Archive for the ‘Outdoor arena’ Category

Do Your Research Before You Build!

February 1, 2016

Researching horse arenas is your very first step in building one. And then do more research; and then even more. I always suggest looking at forums, such as Chronofhorse.com and seeing what problems others are having with their arenas, and see what they did wrong or how they fixed it. It’s important to be aware of potential issues if the arena is not installed correctly from the beginning.

One major problem I always see on forums is that horses are “punching” through the footing to the base. Most of the time when this occurs, it is from an incorrect installation of a base. A base for your arena should consist of compacted subsoil, then 3-4 inches of large aggregate stone, followed by a geotextile fabric, and then 3-4 inches of compacted limestone with your footing on top. Clay should absolutely not be used as a base material. Your base will take a beating from riding on top of the footing. If you use clay as your base, it will eventually break down from the beating and from constant moisture. When the clay breaks down, you will have uneven spots in your arena where the clay has collapsed, and dust from the smaller particles.

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A second issue that I see a lot in forums is standing water in your outdoor arena. This can be caused from a few things. Your base needs to be slightly crowned so that water moves to the outside of your arena. On the outside of your arena, buried about six inches deep should be perforated drains that run the perimeter of your arena. These drains will carry water away from your arena so that your arena does not hold water. It is very important to make sure your outdoor arena has drainage, even if the arena is located in a higher section of your property.

Lastly, I see a lot of issues with dust. Everyone has different ways to fight dust in their arena, whether it be watering the arena daily, adding different kinds of salts, or trying different sands. I’ve seen everything from pond sand, to river sand, to pool sand; but no matter what type of sand if it is not coated, you’re going to have dust. Our dust-free arena footings are all 100% dust-free. Our footings consist of silica sand, different additives based on what type of footing you choose such as fiber and rubber granules, and then both the sand and additives are coated in wax. The wax acts as a binder to hold all of the products together, and also coats the sand so that you will never have any dust! Choosing a footing that is dust-free is much more cost effective than fighting dust, year after year. Add one of our dust-free footings to your arena, and enjoy it for years to come!

Did you do research before you built 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!

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.

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!

Retaining Boards in Arenas

September 21, 2015

Let’s talk about outdoor arenas. What is your biggest issue with your outdoor arena? Outdoor arenas are trickier to build and maintain than an indoor, for the fact that you are working against Mother Nature. An all-weather horse arena needs to be designed and constructed to deal with the many different weather conditions that Mother Nature may send your way. Having a traditional sand arena during these situations can make the fight even harder.

I think there are many aspects of outdoor arenas that are overlooked when building, then by the time you are done you wished you had done something differently. One of the biggest, minor things that I think is overlooked is the importance of retaining boards in an arena.

Retaining boards are very critical to an arena. They have the job of holding the footing in the arena, and stopping it from migrating into the drainage outside of the arena or grass. Many times, without using a retaining board, footing is pushed to the outside every time the arena is groomed. During this instance, customers have to replenish their arena every few years because of footing loss into their yard. Along with keeping the footing in the arena, retaining boards also create a nice clean boarder around the arena. This will stop grass from growing in the arena, and make it easy to maintain and mow the area around it.

Just below, you can see a graphic of a side view of how arenas should look. Your base should be about 2-3 inches of large aggregate stones, with 2-3 inches of compacted stone dust on top of that. Your retaining board needs to sit on the outside of your fence posts, directly on top of the aggregate stone. The retaining board can be held in place by the aggregate stone drainage on the outside of the arena, or you can install pins in the boards to hold it in place. The top of the board should be about 1-2 inches above your footing in order to stop the footing from escaping the arena.Footing Side View

IGK Equestrian has spent years studying and researching the best ways to build both outdoor and indoor arenas. We have driven or flown out to see customers, whether an hour away or across the country many times to help them with the installation process of their arena, and we can come to your arena for a consultation at any time, just call us up or send us information online! Our dust-free footings are the perfect addition to your arena installation. With never having to water the arena and less time on maintenance, you have more time to ride and train your horses.

Is there something you wish you did differently when installing your arena?


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