The Top 5 Complaints About Arena Footing

Bad arena footingOver the years, Peter and I have heard dozens of reasons why people want to upgrade their arena footing. Here are the top five, each one guaranteed to make your horse look for the fastest way out of the ring.

  • Complaint #5: Too hard. Nothing makes a horse ring-sour faster than training on a highly compacted, unyielding surface that fails to absorb the shock of concussive hoof force. Except, perhaps, a riding surface that’s…
  • Complaint #4: Too deep. How deep is too deep? Generally, anything deeper than three inches has the potential to strain tendons and ligaments or pull a shoe. Exceptions can be made for reining or cutting, where a deeper layer of footing material is desirable.
  • Complaint #3: Too cuppy. A dry, loose surface that breaks away under your horse’s hooves can make him bow a tendon, strain a suspensory or slip a stifle. At the very least, it will make him resent his job. And maybe you.
  • Complaint #2: Too much maintenance. The last thing you want is an arena that requires an hour of maintenance for every hour of riding. We hear this complaint most often with loose materials like sand and stonedust that require frequent dragging and daily watering to keep dust under control. Which naturally leads us to the #1 complaint about arena footing…
  • Comp1aint #1: Too dusty.  Airborne dust can cause eye, nose and respiratory problems (including asthma attacks) in both riders and horses, reduce the amount of available oxygen at the time the horse needs it most, impact visibility, alarm your neighbors and require up to thousands of gallons of water a day just to keep it under control. Dust is far and away the biggest headache for owners of sand and stonedust arenas.

Fortunately, a dust-free footing like TruStride®, composed of recycled rubber, fiber, sand and wax, provides a riding surface that’s 1) properly cushioned, 2) stable yet resilient, 3) supportive,  4) rarely needs raking and never needs watering because it’s 5) truly dust-free.

Peter and I have installed TruStride® (and its economical cousin, LiteStride®) in more than 250 indoor and outdoor arenas throughout North America. Now folks in these facilities are spending more time training – and less time complaining.

What’s your biggest beef with arena footing?

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