Archive for the ‘Dust’ Category

Picking up Manure in Horse Arenas

September 29, 2015

We love to catch up with customers. If we are in the area of where we know an arena is installed, we always like to see if we can stop in and check out the arena. I talked to a customer the other day that has had our footing for 9 years, and still tells me how much she loves it! Think of all of the time and water she has saved during the past 9 years!

One of the biggest mistakes that many of our customers make is to not pick up their horse manure in the arena. Many people don’t know this but leaving horse manure in an arena, actually adds dust. Manure is made up of organic material. When manure is left in an arena and is ridden over, it breaks into smaller pieces. Not only do these smaller pieces release airborne bacteria, but it also releases the dry particles that create dust. We had one customer who had our dust free footing in her arena, and her boarders were leaving their horse poop in the arena when they rode. She contacted us because her arena footing became dusty. After viewing the footing under the microscope, we discovered that it was full of organic material and there really was no way to fix the arena without completely removing the contaminated footing and replacing it with new footing.Untitled-1

Being sure that both you and whoever else rides in your arena picks up their horses manure is crucial. We recommend that every barn with our footing post signs around the arena that reminds boarders or trainers that the poop has to be picked up. We also urge everyone to keep a bucket with a pitchfork in the arena to further remind everyone to pick up their manure, and to stop anyone from having an excuse from picking it up. Whether riders pick it up immediately after the horse does their business, or after they’re done riding is not an issue. If they decide to wait until they are done riding in the arena or there is a busy class going on and don’t have time to pick it up during the class, it is important to not ride through the manure during the rest of the ride or lesson. When a horse rides over it, the manure will be pushed deeper into the footing, making it almost impossible to pick up without accidentally leaving some behind.

Always picking up the manure is going to increase the longevity of your arena. Our oldest dust free footing was installed in an arena over 14 years ago and is still doing great! If you have any questions about the maintenance of our footing or would like a sample please feel free to contact us!

10 Most Popular Posts on Carolyn’s Footing and Bedding Blog

March 12, 2013

Top 10 Arena Footing and Stall BeddingOver a year ago, I wrote my first post introducing myself as part owner of IGK Equestrian.  I created this blog so I could address some of the main challenges associated with arena footing and stall bedding and share success stories from people who have used the products. I’ve covered topics ranging from dust control in arenas to tips on how to “go green” in a horse stall. Here, in reverse order, are the 10 most popular posts to date on Carolyn’s Footing and Bedding Blog.

#10: Is Your Horse Eating in Bed? This post revealed horses on restricted calorie diets were ingesting wood shavings in their stalls. Typically, wood shavings aren’t a horse’s “go-to” snack, but when on a diet, bedding can look pretty tasty!

#9: Fuming Over Stall Odor. When drainage is poor, or stalls aren’t mucked out regularly ammonia fumes and bacteria can build up. This can be irritating and harmful for both horses and humans.

#8: The Link Between Sand Footing and Lameness. A study by the University of Glasgow showed the type of arena footing, specifically sand, can be a risk factor for lameness in dressage horses.

#7: Cutting Back on Bedding. Replenishing materials and mucking out stalls can be a hassle. This post suggests using a mat system with a waterproof top cover because it helps reduce the amount of bedding and disposal costs.

#6: Is it Time to Change my Stall Mats? If you are using a lighter- weight mat, you may have to remove it once a month to re-level the stall; however, with heavier mats, this may only be a semi-annual event.

#5: Horse Stalls can “Go Green” Too! At a young age we learned the 3 R’s: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. This popular post proposes ways to make environmentally-friendly choices when it comes to your horse’s bedding!

#4: My Names Carolyn “I’m an Arena Footing Freak!” This was my first post introducing myself as an arena footing freak! From this point on I aimed to educate my readers about both arena footing and stall bedding.

#3: Dust Control in your Arena. Dust in the arena is common, and suggestions on how to control dust is a topic we’ve returned to time and again on this blog.

#2: How to Create a Safe Foaling Stall. A lot of people are searching the Internet for ways to create a safe foaling stall. Needless to say, quite a few of them are landing on this post.

#1: Solid Rubber Mat vs. Foam Mattress…Which is Ideal for Your Stalls? This informational post compared two popular types of stall mats. If it helped you make a decision, I’d love to hear from you!

Meet TruStride customer Nancy Rosen!

March 1, 2013

TruStride at Frog Hollow Farm

Nancy Rosen is the owner of Frog Hollow Farm, a dressage training facility in Esopus, NY. Nancy installed TruStride arena footing at Frog Hollow two years ago, and is happy to answer questions about her experience.

How did you hear about TruStride?

At the time I was doing a lot of reading about various arena footings out there, searching for an alternative to sand.

What made you choose TruStride?

I wanted a surface that would absorb the shock of hitting the hard ground but at the same time wouldn’t absorb the bounce that dressage needed. Ultimately, I didn’t want a footing that was dead. I needed a more lively surface. These factors lead me to TruStride and I’ve been extremely happy ever since.

What were you using before installing TruStride?

My former outdoor arena was made up of a combination of stone dust and sand. I’ve tried many materials over the years but I couldn’t find a footing that gave me everything I wanted. The indoor facility was initially made up of composted manure but it created a lot of dust. So I tried switching to sand, which was also dusty and it didn’t have enough bounce—it just absorbed all the energy. That is why I’m so glad I came across TruStride. I ended up building it on top of the dormer outdoor arena and it is now the footing in the indoor facility.

Have you noticed a difference?

TruStride has made a huge difference in the arena. The horses really move well on it and the riders love it, too! TruStride absorbs harshness in the stride which makes the horse’s movements feel so much softer.

Anything else?

The people at IGK Equestrian are wonderful to deal with. They are very responsive and easy to get a hold of. Every now and then I will call to ask if they can tweak the footing a little bit and they always do it. I have been extremely pleased with my experience. In fact, I just recommended them to someone else!

For more information on TruStride®, Dust-Free Arena Footing, visit IGK Equestrian.

Should You Cut Back On Hay Bedding?

February 18, 2013

Reduce hay bedding with SuperStall by IGK EquestrianAre you using hay in your stalls? According to an article in The Horse, dust particles, mold spores and fibrous plant materials found in hay can cause severe respiration irritation when inhaled by horses. Together, these irritants can result in shortness of breath, coughing and other symptoms which can impact training and exercise. In addition, a recent university study shows that mature hay for bedding can be dangerous for pregnant mares in the third trimester due to fescue toxicity. Here are four safety tips for horses bedded on hay:

 1. Wet the hay: A study conducted at the University of Edinburgh suggests wetting hay before it is put in stalls can significantly reduce dust concentration. The most effective way of limiting dust is by immersing hay in water and then immediately putting it in the stall. If not done right away, the hay will dry which could allow respirable dust levels to increase.

2. Remove horses while mucking: The study concluded dust levels are higher when there is a lot of activity in the barn. Therefore, remove horses while mucking out stalls or during any other frequent activity.

3. Test mature hay for toxins: It is not uncommon for horses to eat their bedding. Tall fescues may contain high levels of the toxin ergovaline. This could cause problems for pregnant mares and their unborn foal. Ergovaline tests can cost up to $50 per sample, but it is money well spent to protect your mare.

4. Select alternative bedding: Reducing the amount of hay used for bedding can reduce the risks posed by dust irritants and/or fescue toxicity. SuperStall® Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian features a waterproof industrial top cover which creates a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed. This not only results in a cleaner, drier environment but it also reduces the amount of hay and other bedding needed in the stall.

Which bedding would you choose to keep your horses safe?

IGK Arena Footing Ads Win Big!

January 31, 2013

IGK Arena Footing AdI am thrilled to announce two of IGK Equestrian advertisements, created by LP&M Advertising, were among the winning entries in the regional “Best of NAMA” competition for the  National Agri-Marketing Association!

For those who don’t know, this specific award show honors excellence in marketing communications for the agriculture and animal health industries. Our ads were placed in the regional competition which featured entries from agri-marketing agencies throughout the northeast United States and mid-Atlantic. Both ads displayed horses resorting to extremes to avoid dust caused by sand arenas.

Wish us luck as the entries will now advance to the national Best of NAMA competition in April!

Promoting Safety and Good Health in the Barn

January 15, 2013

SuperStall is healthy beddingAlthough time consuming, building or renovating a barn can be an exciting project. You’ll want to design a barn that is safe and promotes good health and well-being for both horses and people.

According to a recent article in The Horse, veterinarians suggest avoiding attaching a newly constructed barn to an indoor arena. Although this is a convenient set-up, the dust produced in the arena can be harmful for horses. Dust interferes with breathing and can also lead to Inflammatory Airway Disease or IAD, a condition that causes coughing, nasal discharge and exercise intolerance.

If this isn’t realistic, or you are renovating a barn that is already attached, than limiting the amount of hay and sand in the stall will help reduce dust. These materials not only produce dust, but can also create an uneven surface, which could cause slippage. Wood shavings should also be minimized in the stall due to the risk of ingestion, which can cause serious digestive problems, including colic.

Concrete covered with rubber provides a nonslip surface that is comfortable and gentle on the horses’ joints, and is easy to clean. Frequent cleaning is important to help protect horses from oral-fecal diseases such as Salmonella infection, which can occur when moisture is trapped underneath the mats.

When it comes to building or renovating your barn, consider SuperStall™ Memory Foam Mattress by IGK Equestrian. SuperStall is a one-piece wall-to-wall, foam mattress system that features a waterproof woven top cover. The top cover creates a “moisture tray” that allows all liquids and manure to be captured on top and easily removed with the bedding. This not only reduces the amount of bedding needed to provide comfort, but also reduces the risk of slippage and disease risk.

How do you keep your horse healthy and safe in the barn?

 

Arenas Can “Go Green” Too!

November 9, 2012

Arenas Can "Go Green"My last post, Horse Stalls Can “Go Green” Too was such a hit, I decided to write another on how environmentally-friendly choices can be implemented in your arena!

Arenas can be dusty places, and 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. However, in large arenas you could be using up to 3,500 gallons of water a day just to keep dust under control. Switching to a dust-free footing can conserve thousands of gallons of water each week and is a great way to help your arenas to “go green.”

Another option to consider is installing footing made of recycled materials. Look for dust-free footing comprised of ground up rubber shoe soles, tire buffings or other recycled rubber/fiber materials.

TruStride, a Dust-Free Arena Footing by IGK Equestrian not only eliminates the need for watering—ever—but it greatly reduces maintenance. Its environmentally-friendly combination of recycled rubber, silica sand and synthetic fibers provides a flexible and resilient riding surface making it a popular choice among arena owners worldwide.

 

How do you practice “going green” in your arena?

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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