A ring's base is like the foundation of a house: it is the most crucial element of construction. The main purpose of a ring's base is to act as a barrier between the existing earth and the surface footing. If a ring is built without a base or if the base is not adequate, whatever footing is added on top will eventually mix in with the ground below. Likewise, any soil, clay, stones, rocks, etc. below will eventually work their way up and into your surface footing. So, when considering building an arena, be sure to put the majority of your time, research, effort and money into constructing a proper base.
Ideally, your arena should be located at the highest elevation possible on your property. This will help prevent the water of surrounding land from draining across your arena. If this is not an option, we recommend installing swales and/or drains to help divert unwanted water.
Keep in mind that much of the cost associated with building an arena is often the initial moving of earth. Thus, to save costs, try to start with the flattest area possible.
Make a sincere effort to vary your dragging pattern as often as possible. This will help to minimize waves and keep your footing level.
If do have waves in your arena, try the following: Make tight, overlapping circles going lengthwise down the arena with your drag.
When jumps stay in the same place for too long, your footing tends to get high and low spots. To avoid this, try to move your jumps around as often as possible and drag your ring as often as possible when it's empty.
To minimize dust in your arena, pick out manure regularly and avoid adding organics (mulch, wood chips, sawdust) to your footing.
Footing additives can be confusing. The following is a brief explanation of the basic differences among our most popular additives:
Hybrids (LightFoot & AirFoot)- Blended additives that have a mixture of nylon, rubber, foam, and fiber designed to reduce compaction, promote water retention, and help bind sand together.
Felt/Fiber (EquiFibre) - Synthetic nylon and/or polyester strands that are added to sand to help cushion, retain moisture, trap dust, and knit footing together to keep horses "up on top".
SandAid Rubber - A flat rubber that softens footing and prevents compaction without loosening footing as much as granular rubber.
Spray on Dust Control (ArenaKleen) - Works by coating dust particles to make them too heavy to become airborne. Does not alter footing consistency.
To minimize flies and other pesky insects, locate your manure pile as far from the barn as possible.
Flies prefer still air to moving air. Thus, improving air flow and ventilation in your barn will reduce the number of flies present.
If you already have one of our fly spray systems and find you need more fly control, rather than increasing the length of spray, increase the number of times you spray each day.
If bedding costs are becoming an issue, consider upgrading your stall mat system - not only will it reduce the amount of bedding you need, it will be more comfortable for your horse and easier to clean for you!