View Full Version : Packed arena footing...

Jul. 11, 2010, 10:01 PM
The indoor arena at the barn my horse is rock solid on the track. The inside isn't too bad. I try not to ride in it at all, and when I have to I ride in the middle and avoid the track. Avoiding the ring is easy now that it has stopped raining out here in Oregon. Earlier though, we were dodging raindrops. Which made riding in the outdoor a swimming pool and in the field completely out of the question.

Now when the ring gets tilled, it is good until you ride on it and the track starts to pack again. It might be manageable if it was drug everyday or a couple times a week. But the barn owner's husband doesn't want other people driving his tractor, and he has other things to do... It gets tilled... maybe once every other month? She has been talking about doing something since December. Well... it is now July and nothing has really changed. She is *looking* into stuff to add to her footing (which is sand). Someone suggested adding sawdust or shavings to it to keep it from packing.
Someone today suggested shredded old carpet.

Any thoughts on what to add to the ring to keep it from packing so badly?

Jul. 11, 2010, 11:16 PM
I drag mine once or twice a week.Nothing beats proper maintenance.

Jul. 12, 2010, 05:33 PM
Drag it. Maintenance is key. It may need more footing added to it, but that wont help if it isn't maintained.

Sawdust and Shavings will likely make it slippery.

I deal w/ the same thing at my boarding facility - not enough footing and the owners never drag it. It is like riding on concrete if it hasn't rained in a while and I haven't dragged it - which isn't my job.

Jul. 13, 2010, 08:23 AM
Of course it's getting packed down! Horses are heavy!

I can't imagine what else to suggest other than to drag it. For an indoor I wouldn't think adding anything would be necessary unless just additional footing. [E.g. for an outdoor the footing might need to be amended to aid in drainage if it's heavy rain, for example.) Shredded carpet? Ick!

One barn I rode at dragged daily and the footing was always nice. The last barn I rode at only dragged occasionally....basically when the track became a dangerous trench, and that was crappy.

Not sure there is any solution except maybe to see if there is a trusted boarder who could be taught to drive the tractor? [It's not exactly rocket science]....Good luck.

Jul. 13, 2010, 08:36 AM
We use a york rake at least every other week to loosen up and fluff the arena material. We also drag the arena every other day to keep it smooth and fill in the hoof marks. USDF has a great resource booklet called Underfoot for about $15 on their website.