Are you considering making the investment in new footing for your horse arena? We’ve gathered everything you need to know about horse arena footing products, why they’re important, and the key factors for textile footing that will contribute to the overall success of your Premier Equestrian arena.
WHAT DO FOOTING PRODUCTS DO?
Textiles and fibers retain moisture and stabilize arena sand by binding loose particles. Fibers mimic the effects of a grass rooting system. The horses’ hooves ride on top of the surface rather than in it. These textiles and fiber materials require a specific blend of sand, as well as water and specific grooming equipment.
WHAT IS TEXTILE FOOTING?
Textile footing is composed of different types of recycled flats and fibers that are either chopped or shredded, such as our popular footing products Premier ProTex and ArenaAid. With the proper application, these textile footing products enhance the right type of sand to make it tighter, more stable, and safer for your horse to ride on.
WHY IS TEXTILE FOOTING IMPORTANT?
“When mixed with the proper sand, textile footing ultimately creates the safest surface for your horse,” says Chris Neihart, Vice President of Premier Equestrian. “For over a decade, we have been studying how equestrian arena surfaces interact with horse biomechanics. Our footing products are designed to enhance and compliment different qualities of existing and new arena sand to benefit horse performance and prevent injury. Our textile footing products aid in stabilization, moisture control, and impact absorption when mixed with your unique sand.”
3 THINGS YOU NEED FOR TEXTILE FOOTING:
The most important component to good textile footing is the right type of sand. “Many people don’t realize the science behind sand and material selection,” notes Neihart. “For example, textile footing additives require an angulated particle shape and a sand that is well-graded and especially fine. Without these specific characteristics, textiles won’t be able to perform correctly.”Sand is the key ingredient in all good riding arena footing. Choosing the wrong sand can create major problems and is a very expensive mistake. We’re happy to offer a free sand analysis and sand report to help guide you through this process.
The second component needed for textile footing is the ability to water consistently. The correct surface moisture is what holds the sand and the fibers together. As arena footing starts to dry out, the sand has a tendency to fall away and the textiles start to separate. “When I see a separate layer of textile on top of a separate layer of sand, I know that client has a watering problem,” says Neihart. Keep in mind that the right textile footing can often help retain moisture, however proper watering is still a necessary component to proper footing.
The third and final component of a successful textile footing is having the correct type of arena grooming equipment. Arena drags and groomers are needed to keep the footing flat, properly blended, and ridable. The more evenly the sand and fiber are mixed, the better the surface is for riding. Better riding means getting more performance from your horse and providing a safer surface to ride on.
A proper groomer is responsible for keeping the sand and fibers mixed together, eliminating hoof prints, ruts or tracks that have developed. “We’ve designed our groomers to specifically maintain textile footing,” says Neihart. “Premier Groomers utilize both S-tines and coil tines that lift and blend the surface materials together, then the roller on the back finishes and smooths the surface flat.”We’ve designed a full line of Premier Equestrian arena drags and groomers to suit a variety of budgets and needs. Visit the Horse Arena Maintenance section of our website to learn more about our grooming products, get an overview of their various features, and compare groomers to find the right one for your equipment and arena size.
At the end of the day, there’s a lot that goes into good horse arena footing, but it’s relatively simple to improve your arena surface when you understand the components involved. Building an arena correctly is one of the best investments you can make for you and your horses. Schedule a free consultation and let us help you design the horse arena of your dreams!