Posts Tagged ‘Indoor Arena’

East-West Arena Construction

June 16, 2016
East-west arena construction horse arena IGK Equestrian footing installation

A gorgeous arena with footing installed by East-West Arena Construction

IGK Equestrian has dealers all over the country. These dealers have all installed our footings in various settings. Our biggest dealer is

Mike Waidlich from East-West Arena Construction, located in Millers Falls, MA. Over the past few years, Mike has been building and installing many arenas with our dust-free footings. I wanted to catch up with Mike and ask him a few important questions about the excavation and installation process so that others can better understand it:

How do you choose an appropriate arena site, for both an indoor and outdoor arena? What do you look for?

“The best site for both an indoor and outdoor arena is a place on the property that is elevated above the surrounding land with places for water run off. The better the site, the less excavation work is needed to complete the project. This varies from site to site and is one of the most important parts to quoting a project.”

Do you need to excavate a site?

“For new facilities there is always some excavation work that needs to be done. Usually this involves removing the topsoil and grading the natural sub-base layer.”

What type of fill do you use for the sub-base and base?

“At places with good natural material, we can use the existing material as our sub base. At places that are wet or need to be elevated to promote drainage, we use either a screened bank run gravel or in some cases processed gravel to build the site up. This may vary based on pricing and availability.  For the base, we usually use stone dust. The material is usually 1/4″ and smaller in size. It compacts well and seals out any rocks or gravel beneath it from coming up into the footing.”

What is the best drainage design to use for an indoor vs. an outdoor arena?

“Outdoor arenas need to be elevated above the surrounding land and also pitched in order to get the water to run off the arena surface. With wax coated footing like IGK, we usually use a half percent slope or six inches of pitch over a hundred feet. Depending on arena size, we use one plane or a crowned center. Indoor arenas should be elevated and have good drainage around the outside of the building so water is not able to flow inside.”

What is your opinion of the grid system vs. stone dust for an arena base? Is one system better in an outdoor vs. an indoor arena?

“In my opinion stone dust is the better option. The cost is significantly less and I haven’t seen much of a difference in performance or longevity.”

How do you install the footing layer?

“We grade every layer with precision laser guided equipment. I use a Level-Best grading box on a tracked skid steer. We set the desired pitch with a laser and remote receiver and the machine automatically adjusts the cutting edge of the blade to cut the slope. We’re accurate to within a quarter inch. We install the footing with this equipment as well.”

Why do you/ your customers choose IGK Equestrian’s Footing?

“We’ve been very happy with the products from IGK. For our customers, the low maintenance is very desirable. There are no irrigation or watering routines needed. For a lot of facilities who don’t have someone to do that maintenance, IGK dust free footing is the perfect solution. The mixture of sand, fiber and wax is just right. I like that it’s consistently the same product because it comes straight from the source in NY. Good sand is a hard to thing to find in many areas and IGK takes the guess work out.”

What has been the feedback from customers about IGK Equestrian’s Footing?

“We’ve had a great response to the footing. Since we started offering it to our product line it is consistently the most desired product we offer. Our customers who have purchased it from us are thrilled with the results.”

How do you like installing IGK Equestrian’s footing?

“The fact that it comes pre blended and ready to be installed saves us a lot of time. I like having the option to ship in bulk or by the bulk bags because some sites are difficult to access.”

How long have you been doing excavation work?

“I grew up on a farm with extended family (aunts and uncles) in the dairy business. I’ve been running trucks and heavy equipment since I was tall enough to reach the pedals. After college I started in the trucking business. We hauled fertilizer to farms, landscapers and lawn care companies throughout the northeast. I slowly started buying heavy equipment and doing small jobs on the side. In 2011 hurricane Irene came through our area and we had record flooding; which eroded farm land and river banks through our area. I spent the next 8 months working to repair hundreds of acres of land; which propelled me into the excavation market. As far as the arena work goes, my wife Naomi has been a life long equestrian and convinced me to try installing horse arenas as a side market. One thing led to another and now we have a consistent arena building business.”

To contact East-West Arena Construction for a quote or for more information, check out their website: http://www.eastwest-construction.com or take a look at some of their beautiful arenas on their Facebook Page!

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Kick Walls in Indoor Arenas

April 5, 2016

Gorgeous Indoor Arena kick wallsI’ve mentioned before, that my favorite part about selling footing is being able to go to lots of different barns and look at how each barn is designed differently. A trend that I have noticed a lot recently is more and more barns are installing kick walls in their indoor arenas. Let’s take a look at the importance of kick walls!

Kick walls are both aesthetically pleasing and serve a purpose. A kick wall is a wooden boarder around the base of the indoor arena walls. Normally a kick wall has a bit of a slant to it, around 15°, with the bottom being the most wide. You can build kick walls, or some companies such as Equitrend, has kick walls can be easily mounted.

Although kick walls make an arena have a nice, clean finish, they do have a purpose to them too! One main reason for having a kick wall is that it forces the horse away from the wall. Since the bottom of the kick walls are further away from the walls, the horse doesn’t ride right on the wall, which can save your legs if you have a naughty horse! Another major advantage of the kick wall is to keep footing from building up against the walls of the arena. Your groomer can get closer to the kick wall than the indoor arena wall because it won’t get snagged against a pole or beam. You don’t have to worry about the footing getting between the different poles in the barn and not being able to get it out from those areas.

Almost all indoor arenas that install our footing choose to install kickboards. For the fact that it is so popular, we designed a side-view of how the base of your arena in an indoor arena should look when kick boards are installed. Just like outdoor arenas, you have your base installed. The base consists of 2-3 inches of large aggregate stone, a layer of geo-textile fabric, and 2-3 inches of compacted stone dust. If you are going with the traditional wood kick wall, you would build them directly on top of the stone dust. Other types of kick walls may be mounted to the arena wall after footing installation is done. After the kick walls are installed the correct depth of footing is installed depending on what type of discipline is performed in the arena. Choosing one of our dust-free footings is the perfect addition to your new arena installation. If you have any questions on base installation, or footing installation don’t hesitate to call us! You can see the side-view of an indoor arena installation below!

indoor arena footing sideview kick walls base installation

How Long Does Our Arena Footing Last

March 1, 2016

We had a great show at the New York State Farm Show this past week. Shows really give me an opportunity to educate many barn owners, trainers, and riders about our footing. They get the chance to stick their hands in it and get a feel for the different properties of each footing. When I go to shows I always pay close attention to the different questions that I’m asked. The most popular question at this show was “how long does your dust-free arena footing last?” Footing longevity is our most popular questions!

The longevity of footing really comes down to the components of it. Let’s take a look at the sand this week. You have no idea how different sand particles can be until you start comparing them. We have looked at sand from all over the world! The size, shape, and mineral composition are the most important properties when it comes to sand for horse arenas.

Mineral composition is going to be the most important. Basically, this is how hard or soft your sand is. For a horse arena you need something that is very hard and can take the pounding of hooves on it. If you choose too soft of a material, it will break down into very fine particles and create dust in your arena. Choosing a hard sand particle is the first and most important thing when it comes to the longevity of the footing.

Arena Footing SandThe particle shape is the next most important. The shape of the sand plays an important part in the way the arena footing will perform. If you choose a rounded particle, it will create an unstable surface because these particles tend to roll. But if you choose an angular or subangular sand, it will lock together creating a more stable surface. You want your sand to lock together to create the stable surface but you don’t want them to lock too tightly together; this could potentially create a very hard, concrete like surface.

Lastly, you can take a look at choosing between clean/washed sand or unwashed sand. If you just get sand from a pit, it could contain a lot of silt, clay or organic material. All of these materials are the components that make up dust in your arena. Some barn owners decide not to clean their sand because they believe that the sand will move more if it doesn’t have all of the impurities holding it down. You will have to decide if you’d rather use clean sand or uncleaned sand.

Sand is a huge factor in how long your arena footing will last. We specifically looked for years for the perfect sand that we wanted to use in our footing. We found one that is very hard, has the right shape to it, and has no organic material in it. By using this specific sand we have created the perfect formula for our dust-free footing. Next week we can take a look at the specific additives in our footing and how that truly affects the breakdown of the arena over time!

How did you decide on what sand to use in your arena?

Don’t Get Bored In Your Indoor Arena!

January 4, 2016

winter-1090649_960_720Winter is not my favorite season when it comes to riding my horse. If you’re like me, you get easily bored in your indoor arena. When asking an equestrian what their favorite season is, you’ll most likely hear Summer, or Spring, or Fall. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an equestrian say “I just love riding in the winter!” Shows and races start back up in the spring and continue into summer and fall. Sure the winter is beautiful to trail ride through woods that have a light snowfall, but once the snow hits a certain depth, we all are pushed into indoor arenas to ride. Indoor arenas can make both you and your horse feel confined. Riding a few times clockwise around the arena at a walk, trot, canter; then a few laps counterclockwise with the same routine. Not only are you bored at this point, but so is your horse. I pulled together a few different options for keeping both you and your horse from becoming bored in your indoor arena.

Start off by changing up how you ride around in the arena. Instead of doing the usual, riding on the rail around in a circle, try some different patterns. Work on riding in a big figure 8 in your arena. Place a cone directly in the center so that you have a visual of where your 8 should cross over. Be sure to pay attention to how you are bending him around the circle, and try to keep the circles as equal as you can. Another idea is to ride in a diamond shape. At each corner, create a swift turn to travel up the other side of the diamond. Be careful not to rush your horse. Start with a walk first, and then trot the diamond. One more variance to try is to be about ten
feet off of the rail towards the center of your indoor and ride in the same motion as you would if you were on the rail, a rounded rectangle. At the long sides, allow your horse to extend, but then collect him as you come into the corners and keep him collected or slower on the shorter ends of the rectangle. This will help you increase and decrease speed smoothly.

If you feel very motivated you can use various obstacles in your arena. Some obvious examples are setting up smaller jumps, or poles on the ground for you to work your horse over. But if you have long winters like we do in upstate NY, you have time to get creative. One example I read about is to set up various barrels around your arena and place a cone on a few of them. Work on walking to the barrel, stopping, picking up the cone and then walk to a second barrel and place the cone down. As you progress in this challenge, don’t stop at the barrel to grab the cone, make your horse move right past it while you grab the cone. A few other options are placing tarps on the ground and working with your horse to calmly walk over the tarp, even though it may make scary crinkling noises. I have also seen others use hanging noodles that you walk your horse through through. Walking through these various obstacles will build your horse’s confidence and trust in their riders. It is hoped that the horse will react calmly if they were to encounter something like these obstacles in real life situations.

Riding in an indoor arena can also be a hassle because of trying to deal with dust. Focus more on training your horse through various obstacles or different patterns than worrying about dust by switching to one of our dust-free footings. You will never have to water your arena again!

How do you stop from getting bored in the winter?

Horse Barn Pet Peeves

January 4, 2016

We all have big pet peeves. And when it comes to horses, we are no different. I’m sure everyone has at least one thing at your horse barn that either a horse, or another person does that can just drive you insane. We all have at least one horse barn pet peeve!

I always follow a few different blogs about horses on the internet, and I recently saw one with a lot of comments from many horse people, voicing their opinions on what their biggest pet peeves at the barn are. Some things that other people do that can get on our nerves are:

  • Other boarders “borrowing” supplies from people, and then those supplies not getting put back where they were to begin with.
  • Halters getting left on one crosstie, and then dropped to the floor.
  • Leaving manure in wash stalls.horse-937683_960_720
  • A boarder feeding treats to other boarder’s horses without permission.

A few things that our horses do that drive us nuts are:

  • Pooping as soon as you finish mucking and bedding the stall. The worst!
  • Pawing when they want to be fed or for attention.
  • Rubbing their teeth together for attention, or towards another horse.
  • Urinating when on cross ties.
  • Pooping in their water bucket.

Some of these things can make me grit my teeth and get my blood boiling. I think my biggest pet peeve of all time is when a horse poops while someone is riding in the indoor, and instead of picking up the manure after they are done riding, they leave it there. When you leave manure in your arena, you’re adding organic compounds to your footing. Dust is created from your sand particles breaking down, and the different organic matter in your footing also breaking down. Leaving manure, or hay, or bedding in your arena will make your battle with dust, that much harder. No matter what footing you have in your arena, you should always pick up your manure!

Do you have any horse barn pet peeves?

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!


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