Archive for July, 2012

Dust Control in your Arena

July 26, 2012

 

Have you noticed your arena is dustier than usual? You’re not alone. Arena dust is more apparent in the summertime, especially with the hot, dry weather we’ve been experiencing lately. Riding just exacerbates the problem because the more you ride, the more your footing breaks down, eventually becoming airborne and creating dust.

Constant inhalation of dust can cause serious respiratory problems for horses and riders. Here are some ways to reduce and sensibly manage dust in your arena for everyone’s safety.

1. Water: The most common method of controlling dust is through watering. The key is to water heavy and seldom, rather than frequent and light for the best results. Watering is cost-effective, readily available and highly effective if done properly. However, in large arenas you could be using up to 3,500 gallons of water a day just to keep dust under control.

2. Salt: Another common dust suppressant is the addition of salts to your footing.  Salt additives work best in high humidity because they draw moisture from the surrounding area, which helps to effectively suppress excess dust. The downside of this tactic is that eventually the salt will wash away making reapplication a constant nuisance.

3. Wood: An additional buffer that helps to control dust in the arena is wood shavings or pieces.  Wood helps to slow the breakdown of sand while also helping your arena retain moisture. After some time, just like salt, the wood pieces will break down, but with regular watering you should be able to minimize dust for an extended period of time.

4. Footing: The best way to combat dust in your arena is to eliminate it altogether.  This can be easily achieved by using a dust-free footing, such as TruStride® or LiteStride®, manufactured by IGK Equestrian.  These arena footings eliminate the need for watering, reduce maintenance requirements and provide adequate support for both horse and rider.  Did I mention both TruStride® and LiteStride® are dust-free and reasonably priced? Now that’s a long-term investment sure to minimize dust and maximize riding potential in your arena.

How do you effectively manage dust in your arena?

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Tips for Cooling Down as Temperatures Heat Up…

July 10, 2012

When the thermometer soars in summer it’s important to make sure your horse remains comfortable. Taking a few simple precautions will help you both keep your cool.

  • Ventilation – Keep the air moving as much as possible in the barn. Try to keep windows open and use fans to circulate air (and keep flies away). Misters are also a good idea for an instant cool-down solution.
  • Shade – When outside in the elements, try to allow your horse the opportunity to lay and rest in shady spots. It is a good idea to keep horses inside during the hottest part of the day in order to avoid exhaustion.
  • Workouts – There is no need to abandon riding altogether in high temperatures, but try to keep workout times to a minimum. After you’re finished, give your horse a cool bath to lower body temperature.
  •  Electrolytes – Providing your horse with added electrolytes, such as a mineral or salt block, can help to replace nutrients lost from excessive sweating.
  • Water – Be sure to provide your horse with plenty of fresh, cold water to drink throughout the day.

In high temperatures, it is likely your horse will be spending a lot more time in the stall to escape the heat and harsh UV rays. Therefore, the maintenance of the stall environment is essential to keeping your horse healthy in the heat.

Bacteria growth accelerates in warm, wet and humid weather, making your horse’s stall an active breeding ground for potentially harmful diseases. Using a stall mattress, rather than only organic bedding materials, helps to combat the excess growth of bacteria and maintain hygienic living conditions.

The SuperStall® mattress, made by IGK Equestrian, helps horse owners use less bedding materials, limits bacteria growth in scorching temperatures, allows for less mucking, reduces the risk of disease for your horse and the cost of bedding for you. SuperStall® will help to keep your horse cooler in high temperatures and allow you the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the summer.

What are some things you do to help your horse stay cool in the summer?


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