Archive for October, 2015

Our Footing Can Help You Go Green!

October 26, 2015

Farms all around the country have been working harder and harder to “Go Green”.  Both horse farms and dairy farms are focusing on how to minimize their impact on the world around us. Dairy farms for examples often times use digesters that recycles their cow manure into electricity that runs their entire farm. Horse farms can do their part in trying to “go green” too!

A few tips that can help your farm become more environmentally conscious:

  • Make sure your hoses or faucets around the farm don’t leak.
  • Compost your manure
  • Harrow your pastures to break down manure and spread it out for the grass to utilize the organic material
  • Plant a water garden here the rain runoff from your barn runs to, these are plants that help soak up water

Our dust free footings for horse arenas are a great start to helping your farm go green. I recently wrote a blog about what our footing is composed of. Here’s a recap. The rubber in our footing is 100% post-industrial waste that we recycle. It comes from a factory that makes shoe soles, and we take the scraps or what is left over from the molds of the shoe soles. Our fiber blend in our footing is also 100% post-industrial waste, these also come from a factory that would have otherwise thrown them away. Both the fiber and rubber would have sat in landfills, taking hundreds of years to break down. The components that we choose to create our footing with, we choose with the environment in mind.hand-157251_1280

Additionally, our footing is dust free. You will not need to water your arena, ever! An average sized arena could use up to 3,500 gallons of water per day to adequately keep moisture level in the 20% range. Think of how much water you can save by switching to our footing, not to mention time spent watering! Stay tuned for next week’s blog on how your horse stalls can become environmentally too!

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Options for Horse Stall Bedding

October 19, 2015

Let’s talk about options for horse stall bedding. The options for bedding in your horse stall are pretty endless. In the end you have to choose something that your horse loves and it works great with you too. Bedding should have a few characteristics in order to dub it the best bedding for both you and your horse. The number one thing is that it should be safe for your horse. Don’t try and experiment with random substances in your stall. Ensure that whatever you have in your stall is going to not harm your horse externally or internally in any way, and should also not be dusty. Whatever material you choose should be absorbent (which is kind of the whole point of stall bedding), and easily composted. Your material also needs to be readily available. If whatever material you choose can be compacted, that can immensely help when looking where to store it in the barn. Most importantly, it should be cost-effective and easy to pick manure from so that you don’t spend hours a day mucking your stalls.IMG_2206

Now that we’ve discussed the criteria for horse bedding, let’s take a look at some options.

Option #1 and most popular: Shavings.

This option can be the most economical based on where you live. For example, where we are located in Upstate NY it is very easy to get ahold of wood shavings for stalls. It is cheap and you can often buy in bulk. It is easy to store and is very absorbent. The only downfall of this option is that it can be very dusty, and can even make your entire barn dusty. You should have good ventilation in a barn where loose shavings are present to give your horses fresh air. Some barns that I have gone to keep their shavings stored in a lean-to on the outside of the barn.

Option #2: Wood Pellets

I really think that this option is becoming much more popular in recent years.  Wood pellets are made of kiln dried wood and sawdust. The kiln dried wood and sawdust is compressed into a small pellet. When this pellet is in the stall and moisture hits it, it will expand to be normal sawdust again and is as absorbent as regular sawdust. This option is low in dust from the compression process and is packaged in bags, so it is easy to store; and is relatively inexpensive. The only issue with this type of bedding is that you will need to spend a little extra time to make sure that you don’t take out any pellets when you muck the stall.

Option #3: Peat Moss

Peat moss is an option that is easily available and horses seem to like it a lot because it gives them that soft bedding to lie down on. You can find this at your local hardware or garden store and a little bit goes a long way so you only need to buy a few bags. It is absorbent in the stall and virtually dust free! The only downside is that if you have a barn with many stalls, this is not your best economical option. It can get expensive for many stalls.

Option #4: Straw

Straw has been used in stalls since the beginning of time. It is often inexpensive and can be easily obtained. If it is mucked properly it stays pretty clean and composts very well. But there are many cons to straw. It is not very absorbent, (which kind of defeats the purpose of stall bedding) it requires a lot of room to store the bales, and can be very dusty. Another note to keep in mind is that some horses do try and eat this. You will need to keep an eye on what horses eat this bedding and possibly change their diet based on that.

No matter what type of bedding you use, if you have SuperStall Horse Mattresses in your stalls you will save tremendously on bedding. Our SuperStall System needs less than an inch of bedding, which will then make mucking your stalls out much easier! If you want to save on bedding, call us today for a sample of our stall mattress!

Correct Footing for Horse Disciplines

October 12, 2015

Horse disciplines are all so diverse. There’s reining, barrel racing, jumping, grand prix jumping, dressage, endurance, polo, eventing… should I go on? Each discipline asks the horse to do different things and the horse has been trained long and hard to accomplish ever command the rider asks. With each discipline being so diverse, so should the footing for the disciplines.

When you’re a barrel racer, and trying to cut milliseconds off of your run each time, every little aspect of your ride matters.  If you’re riding on a hard ground, your horse isn’t going to be able to slide around the barrels. He’s going to have to work hard to grip the hard ground and turn faster. Now let’s say that you’re jumping your horse, performing some high grand jumps, around 5-6 feet (this is great pretending we can jump that high). If you’re jumping your horse this high and landing on a hard surface, your horse could get seriously injured from landing on a hard surface. The surfaces that you ride your horse on, makes a huge impact on how your horse feels, continues to train, and performs.

Our TruStride Footing, is designed specifically for the high jumps that we just discussed. The footing is composed of rubber, synthetic fiber, wax, and pure silica sand. The rubber works hard to create that bounce back effect that a horse needs when jumping such heights, while the fiber forms a lattice-like surface and the wax makes the footing dust free. It is also great footing for Thoroughbred Tracks, allowing race horses to spring off of the surface and forward in their race.

Our LiteStride Footing is the perfect footing for various disciplines such as dressage or hunter/jumper. LiteStride consists of synthetic fibers, wax, and pure silica sand. The fibers make the perfect surface to support your horse while training for dressage and going over smaller jumps; allowing the surface to “give” a little while still staying resilient.

The newest product of footing: Equi-Blend is our most economical option. The formula for Equi-Blend was constructed with the average barn owner in mind. We wanted a footing that everyone could afford while still staying dust free. This footing is recommended for a variety of disciplines such as dressage, Western/Pleasure, or small jumping at a low traffic barn. If you Frog Hollow (14)- Editedare doing higher jumps or it is a higher traffic barn, we would encourage you to consider our TruStride footing.

5K Ranch was developed specially for western riders. It is perfect footing for flat work, loping, cutting, and barrel racing. This is a looser footing that is only used with western pleasure. It consists of our pure silica sand and wax. It stays dust free while still allowing for the “slide” in the footing that is needed in a discipline such as reining.

No matter what discipline of horse riding you train long and hard in, we have the perfect footing for you. Send us some information about your arena and we can suggest the right footing for you and send you a sample!

What is your favorite discipline?

 

Breaking Down the Recipe of our Footing

October 5, 2015

We get many questions about what our footing is made up of so I thought I would take a few minutes and explain the components of our footing and why we use such components. Each of our footings has their own special formula. (I’m not going to give you the secret recipe though, sorry!) Let’s take a look at what’s inside.

Our TruStride footing is composed of rubber granules, synthetic fiber blend, wax and pure silica sand. LiteStride is made up of a synthetic fiber blend, wax and pure silica sand. The new Equi-Blend footing has the same components as LiteStride, but less fibers and less wax, which minimizes the cost. And our 5K Ranch footing is composed of pure silica sand and wax.

Let’s start with explaining our rubber granules. The rubber comes that we get comes from a factory that manufactures shoes. When shoes soles are created, there is a mold that they are in, once the shoes soles are cut out, there is excess material that is considered a waste to this factory. This waste is ground up and delivered to us as small rubber granules, making this 100% recycled post-industrial material. We chose to add rubber granules to our TruStride footing to give it the extra cushion needed for high jumping disciplines, busy barns, or thoroughbred tracks.

Our synthetic fiber blend that we use is made up of premium recycled fibers also making this ingredient a 100% recycled post-industrial material. We chose to use synthetic fibers because they do not break down over time. The fibers in our footing create a lattice like effect, holding the footing together and allowing it to “give” a little while still creating a stable surface.

The most important components of our footings, and what keeps it dust free is our wax that we use. There are plenty of otherIMG_0897 options that are used in footings to coat the material and keep it dust free, both natural and synthetic.  The logic behind this choice was the longevity of wax. Our oldest footing is 14 years old and is still going strong. Wax does not break down and decompose like other binders.  It is a top of the line wax that we have never had a problem with and love working with!

The pure silica sand is the last but not the least. We have spent a lot of time finding the perfect sand for our blend. The sand that we chose is subangular sand. Normal sand has lots of different shapes and angles. When this type of sand is put into an arena, the sand angles on the sand particles will eventually be worn down, creating dust in your arena, and also causing your surface to not be as stable as it once was. Subangular sand has been partially worn down so that there are some small angles but most of it is rounder. By using sand like this, the smaller angles allow the sand to get nice and tight together while still allowing room to move. It creates the perfect stability that we wanted for our footing.

We’ve spent many years in research and development before we came to have the perfect recipe for our footing. That’s why our footing is the best dust free footing on the market! Feel free to contact us and ask for a sample so you can visualize the different components that are used.


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