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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    85

    Default Prevent footing from freezing?

    Does anyone know if there is anything you can put on footing to help prevent it from freezing? Oh and a covered or indoor ring isn't an option.

    TIA!!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2008
    Posts
    503

    Default

    nothing will prevent it but you can throw some calcium down and let the sun shine on it



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2008
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    1,528

    Default

    Good luck!
    That's all I gotta say.
    I know you say an indoor or covered arena isn't an option but is trailering to one an option? Depending on where you are there are places that charge a small fee for using their indoors.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
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    2,446

    Default

    Salts. There is a boarding stable in my area (idaho) that uses salt in their outdoor and galloping track to keep the footing going all year. Required a good base though, because the wetness won't go aways as quickly as in the warm months.

    There are options in different price ranges and differing levels of "hard to get" such as using salt bags intented for a water softner to using liquid deicer agents that they use on roads now instead of the old school salt and sand. I should also mention, it takes a lot more salt to defreeze something than to keep the same thing from freezing, so, if your arena is already an ice rink, you'll probably need liquid deicer.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyracing View Post
    Salts. There is a boarding stable in my area (idaho) that uses salt in their outdoor and galloping track to keep the footing going all year. Required a good base though, because the wetness won't go aways as quickly as in the warm months.

    There are options in different price ranges and differing levels of "hard to get" such as using salt bags intented for a water softner to using liquid deicer agents that they use on roads now instead of the old school salt and sand. I should also mention, it takes a lot more salt to defreeze something than to keep the same thing from freezing, so, if your arena is already an ice rink, you'll probably need liquid deicer.
    My only concern with this would be the chemicals on my horses legs. Don't you think the salt might be an irritant? Or even more the deicer...what kind of chemicals are in that?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
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    An alternative option if you live in a dry area: dedicate an area of any size on good level pasture to lay down old shavings. When you get enough, keep it dragged just like the arena (tractor rake atatchment set to a light float works best). You can make really cushy footing this way but just watch for slickness as the horses get used to it. Never use staw!! Dangerously slick.

    In the spring, rake most of it up with the tractor. What's left by not damaging the frail grass underneath will be good fertilizer. You have to pick up the shavings before the ground thaws though, or it will kill the grass (kind of like how a slip and slide does to the grass under it if left out). If done in the dead of winter, the grass recovers fine.



  7. #7
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    May. 15, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyracing View Post
    An alternative option if you live in a dry area: dedicate an area of any size on good level pasture to lay down old shavings. When you get enough, keep it dragged just like the arena (tractor rake atatchment set to a light float works best). You can make really cushy footing this way but just watch for slickness as the horses get used to it. Never use staw!! Dangerously slick.

    In the spring, rake most of it up with the tractor. What's left by not damaging the frail grass underneath will be good fertilizer. You have to pick up the shavings before the ground thaws though, or it will kill the grass (kind of like how a slip and slide does to the grass under it if left out). If done in the dead of winter, the grass recovers fine.
    I like that idea! I might have to suggest that one to some folks!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyracing View Post
    Salts. There is a boarding stable in my area (idaho) that uses salt in their outdoor and galloping track to keep the footing going all year. Required a good base though, because the wetness won't go aways as quickly as in the warm months.

    There are options in different price ranges and differing levels of "hard to get" such as using salt bags intented for a water softner to using liquid deicer agents that they use on roads now instead of the old school salt and sand. I should also mention, it takes a lot more salt to defreeze something than to keep the same thing from freezing, so, if your arena is already an ice rink, you'll probably need liquid deicer.
    Salt won't work below 14 degrees F. Not that any reasonable person would go riding in that temperature anyway



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
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    2,446

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    Quote Originally Posted by jse View Post
    My only concern with this would be the chemicals on my horses legs. Don't you think the salt might be an irritant? Or even more the deicer...what kind of chemicals are in that?
    There as SOO many different types of de-icers, it would be impossible to tell you want is in them. Magnesium, sodium, calcium and cholride are popular ingredients. However, most are used environmentally are meant to be safe to the environment. Take RV antifreeze for example. You can drink some of it without harm (yuck). Specically, salt doesn't seem to harm the horses at all. In fact, there are far less cases of scratches. The only thing is, you do have to clean your girth daily, because the salt is drying.

    Definetely a good idea to watch for any irritation though! I'd also always stick to "natural" ingredients over unknown substances unless considered "non-toxic".

    It's far from a perfect option, but sometimes alternatives options are better than no option at all. For me, I board at an indoor for the winter

    I do have outdoor pens that I keep deiced with a magnesium salt based liquid deicer during the winter. The horses stand in that all winter without a problem.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2008
    Posts
    745

    Default

    For those of you, flyracing... how often are you applying the deicer, and what what volume to space ratio?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2002
    Location
    selden, NY
    Posts
    610

    Default ring freezing

    I do not have an indoor ring but we are able to ride most of the winter. I put down calcium chloride. I have spoken with my vet and he said the worst side effect will be drying of their hooves which they usually need in the winter anyway. I use about 20 bags to do a 100x200 ring and then drag it in. As long as it doesn't rain it will stay soft all winter, even in the very cold. If it snows we clear it off and the ring is still soft underneath. Just be carefull not to let anyone out or ride on the snow until it is cleared. If it mixes in there won't be much you can do. Unfortunately if it rains we have to resalt. We do a lot of lessons, so it is the cost of doing business for me. If it is just you riding probably too expensive. Calcium chloride will also keep the dust down in your indoor so you don't have to water in the winter.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2008
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    1,528

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyracing View Post
    There as SOO many different types of de-icers, it would be impossible to tell you want is in them. Magnesium, sodium, calcium and cholride are popular ingredients. However, most are used environmentally are meant to be safe to the environment. Take RV antifreeze for example. You can drink some of it without harm (yuck). Specically, salt doesn't seem to harm the horses at all. In fact, there are far less cases of scratches. The only thing is, you do have to clean your girth daily, because the salt is drying.

    Definetely a good idea to watch for any irritation though! I'd also always stick to "natural" ingredients over unknown substances unless considered "non-toxic".

    It's far from a perfect option, but sometimes alternatives options are better than no option at all. For me, I board at an indoor for the winter

    I do have outdoor pens that I keep deiced with a magnesium salt based liquid deicer during the winter. The horses stand in that all winter without a problem.

    Gotchya! I actually spoke to my husband about it today and he was talking about the same de-icers you were talkin' about! I just had never heard about it before and like you said, he told me most were harmless if you stick to natural ingredients!
    Right now unfortunately our ring is covered in snow and when that mama jama thaws out we will have a soupy mess...grrr!!



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