotextiles.

Geocells are honeycomb-like structures that provide both vertical and horizontal ground stabilization. Due to their shape and strength, geocells act like a cup that holds your base materials (such as gravel) in place. This allows for water to more effectively drain down and away from your arena while maintaining its shape and resisting erosion.

Geotextiles are sheets of fabric made to go under the ground and serve to add traction and separation between different layers of substrate.

When used together, these technologies fix many of the problems caused by weather, heavy use, and inexpensive substrate materials.

Choosing the Right Footing

Your footing has a large part to play in moisture control especially when considering factors such as your climate, riding style, and arena traffic.

For many arenas, sand alone is dusty and difficult to maintain. As such, there are many spray-on additives and soil additions (such as FoamFooting rubber mulch) that can reduce dust, prevent pooling, and create a more pleasant riding surface that withstands the test of time.

Mud Management Outside the Arena

While we have talked quite a bit about how you can control mud in the arena, similar principles and materials can be used to stop mud and erosion in other areas of your property.

For many, installing soil stabilization such as geocells and geotextiles can greatly help with drainage in areas such as driveways, parking pads, and any other high-traffic locations. This helps ensure that even though melting snow and heavy rains, you don’t end up losing driveway materials in the run-off.

Over time, this cuts back on both cost and maintenance in two main ways:

  1. Good stabilization preserves the materials you purchase, lowering the need for maintenance and replacement
  2. Because the geocells and geotextiles provide their own support, you can use less expensive materials without seeing a decrease in performance

Equestrians Advising Equestrians

Choosing the correct combination of arena materials can be difficult even for the most experienced riders. The area itself is a living organism that not only changes over time, but needs care, maintenance, and eventual reworking every several years. As such, it's important to have expert advice on what will work for the natural soil composition in your area, your climate, and the types of traffic and events your arena commonly hosts.

Performance Footing is that company for many people. This is because we are equestrians first and business owners second. We know firsthand what is most important to you and your horses. We also know how to take your goals and help make them a reality. It's something only personal experience can provide.

Looking for help? Feel free to reach out. Our team can help recommend the right products for your needs, give you a quote, and even help with installation.


Mud starts out as a mess but can quickly excalate to the more serious issues of erosion and stabilizatiion. FoamFooting™ stops this from happening.

BaseCore™ Geocell

Nothing provide structure to your footing like BaseCore™ geocells. Creating these “pockets’” of stability reduces the slide, muck and eventual erosion caused by mud.


Non-woven geotextiles are used for filtration and erosion control. This fabric, properly installed, manages mud so it does not become a problem.