Archive for the ‘Horse Arena Footing’ Category

Standard Pattern to Groom a Riding Ring

May 3, 2016

Riding on a freshly groomed arena is my favorite thing. You put fresh hoof prints into the perfectly fluffed footing. But riding on a badly groomed arena? Not the best experience. I never realized that there is a specific way to groom an arena until I looked into it. Let’s take a look at the standard pattern to groom a riding ring.

I’m a very visual person, so I pulled together some quick visuals so that you can see what I’m explaining. Start by dragging the ring down the centerline. Once you get to the end of the arena, turn left or right and go towards the outside of the arena. Follow the rail until you get back to the beginning end of the arena, turning towards where you originally entered the ring. Follow the outside of the original drag on the centerline. When you get to the end of the ring again, follow the inside of the drag along the rail. Follow this same pattern, at a consistent speed and you will eventually end up with the outer-perimeter of the ring left un-dragged. Finish dragging the outer perimeter, and exit down the centerline. Throughout the standard pattern, be sure to keep the corners smooth and the speed of the drag consistent. The next time that you drag the arena, be sure to go in the alternate
direction. This will help to keep the footing evenly distributed throughout your ring.

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There are a few more ways to drag an arena, including some ways to help pull footing from the outside rails or corners, towards the center of your arena. If you have an established crown, take caution on what grooming pattern it used; grooming it the incorrect way could damage the specific crown put into place.

IGK Equestrian is a certified dealer for Parma Groomers. The Mini Groomer with a Coil Tine Conversion is the perfect groomer for synthetic footing. The coil tines don’t dig too deep into the footing, so as not to disturb the fibers and the groomer is a very lightweight groomer, weighig in at right around 400 pounds! Grooming the standard groom pattern in your IGK Equestrian Dust-Free footing is the best way to groom your horse arena!

What is your favorite pattern to groom your arena?

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Footing for an Outdoor Arena

February 1, 2016

I don’t know about you but I am definitely missing riding in the outdoor arena. Riding in the indoor of course is nice, but there is nothing like riding outside in the fresh air with a great view. Finding the correct footing for an outdoor arena can be tough at times; here are a few things to look for when choosing footing for your outdoor arena.

  • Your arena should be able to be wet and still ride on; it should not become slippery and or hard after getting wet. There are a few footing options that can become very slippery even with the slightest amount of moisture such as dew on your arena. Slippery arenas can be catastrophic for your horse. (check out this blog I wrote on slippery footing!) It should also not be rock hard after rain. Some types of sand will become almost like concrete after rain, not something you want to have to spend time on trying to break up.
  • The footing should not break down outside. When withstanding the elements, some footings break down very fast and have to be replenished often; costing you lots of time and money. Any organic matter that is in your footing will break down in a rainy climate.
  • If you have additives in your footing, they have to be held in the footing. For example: if you have fiber or smaller rubber additives, they should not be blowing away with the wind. You don’t want to watch thousands of dollars just drift out of your arena and across your property.

Finding the perfect recipe of footing for an outdoor arena can be tough at times, but look no further than our dust-free footing products. All of our dust-free footingsFooting for an outdoor arena can be used in outdoor arenas. All of our footings are composed of pure silica sand that is sub-angular, giving horses the perfect amount of grip, while not compacting. The additives in the footing are bound to the sand with our wax component. The wax in the footing not only binds the elements to hold the footing together, but it also is what makes our footing dust-free, you no longer have to water your outdoor arena! The wax component allows for water to wick off of the surface, so that you can ride immediately after a rainstorm.

Don’t spend more time fighting with footing in your outdoor arena. Switch to our synthetic dust-free footing and no longer worry about your footing becoming hard, slippery, loosing your additives, or replenishing your arena constantly!

Do you like riding in an indoor or outdoor more?

Why Our Footing Cannot Be Mixed With Your Footing

February 1, 2016

Around this time of the year, customers are planning their spring barn projects causing our number of inquiries to rise; along with how many questions we get about our footings. Recently, we’ve noticed a few popular questions come up, with the most popular being: “what do I do with my old footing? Can yours be mixed in?”

Our footing is manufactured in a specific mixing facility in Upstate NY. This allows for us to control all aspects of the environment that the mixture isArena Footing cannot be mixed,  being created in. If we did not so closely monitor the manufacturing process, the footing could end up with particles in the footing that create dust, or an incorrect type of sand in the footing, which could cause the footing to compact. We have kept the same formula for our footing since we started in 2004, and do not want to alter it in anyway.

With our footing being manufactured in such a specific way, there is not an alternate approach for making our footing such our footing to be mixed in with what is currently in your arena. If you have a current arena with footing, it will have to be completely removed in order to install our products. The most common approach for removing footing is to hire a contractor that has worked with horse arenas before. It is important to check references before the contractor starts work. The footing has to be removed in such a way that it does not damage the base. More than likely, a bit of base work will have to be done before adding our dust-free footing.

We love all of the questions that we get asked and if you have any questions I may have no answered in our blogs, let me know!

Winterize Your Horse Barn

December 1, 2015

Here in Upstate NY, our winters are brutal. Being located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, we can get buried pretty quickly by lake effect snow. In the winter of 2015, we had 125.3” of total snowfall! As we start to batten down the hatches, or close the stall windows of our barn to keep the nasty cold out, you also should start thinking about how we are going to winterize your  horse barn. Here are a few tips!

  • Stock up on supplies you may need in the winter, such as hay or bedding. Some barns I know cut and bale their own hay, but if you purchase hay from someone else, stock up on it at the end of summer when prices will be the lowest. If you wait until the first of the year when you are running out of hay, prices can almost double. Be sure your hay is stored in a well ventilated area.
  • Take the extra time you’ll be spending in the barn to do a good dusting. Cobwebs in a barn can be a fire hazard and are not sightly. Use a broom covered with a cloth and go through your barn with a good cleaning. The cobwebs and dust that has collected over the summer aren’t good for your horses’ health or yours!
  • Walk around your barn and see where there may need to be repairs. Waiting until there are sub-zero temperatures to fix a gate is definitely not an ideal situation. Complete all of the repairs that you may see. Also be sure to know where everything is located around the outside of your barn. If you live in a climate like we do, snow can accumulate very fast and you may lose sight or forget where something was placed outside of your barn. Draw a map of your facility if you have to, so that you know where everything is located outside once the snow covers it up. Be sure that gates are all still accessible in the snow.
  • Although our first instinct is to close everything in the barn up for the winter to keep heat in, you still need to keep your barn well ventilated. During the winter, your horses are probably going to be spending 50 percent or more of their time in their stall. Mucking your stall daily, and keeping good ventilation throughout your barn will keep your horses breathing healthy air and keeping them happy.
  • Make sure you have enough space for your winter manure. A 1,000 pound horse can generate 50 pounds of manure each day. Even a barn with a few horses can quickly create a mountain of manure. Before winter comes, create an adequate place to store the manure for a few months, or construct a plan on how to remove the manure even with snow on the ground and how you’re going to dispose of it.
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Winterize your Horse Barn

The biggest issues that you may face in the barn in the cold winter months are spending additional time mucking out manure from the horses being inside more, and trying to keep the dust in your indoor arena down, without freezing your footing.  Both of these potential problems can be solved by installing our SuperStall Mattress System and our Dust-Free Arena Footing. Our one piece, wall-to-wall mattress system will eliminate deep bedding and cut down on time it takes to muck out your stalls. By installing our dust free footings in your indoor arena, you no longer have to worry about watering your footing in the winter and then the footing freezing from the moisture. Winters can be hard in a horse barn, but installing our products in your barn and taking some steps to winterize your horse barn
can make it easier!

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!

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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