When it comes to arena footing, the biggest mistake people make is getting the wrong sand for their arena from the local quarry. There are more than 10,000 different sands available in the US, so finding the right sand for your arena can present a challenge. Without the guidance of footing experts like Premier Equestrian, many people end up with concrete sand in their arena because it’s widely available and affordable. Unfortunately, it’s not the best choice for a riding arena. But if you find yourself stuck with concrete sand, we have a solution to improve your arena footing without having to scrap your sand and start from scratch.
WHAT IS CONCRETE SAND?
Concrete sand and other construction sands like mason sand and screenings are the most common sands found throughout the world. Concrete sand is used to make concrete, and thousands of tons are needed daily for construction projects. Considering, you would be hard pressed to find a local gravel pit that does not have concrete sand readily available.
WHY IS CONCRETE SAND USED IN HORSE ARENAS?
Because concrete sand is easy to find and is inexpensive, most quarries will suggest concrete sand for use in a riding arena without realizing it is not a particularly desirable choice. A superior alternative, for example, would be silica sand, but it is only available at a few gravel pits around the country, and it can be expensive to transport.
WHY IS CONCRETE SAND BAD FOR HORSE ARENAS?
The mineral content of construction sands including concrete sand will vary, and there are not extremely hard minerals in these types of sands. The soft minerals break down easily and turn into dust. If you have concrete sand in your horse arena, you’re likely dealing with dust clouds, which is not conducive to good riding or good health. Soft minerals can be present in concrete sand —the soft sand particle breaks down easily to dust which is not ideal, and concrete sand tends to be too coarse, restricting it from binding and making a stable surface. This makes concrete sand a poor choice for horse arenas. Additionally, concrete sand can vary from one gravel pit to another, which is why we offer a free arena sand analysis to better understand the type of sand you’re working with.
WHAT IS THE FOOTING SOLUTION FOR CONCRETE SAND?
So, what is the solution for an arena with concrete sand? Say hello to ATHLETEX! Our Athletex™ Footing Product offers amazing results when combined with new or existing concrete and construction sands. Athletex can improve nearly every sand—it will help bind up to 95% of the sands out there, which is why we consider it the perfect solution for the not-so-perfect sand.
HOW DOES ATHLETEX FOOTING PRODUCT IMPROVE CONCRETE SAND?
Because of its high-fiber content, Athletex will bind large particle sands. This includes construction sands like concrete sand, mason sand, and screenings. In a riding arena, if the particle size of your sand is coarse, it separates easily when a horse hoof steps on it. If there is not a wide variety of particle sizes nesting together, the surface tends to shift, feeling unstable. Over time this will break down and create dust and unsteadiness underfoot. Athletex creates a rooting system netting these coarse particles together in your arena, stabilizing the surface which will keep your horses riding on top of the surface rather than sinking down into it.
Additionally, because construction sands are soft minerals, the textiles pieces in Athletex help reduce friction on the particles so they don’t break down as quickly, which means less dust and less degradation in your riding arena. Think of it like dumping spaghetti into a pot of sauce—the stringy noodles bind up with the sauce and help everything stick together.
Athletex is an affordable solution for improving concrete sand—it will increase the stability of your riding surface and provide you with great arena footing for years to come at an economical price!