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Maintain Your Investment

Maintain Your Investment

Is grooming overrated? We don’t think so.

Even with the best sand and footing additive, proper maintenance is vital to the success of your arena and to the performance of your horses. Regular grooming, or dragging, will help eliminate divots and inconsistencies, and will help build confidence in your horses.

Grand Prix rider, Sahar Daniel Hirosh explains, “When an arena has hard spots, soft spots and different depths of footing, the horse is always questioning and not trusting himself. This creates tension and he will hold back his performance to protect himself. Having a surface that has firmness, cushioning, rebound and grip will enable the horse to develop proper fitness and confidence without having to worry about falling or an injury.” At Premier Equestrian, we believe that understanding your sand and footing is the first step to helping you better maintain an optimal surface for your horses.

Understanding Your Footing

One of the first things we analyze in an equestrian arena is the gradation of the sand particles. This refers to the range of particle sizes. A well-graded sand will have a combination of different sized particles. The variation of small particles will fill into the voids between the larger particles, stabilizing the surface from shifting and rolling. When sand has no grading, or is gap graded, you will have a severe separation of layers that are difficult to mix, and the surface can be very loose and unstable.

What does particle size have to do with grooming?

Lack of a grooming program enables the different sand particle sizes and additives to separate into layers. Vibrations and movement cause a phenomenon known as granular segregation, or “The Brazil Nut Effect”, where the largest particles end up on the surface. Watch this video for a great explanation.

Imagine a container of cereal. Initially your bowls are filled with consistently-sized pieces, but near the end of the box the pieces get smaller and smaller.

Granular Segregation, or “The Brazil Nut Effect”: When shaken, the larger particles tend to rise to the top of the mixture.

Your arena is like that container. Due to constant vibrations and movement on the surface, the small particles will settle through the voids of the larger particles toward the base while the larger particles will migrate toward the top of the surface.

When the particles separate, the top layer can become unstable and the lower layer may compact. Regularly grooming your arena combats the separation of layers and keeps particles and additives evenly mixed.

Maintaining Additives

Footing additives create a superior surface by enhancing sand qualities. Each material making up an additive has a specific function and they are designed to be well incorporated into the sand. Grooming prevents footing additives from becoming separated from the sand. Without proper mixing the mechanics of the footing matrix and the quality of the surface are compromised.

Water

Water adds beneficial stabilization and grip, keeps dust out of the air, and most importantly acts as a binder. Think back to granular segregation, or the cereal box. Vibrations shake smaller particles down which in turn push larger particles up. Keeping the surface damp when grooming will help the sand and additives stick together so they blend appropriately. Even without an additive, sand arenas will always perform better when watered.

Grooming Equipment & Patterns

 The equipment used to maintain your arena will have a direct result to its long-term performance. Older styles of equipment like chain drags, or drags with only straight teeth, will not support proper mixing of the sand particles and don’t work with textile additives. In designing our line of groomers we’ve included adjustable features that will mix, condition and finish an arena surface.

Premier Grooming Equipment

What’s the best pattern? No pattern! Just make sure you get all the areas. Changing your grooming pattern each day will help the surface to stay level and make sure all the particles are well mixed throughout. Use variations of circles, straight lines, and changing directions. By doing this you can alleviate rail ruts and high and low spots that can be damaging to your arena base as well as your horse.

Daily Maintenance

  • This will depend on how much traffic you have on your arena. As a rule of thumb, daily grooming is best. However, if there are only a few rides each day, then every other day may be sufficient. If there is no use in the arena, the footing should still be groomed at least once a week to keep it primed.
  • Arenas with textile additives will require a consistent dampness to keep the sand and textile properly combined. Watering should be done daily, or at leaston an as needed basis.
  • Always remove organic material (manure, urine and leaves) from your arena. As it breaks down it will create dust, introduce bacteria and change the consistency of your surface over time.

Weekly Maintenance (Deep Conditioning)

  • If you have a footing additive, digging and mixing a bit deeper once a week will help maintain a proper blend. Hand raking the corners, edges or hard to reach spots are also a good weekly practice.
  • If the arena hasn’t been used or groomed in several days (or longer) a more in-depth conditioning session may be in order before it is put back to use.
  • On the other hand, if the arena has had a day or two of heavy use, we recommend doing a re-conditioning session.
  • If your arena has jumps, move them around and thoroughly condition the take-off and landing spots.

 

Yearly Maintenance (Flipping)

  • If your arena has settled over a long period of time, or if regular maintenance has not been performed, then it can be beneficial to have the surface “flipped” once a year. This involves scraping up the footing above the base or base mats and flipping the sand and footing to re-blend the surface.
  • Examine the quality of your sand and footing additives. Sand breaks down over time and creates dust. You may need to incorporate some new sand and/or refresh your footing additives.

Grooming… It’s far from overrated

Great arena footing doesn’t come from just installing new sand or a brand-name additive. You wouldn’t buy the horse of your dreams and then just let him sit in a stall, would you? Creating an in-depth arena grooming and maintenance program is the best way to make sure that you are not just getting the arena of your dreams now, but also for the years to come. We strive for optimal longevity and performance from our surfaces, and good arena maintenance is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your horse.

© Premier Equestrian

Premier Equestrian Develops Revolutionary New Arena Footing Groomer

Premier Equestrian Develops Revolutionary New Arena Footing Groomer

Premier Pro Groomer for horse arena installation and maintenance

Leading footing and arena company Premier Equestrian has added the Premier Pro Groomer, a revolutionary new groomer that comes in several different sizes to suit any footing type, hauling machinery, or riding discipline to its lineup of world class equestrian products (Photo courtesy JRPR- no photo credit necessary)

Sandy, UT (October 9, 2017) – Premier Equestrian, the Official Footing Supplier of US Equestrian, has long been respected for paving the way in arena footing by offering high-quality, affordable footing additives that promote optimum performance and safety. As an expert in the field, Heidi Zorn, President of Premier Equestrian, realized that even with excellent footing, there was still something many equestrians were lacking for their arenas. “We saw a need in the marketplace for a different kind of groomer than what was currently available to riders,” said Zorn. “People needed the ability to really mix their footing as well as maintain their footing.” So Premier Equestrian partnered with an engineer to develop a groomer that is unlike any the equestrian market has seen before.

The Premier Pro Groomer, already in high demand by riders of various disciplines, is simple to use and combines multiple tools into one piece of equipment. The groomer features a swivel three-point hitch, front and rear rollers, two rows of S-tines, two rows of coil tines, and a smoothing blade. The groomer is perfect for finishing and fluffing an arena, compacting the surface, or safely digging down to the base to thoroughly remix the footing. The Premier Pro Groomer is available in six-foot, seven-foot, or eight-foot widths. The company also offers the Mini Pro Groomer, which boasts the same features as the larger model but is available in five-foot width or six-foot widths. “You don’t need a large tractor to pull the Mini Pro – it can be pulled with a Gator or a Kubota,” said Zorn. “It’s all the same functions without needing the big equipment!”

Zorn explained, “What makes the Pro Groomer stand out is that it can dig and mix, or it can finish and smooth. It can level, or it can compact. Most groomers can’t do all those functions. It’s like having four different groomers in one. It works for any discipline really well,” Riders from many disciplines, including hunters, jumpers, eventers, and western riders have been avid consumers of the product so far.

Premier Equestrian expects the groomer to save riders time and money by eliminating the need to hire contractors to flip and mix arena surfaces or replace the footing. Zorn explained, “Textiles have become really popular in arena footing. We put textiles in the sand to create a rooting system to feel like a grass surface. The problem with those type of arenas is if you don’t have the proper equipment, mixing it is like moving sod. This surface can be very hard to maintain. Most of the groomers out on the market today don’t truly mix soil, they just have a finishing setting and do the top coat. With the Pro Groomer, you can scrape down to the base and remix all of your footing.”

Zorn noted that arena footing actually behaves in the same way as a box of cereal. “Footing is like a box of Corn Flakes – all the big stuff is on top and by the time you get to the bottom of the bag, it’s all crumbs. That’s what happens to footing. The small particles always settle to the bottom, the textile separates, and the big particles go to the top. Our groomer has a setting that lifts up those fine particles and mixes the fabric back into the footing.”

Laura Graves groomers her ArenaAid footing with the Premier Pro Groomer

Olympic dressage rider Laura Graves uses the Premier Pro Groomer on her own arena footing, which also utilizes Premier Equestrian’s textile-footing additives Premier ProTex® and ArenaAid™ (Photo courtesy JRPR- no photo credit necessary)

Top international riders are already in love with the new Premier Pro Groomer, including dressage superstars Steffen Peters, Laura Graves, and Debbie McDonald.

Olympic Bronze Medalist Laura Graves, currently ranked third in the FEI World Individual Dressage Rankings, said, “I groom everything with it! It is so easy. If we’ve had a lot of water, I can groom the arena and help it drain. If the footing gets a little tight, I can fluff it up. It has double rollers on the front and the back, so making a single pass with this groomer is like dragging your arena twice with any other groomer. The finish is just so perfect. It’s made my life extremely easy!”

Bob McDonald, who operates River Grove Farm with his wife, Olympic Bronze Medalist Debbie McDonald, said, “I can’t say enough about it. The farm wouldn’t be the same without it. I use three different types of footing, and this groomer works well with all of it. It maintains the depth of the footing and keeps it all uniform and consistent. It’s the best groomer I’ve ever seen.”

Premier Equestrian is excited to have another revolutionary product on the market to keep with the company’s tradition of finding a simpler and better way to achieve excellence for top equestrians. To learn more about the Premier Pro Groomer, the Mini Pro Groomer, or any of Premier Equestrian’s popular products, call (800) 611-6109 or visit http://premierequestrian.com/horse-arena-footing/grooming-equipment/premier-pro-groomer/.

Premier Equestrian’s New Advanced Premier Pro Groomer is a ‘Game Changer’ for Arena Managers

Premier Equestrian’s New Advanced Premier Pro Groomer is a ‘Game Changer’ for Arena Managers

Premier Pro Groomer

Sandy, UT (November 3, 2016) — As partial owner of the 22-acre San Diego training and boarding facility Arroyo Del Mar, USDF Gold Medalist Shannon Peters knows that a high-end riding surface is only achievable through proper maintenance and careful grooming. Different arena surfaces require different degrees of maintenance, and keeping the facility’s eight turnouts, two round pens, large jumper ring, and competition-sized dressage arena properly groomed is no simple task. “At Arroyo Del Mar, we have many arena groomers – one that works for dirt/sand, one for rubber-type footing, and one for fiber,” explained Peters. “None of these could be used for all surfaces, and until the Premier Pro Groomer came along, we were constantly changing groomers to complete the daily jobs.”

An industry leader in providing outstanding arena footing and equipment, Premier Equestrian designed its new Premier Pro Groomer with all of the features necessary to maintain a large professionally-run facility like Arroyo Del Mar. This highly efficient, versatile, and easy-to-operate arena groomer has quickly become a favorite among arena managers for its ability to handle the maintenance of almost any surface type and to meet the needs of all disciplines, including hunter/jumper, dressage, and western. The Premier Pro Groomer will perform heavy compaction or delicate grooming, is perfect for all types of footing, and is safe for base, landscape liners, and base mats. To see the Premier Pro Groomer in action, click here.

The new Premier Pro Groomer and Premier Mini Pro Groomer were both unveiled this past summer at The Event at Rebecca Farm held in Kalispell, Montana. Premier Equestrian provided Rebecca Farm with its own brand-new units of both models to ensure that an ideal riding surface was maintained for all competitors throughout the event. Those who attended The Event at Rebecca Farm saw firsthand how the use of these highly advanced groomers – which can perfectly finish a surface in one pass – dramatically increased the consistency in footing from the first to last competitor without disrupting the flow of the competition.

“The Premier Pro Groomer is a game changer and provides us with a groomer that can do it all, saving time and giving us the best possible surface to ride on,” said Shannon Peters, who recently upgraded to the Premier Pro Groomer to better meet the demands of Arroyo Del Mar’s large facility.

An extremely versatile piece of equipment, the Premier Pro Groomer contains all the features you’ll ever need for mixing, maintaining, and perfecting your arena surface. The three-point swivel hitch lets the groomer track and swivel behind the tractor, enabling large tractors and units to get into tight spaces while preventing the surface from bunching, moving, or piling in the corners. Front and rear rollers ensure that the tine depth stays stationary, eliminating the chance of tines digging too deep into the surface. The double rollers also aid in extra compaction when needed. The Pro is equipped with two rows of S-tines and two rows of coil tines. All four rows of tines can be used at the same time or independently, and each row has an adjustable depth. Turnbuckles allow the tines to raise and lower independently, while securing their position. Tines can be rotated 90 degrees to accommodate ripping and lifting, or angled back for finishing and fluffing. Finally, the smoothing bar, which is used for leveling and additional compaction, may be rotated 45 degrees to change the angle of the plate or set at different depths to change the compaction of the surface.

“The easily accessible adjustments make the groomer extremely versatile,” said Peters. “Because of its ability to swivel at the 3-point connection, we no longer have ridges or footing banked up on the corners. This has provided us with a truly consistent and level riding surface.”

Available in 6’, 7’, or 8’ widths, the Premier Pro Groomer contains more features than competing models, saving users both time and money. The Premier Mini Pro Groomer has all of the same great features as the Premier Pro, but in a compact lighter-weight version designed to be pulled with smaller equipment without a 3-Point hitch. The Premier Mini Pro is available in 5’ or 6’ widths, and a tow-behind hitch allows the groomer to be pulled with a small tractor, UTV, or Side-by-Side possessing 27 HP or more.

For more information on all Premier Equestrian products, including horse arena footing, dressage arenas, horse jumps, and stable accessories, visit Facebook, Instagram, www.PremierEquestrian.com or call 800-611-6109.

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