Archive for the ‘LiteStride’ Category

Riding Arena Footing For Each Discipline

May 17, 2017

So it’s time to update the footing at your horse facility. After extending the life of your arena footing in your indoor for a few years now but the footing has reached the point where it is constantly dusty, uneven, and inconsistent. But what footing should you choose for your facility?

Jumping Facilities: Jumping is the discipline that demands the most of the footing. The surface needs to be soft enough to absorb impact yet firm enough to be able to support the horse as it takes off for a jump. Sharp turns should also be able to be made without the horse slipping. TruStride footing is the perfect combination for jumpers. TruStride can be installed up to 6 inches deep without it having a “deep” feeling. Both the rubber and the fibers that help make up the footing, cushion the horse and rider when landing, yet offer a stable surface to take off. TruStride is our premium footing.

Dressage: Although dressage does not demand as much from the footing as jumpers, a stable footing is still needed. Dressage riders want the footing to have a bit of “give” to it, while not being too deep. Traction is still needed when riding dressage so that the horse can do side passes easily without slipping through the footing. Our LiteStride and our Equi-Blend are great footing options for dressage riders. Both footings offer stability, traction and “give”; which is exactly what is needed for Dressage. Equi-Blend can work for a private dressage arena but if there are many dressage riders, we would recommend the LiteStride.

Barrel Racing: Barrel Racing arena footings need to provide traction for the racers as they work around each barrel. Footing depth is set at around 4″ to allow for a bit of slide. Barrel racers have told us that they really enjoy our LiteStride arena footing. They said it has the perfect amount of grip and amount of slide that they’re looking for.

Boarding Facility: Boarding facilities or lesson barns can be very tricky. Typically here you have many different disciplines riding in one area. A facility that has a range of disciplines needs a footing that can handle many horses a day and support the range of disciplines. Typically the boarding facilities that purchase from us purchase the LiteStride footing. LiteStride is a great all around footing that can handle jumping, dressage, barrel racing, groundwork and western pleasure. LiteStride works for almost all situations; however, if you have boarders that are jumping higher than 3 feet we would recommend you to get our TruStride, which provides more cushion when jumping.

Of course all of our footings are dust-free. In addition to the footing supporting the horse properly, time spent maintaining the footing is significantly decreased. If you have more specific questions about what footing should go in your arena, please feel free to contact us!

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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!

Arena Footing: It’s Not Just About Feet.

April 1, 2013

Arena footing may cause injuryArena footing isn’t just about the feet—but about the horse’s entire body. Arena footing influences the entire musculoskeletal system, including bones, muscles, joints, tendons and cartilage. Choosing the right type of footing is important because some surfaces can be a potential risk factor for injuries.

  • Coffin bone fracture is a common fracture among horses who ride fast on hard surfaces. When a material, such as clay or stone dust dries out, it compacts and forms a hard surface, causing horses to move stiffly. Since materials can compact over time, adding an amendment helps reduce compaction and can provide cushioning necessary for good leg and tendon support.
  • Degenerative joint disease (DJD) can be developed due to repeated shock impact of the hoof with the ground, which can lead to progressive and severe cartilage damage. Surfaces with lower-impact resistance absorb more energy and reduce shock to the hoof and leg. Sand has a lower impact resistance, but very deep or dry sand can lead to injuries other than those caused by impact shock.

Wax-coated sand, rubber and fiber arena footing materials can help reduce the shock of contact between the hoof and the surface. To help prevent the risk of developing tendinitis, fractures and joint injuries, be sure to train on a wax-coated footing surface like TruStride® or LiteStride® by IGK Equestrian. TruStride and LiteStride not only provide a stable, flexible and resilient riding surface, but are among the best footings to prevent injuries in the arena.

How do you prevent injuries in your arena?

The Link Between Sand Footing and Lameness

October 10, 2012

Sand Footing and LamenessNeed another reason to avoid sand arena footing? How about lameness?

A recent study by the University of Glasgow showed the type of arena footing can be a risk factor for lameness in dressage horses. Researchers surveyed registered members of British Dressage to investigate relationships between surface footing characteristics and the likelihood of lameness. They found that woodchips were strongly associated with slipping and sand with tripping. The least problematic surfaces were those that were wax coated and those that were a combination of sand and rubber.

In a recent article on this study, The Horse suggested one explanation for the results is the unevenness of sand and woodchip surfaces, in both wet and dry conditions.

Horses are more likely to trip on coarse sand because it is easier to lose balance and they are nearly 13 times more likely to slip on woodchips than any other surface, according to the article.

To minimize slipping, tripping and lameness, be sure to train on a wax-coated footing surface like TruStride® or LiteStride® by IGK Equestrian. In addition to providing a stable, flexible and resilient riding surface, both footings eliminate dust and the need to water—yet another advantage over sand arenas.

How do you reduce trips and slips 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?

Respiratory Issues In The Ring

June 4, 2012

I recently came across this article in The Horse on clinical signs of common respiratory issues in performance horses. Most of us are already vaccinating against influenza, herpes virus and other equine respiratory diseases, but plenty of other conditions can interfere with breathing and cause under performance in the ring. According to the author, Dr. Jean-Yin Tan, up to half of performance horses have been affected by Inflammatory Airway Disease or IAD, a condition that causes coughing, nasal discharge and exercise intolerance. Dr. Tan cites dust as a leading risk factor for IAD.

That’s a real problem in sand arenas, where dust is an ever-present, environmental nuisance. Owners of these facilities go to a great deal of trouble and expense to keep sand from erupting into a dangerous respiratory threat to both horses and riders. The usual remedy is water, and lots of it — up to 3,500 gallons a day — just to keep dust under control.

Of course, the easiest way to rid your arena of dust is to install dust-free footing. Both TruStride® and LiteStride® arena footing by IGK Equestrian eliminate the need for watering while providing a supportive and responsive riding surface. And that makes everyone breathe easier.

What kind respiratory issues have you experienced in your arena?


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