“Help! My arena footing froze!”

Frozen arena footingWe occasionally hear from riders and trainers about mishaps on arena floors when the temperature drops below freezing. The risk of freezing is highest with materials with too many fine particles that tend to compact, like topsoil. The risk is somewhat lower with sand, wood chips/sawdust and stall waste. Rubber and stone dust-based footings rarely freeze, although waxed footings can stiffen up a bit.

Then there’s the whole issue of watering in sand arenas: water too often and you end up with an ice rink; water too little and your riders choke on dust.

The best footing material for cold climates has a) a low freezing point, b) drains well, c) resists compacting and d) needs little or no watering. Owners of arenas in these areas may want to consider a fiber/rubber amendment like SoftShoe® byIGK Equestrian. By incorporating fiber/rubber into your new or existing riding surface, you’ll not only lower its freezing point, but also help reduce compaction for greater stability in all types of weather. And, of course, the less sand in your footing, the less often you need to water.

Share your frozen footing stories – and solutions – here!


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