When it comes to horse arena footing, there are several crucial factors to consider before making a purchase. One of the most frequent questions we receive from clients is what does footing cost? There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer because the cost of footing varies depending on your budget and the type of footing that’s best suited for your arena.
At Premier Equestrian, we work with each individual client to determine the cost of arena footing based on your specific needs. There are some variables to consider when it comes to selecting the best footing for your budget and your riding arena:
What type of riding discipline and how much riding traffic do you have on your arena? The proper footing product, sand, and sand depth will vary from one discipline to another. How much traffic is on your surface daily will also have an effect on the formulation. This is why a personalized consultation with Premier Equestrian is so valuable—formulating for a specific discipline and traffic, and diagnosing the sand and surface are our specialties.
- The Sub-Base: This is the main structural support. The sub-base is the natural raw ground and should be able to be compacted to 90%.
- The Base: This is the foundation for your arena. Materials may include stone dust, clay and/or crusher fines. Without a solid base, the top footing layer will become difficult to keep a consistent depth and possibility of injury is higher when the surface is not all the same depth.
- The Top Footing Layer: This is where different top surfaces can be formulated to meet:
- The specific discipline
- The amount of traffic
- Balance of grip, stability, cushion, and rebound
- Indoor or Outdoor Arena
- Climate & Weather
- Ability to water
There are over 10,000 different types of sand used in the U.S. alone, making it very important to understand the sand’s qualities and not go with just a name. Understanding which sand goes with which footing products, as well as well as all the other factors noted above, will save you lots of money and heartache.
There is a lot of molecular science we could go into about why water has an affect on your sand. However, all you really need to know is that an intermolecular attraction is formed between water molecules that holds sand together and creates stabilization. Water is by far the best ingredient you can add to your horse arena footing. Waxes, polymers as water substitutes, won’t give you the same consistent surface like water does. These so-called water substitutes create static and can stop the foot prematurely, thus causing additional concussion and shock, which can lead to injury.
When an arena has hard spots, soft spots, and different depths of footing, the horse is always questioning himself and and loses trust in himself. This creates tension and the horse will hold back his performance to protect himself. For that reason, daily grooming with the right equipment is a key factor in keeping our horses safe.
GOOD, BETTER & BEST HORSE ARENA FOOTING
With all of the above factors in mind, we like to approach the cost of horse arena footing with a “Good, Better, and Best” mentality. We offer equestrian arena footing options for every budget, and even our “good” option is far superior to riding on virgin sand.
Read more about the cost of footing below and learn which pricing category is the best fit for both your arena and your bank account.
GOOD HORSE ARENA FOOTING
Our entry level horse arena additives range from Premier ProStride to ReitenRight. These footing products are approachable and easy to maintain. They require minimal water and low maintenance, yet they both provide great rebound and cushion underfoot.
Premier ProStride is a crumb rubber footing product made from recycled tires that reduces compaction and helps put a spring in your horse’s step. ProStride offers excellent cushion for shock absorption and rebound, which means minimized tendon strain and bone and joint concussion. Read more about ProStride.
COST: Premier ProStride starts at $0.32 per square foot. (Sand and installation additional)
ReitenRight can help bring life back to your arena. This rubber arena footing product is made from premium rubber yoga mats and mixes well into both new and existing sand arenas. It can also be used in both indoor and outdoor arenas with existing additives, such as textile, fiber, and crumb rubber footing. ReitenRight helps reduce compaction while increasing cushion and energy return. The material helps your arena retain water, which means less watering and less dust. Read more about ReitenRight.
COST: ReitenRight starts at $0.63 per square foot. (Sand and installation additional)
BETTER HORSE ARENA FOOTING
Our mid-level horse arena additives start with Premier All Purpose, and then move to Premier ArenaAid, and then up to Premier ProTex. These fiber additives offer a different type of stabilized surface to those in the “Good Footing” category because they require a more specific type of sand, with regular watering. These product deliver cushion, rebound firmness and stability underfoot. The result? The ultimate riding surface that’s incredibly stable yet soft.
Premier All Purpose
Just as the name implies, All Purpose is a textile footing product that helps stabilize all types of arena sands. It works great for a multitude of disciplines, from English to Western. All Purpose improves traction; increases stability, rebound, cushion, and grip; and also helps retain moisture and reduce dust. All Purpose can be used with a wide variety of sand, helping to keep trucking costs down. Read more about Premier All Purpose.
COST: Premier All Purpose starts at $0.40 per square foot. (Sand and installation additional)
Premier ArenaAid is the middle option in the “Better Footing” category and our most popular footing product. ArenaAid stabilizes a wide variety of sands; the unique formula of fibers gives sand structure by trapping loose, rolling sand particles. It can be mixed with new or existing sand, so you can get the performance of a textile arena without the cost of replacing all your sand. ArenaAid increases stability, rebound, cushion, and grip; it also helps retain moisture and reduce dust. Read more about Premier ArenaAid.
COST: Premier ArenaAid starts at $0.45 per square foot. (Sand and installation additional)
Premier ProTex is the top option in our mid-level footing category. ProTex is a premium, high-performance arena riding product. Carefully chosen fibers and non-woven textiles mix with sand to mimic a sod surface that is durable and long-lasting. ProTex offers superior stability, rebound, cushion, and grip; it also helps retain moisture and reduce dust. ProTex is used in top equestrian facilities throughout the US, including the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, home to the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the new International Desert Horse Park in Thermal, CA. Read more about Premier ProTex.
COST: Premier ProTex starts at $0.55 per square foot. (Sand and installation additional)
BEST HORSE ARENA FOOTING
For the best of the best when it comes to your horse arena, consider a combination of our Premier Custom Footing Blends, Arion™ Smart Arena™, and OTTO Sport Base Mats. Read more about this powerhouse trio of products below.
Premier Custom Footing Blends
Our custom footing blends are formulated for your specific discipline, facility, and needs. These unique footing formulas provide the ultimate in stability, grip, and firmness, but also offer superior cushion and rebound for an unparalleled riding experience. We will formulate a superior silica sand blended with our unique footing product formulas. Request a free consultation for your custom footing blend.
COST: Premier Custom Footing Blends start at about $0.59 per square foot. (Sand and installation additional.)
Arion™ Smart Arena™
The Arion Smart Arena utilizes smart technology to effectively save up to 75% water usage compared to overhead watering systems. Arion automatically maintains the desired hydration in your footing layer for perfect footing and ideal riding conditions year-round. Arion not only helps conserve water, but also helps with water drainage. The ebb-and-flow style system can drain water at up to 18,000 gallons or 4 inches per hour. Pumps evacuate excess water quickly during heavy rainfall. Learn more about Arion Smart Arena.
COST: Call us at 800-611-6109 for a custom quote about the Arion Smart Arena
OTTO Sport Base Mats
When it comes to top-of-the-line footing, it doesn’t get better than finishing your base with OTTO Sport Base Mats. OTTO Sport Base Mats have been used at over 6000 top competition and private venues all over the world, including the 2016 Rio Olympics. The mats absorb 50% of the shock and concussion from the footfall. The provide drainage, up to 8” an hour of heavy rain while preserving just the right amount to hydrate the top footing layer.
The system creates a true all-weather arena that many riders need to maintain hectic training schedules. Clearly the world’s best arena base mats, OTTO Sport has chosen Premier Equestrian as its official North American distributor.Learn more about OTTO Sport Base Mats.
COST: OTTO Sport Base Mats start at $2.75 per sq. ft. (Installation, sand, aggregates, and freight are additional)
OTHER COSTS TO CONSIDER
Often, we overlook the “hidden cost or “emotional cost” associated with horses and an improper riding surface—injuries, vet bills, injections and a shortened career, or early retirement for your horse. While arena footing products can be costly up front, consider they’re still cheaper than buying a new horse down the road. Ultimately, the right footing product creates a safer surface for your horses, which helps keep them happy, healthy, and sound. Maintain your investment and protect your horse with the right footing product from Premier Equestrian.
To learn more about our Premier horse arena footing products and speak with our true footing experts, call 800-611-6109 or request a free consultation!