Posts Tagged ‘barrel racing’

Barrel Racing

May 18, 2017

Let’s talk about barrel racing. Barrel racing is a huge sport where we are located in Central NY. I have lots of friends that race, and many times multiple days a week. If you don’t know the point of barrel racing, let me break it down for you! The horse and rider are timed for how fast they can get around the barrels. They run through a gate where the timer starts, run around one barrel on the left or right side of the ring, then run across the ring to the other, then to the end of the ring to loop around the last barrel and race for home! It is such a fun sport to watch!

Barrel racing is a sport that demands a lot from the footing. The fast acceleration and explosive turns are what makes up barrel racing. The horse needs grip to do all of these fast, tight turns. The wrong footing conditions can cause catastrophic injuries to barrel horses. It can’t be too slippery and it can’t be too hard, or too stable. Some riders like a deep footing, others like a more solid ground. A ground that isn’t firm enough can contribute to soft tissue injuries, and a ground that is too hard can lead to bone injuries.

When building an arena, we recommend 3-4 inches of a large aggregate stone, a layer of geotextile fabric, and 3-4 inches of a compacted stone dust for the base. This base will allow for water to properly drain from the arena. The footing would go directly on top of the compacted stone dust. With barrel racing, we normally recommend 4 inches of either TruStride or LiteStride. The recommended base, combined with the footing, provides the perfect grip and support that is needed to barrel race. The base has the solid foundation that the footing needs, and the footing is not too deep and not to shallow, so that the horses can dig their hooves in to quickly turn around barrels.

If you ever get the chance to attend a barrel race I encourage you to do so! Watch the footing while they race, and how the horse’s body reacts to turning around the corner and running for home. Is the footing too slippery? Is it too deep? Is it too shallow? What would you recommend to the barn owner after reading this blog on how the footing should react?

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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!

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?

 


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