They laid down a whole bunch of mag chloride down in the indoor where I board in the fall, and then proceeded to water the crap out of it, washing all the mag chloride out of the footing.
They have not reapplied, and they're not watering, so the arena is dusty. It's awful.
I guess I can't tell you what it's like to ride in it, but I can tell you to NOT water it once you've laid it down. I think it would be a waste of $$ in an outdoor since it washes out with the first rain or snow melt.
I just ran out to get some lunch and the little place I stopped at had a bag of "Miracle Melt" at the front door. Of course I had to check it out and it is a combo of Mag Chloride and Calcium Chloride. I asked the owner where he bought it and he said Sam's Club.
I have used Mag/Cal combo before it it works nearly as well. Off to Sam's Club for me after work.
I have been trying it, but I seem to be doing a rain dance by spreading MagIce out on the ring....and so, every time I spend the $$$ on MagIce, we get a long, torrential storm, which washes it away.
It does help w/ dust in the summer, but the same problem.
I am thinking I'll try cheaper salt next year, or perhaps a mixture. I've just put down 8 bags in the past 2 weeks, and it has made the top 3/4" to 1" of surface softer. I need to apply closer to 20 bags for a proper application, but at almost $17/bag, that is just too expensive. It does seem to keep dust down more with the lower application rates.
you cannot use it outdoors, nor do you water it. it works great when used as per the manufacturer's recommendations. google "mag dust control" and you will get the link to the mfr's site. great stuff, just need to apply it correctly.
The stuff available at Sams and Home Depot is not the
same Mag Chloride used for dust control.
I called the manufacturer (since I was suspicious of the
vast pricing difference) and they told me that the product
sold in the home improvement stores is only suitable for
melting ice. You need to put it on 2-3 times as thick as the
stuff sold specifically for dust control.
I use 600 lbs for my 70X200 indoor and that lasts me from
Dec through March.
Call the hwy department and see if they will come spray it. That's what we did and in a little used indoor it is still nearly dust free after two years (and we are talking can't see 20' in front of you and nasty black boogers before.) I LOVE IT!
I am guy who pioneered and developed the use of MAG for riding arena use nearly 20 years ago. My business is snow, ice, and dust control, and I'm also a stable owner and have owned horses for 55 years.
As an industrial and roadway dust control expert in my business, I was long familiar with calcium chloride use in arenas but it is problematic due to hoof drying and it's a strong suspect in leg splints. That is not to say that all people using calcium chloride will have a problem, but all cigarette smokers don't get lung cancer either. In my view the risks outweigh the benefits when riding on calcium chloride treated surfaces.
With regards to magnesium chloride, we buy a few different MgCl2 products from multiple manufacturers; both liquid and dry forms. We sell only MAG brand by Dead Sea Works for equine footing use and there's a very specific reason that only that brand is offered for arena dust control by us: pH.
All magnesium chloride is not alike, and most contain varying amounts of impurities. Some have additives to them that are not proven for equine use and exposure and they have no toxicological data nor track record. There is a lot of snake oil and fu-fu dust out there and many of the claims of product performance are outrageous, patently false, and outright deception. It frankly sickens me to see them. Anytime a supplier refuses to provide you with a certified statement AND GUARANTEE with his signature on it of what the ingredients are you are buying, you should be very wary. What is to hide? We are not talking about the secrets of space flight here; it's dust control! What is so secret that they refuse to disclose what they are selling? When ingredients are not disclosed it's because they are hiding something. If they have a "patented formula", then the patent covers disclosure.
Two decades ago I began to develop the protocols for MAG use by experimenting on my own ring. It came about after a visit to Israel where I was swimming in the Dead Sea and it occured to me that if I can swim in a 14% solution of MAG and it is therapeutic and beneficial for psoriasis and dermatological disorders, why can't my horses safely walk on a fraction of a per cent that they are exposed to in arena dust control?
After a year of trying different types, concentrations, and, methods, I found what worked and what didn't work. My wife was thrilled with me using her horses as guinea pigs as you can imagine! After about a year, I was confident enough to proceed with a full test in five barns each of which were a different riding discipline; Dressage, Hunter-Jumper, Therapuetic, Reining, and General. Each of those barns had a different footing and different need in the consistency, type, and desired weight of the footing. What works for roping is too heavy and thick for dressage and what works in a dressage ring is not liked for show jumping, etc. I talked to every farrier, trainer, and vet in every barn we ran the first tests in looking for any reports of adverse consequences. After a couple of years we felt that we were ready to take the product to commercial use and promote MAG for arena dust control. We have gone very cautiously and I use internet searches constantly looking for any reports of trouble with MAG in arena use. That is in fact what lead me to this post, so my commitment to doing this right is decades long. Any day I don't learn something new is a wasted day.
In the 20 years since I developed the protocols for MAG use, we have never failed - not once. We have a 100% success rate and that empowers us to back it up with a full money back guarantee that we will deliver on our promise of total dust control. No other company that we know of goes this far to back up their product. Ask the people you are buying from if they will give you your money back if their product fails. This is not a blanket endorsement for all retailers of our product because we use only a handful of authorized footing expert distributors who are properly trained to evaluate the footing and make recommendations. We have some footings that we will tell you up front we are skeptical that we can fix because of their composition. Some new footing additives we are still working on to find the right mix so this product may not be all things to all people, but if you work with a professional you're going to know that. Buy it from some part time sales person at Sam's Club who knows nothing about horses and you get the sort of advice that is posted above. And for the record, Miracle Melt actually contains no magnesium chloride whatsoever according to the MSDS sheet from the Manufacturer, so please realize where I'm coming from when I say you have to know the ingredients of what you are buying irrespective of what people are telling you.
Why is MAG different if it is just magnesium chloride hexahydrate like all the others? MAG brand in particular is the only pH neutral MgCl2 product on the market. It's not intentional - it's a coincidence of the production method, but it is a very important factor in hoof and leg health when concentrated amounts are in contact with bare and shod feet.
This is not an advertisement. This is an explanation and caution to all stable owners to be careful to do your homework on what you are buying. DEMAND a full disclosure of ingredients of what you are being offered and watch out for smoke, mirrors, and a song and dance when you ask specifics.
Ask for references of five barns with you exact riding and footing conditions that have used the product you are looking at for five years and call them all and ask what their experience is.
I see thousands of people going off half cocked with partial information and winging it on their own with all kinds of things that they think is MgCl2 and it's not. Going to big box retailers and buying boutique ice melters is not going to give you the results you seek and moreover you may find that your actions will bring new evils to your barn; lameness, splitting hooves, wall checking and cracking, and in a few cases that I have seen; leg splints. That big lump on the inside of the lower leg may be the result of something you added to your ring - not necessarily the traditional reasons like a stone bruise or rocky paddocks.
I have treated thousands of rings for dust control and do this for a living. Whether this post stays up or not I don't know, but I do know that a lot of the posts here are telling me that they are playing Russian roulette with their footing by using what they think is right.
Just because it seemed to work does not mean it's the best choice. I'm not looking to open a debate here; I am simply sharing what I have learned about arena dust control over the last two decades of doing it for a living.
And I get it from the MAG man, works great in the indoor and we'll do the outside arena if the Theraputic group are having a show to keep the dust down.
But it does not survive the next rain fall, though the grass loves it!
Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
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