HELP!! Building Indoor but need advice on footing, etc...
So my dream is finally happening, I'm building an indoor this fall!!! It's 70 x 150, perfect for my small boarding stable and my small herd of event horses. But I need advice.... What is a good footing or footing mixture that has limited dust and maintenance, but will be nice to my horses joints too, not too pricey but I'm willing to splurge for the right stuff!.... Also what are the general steps to take after my structure is up.... Crushed stone? then some sort of tarp to keep out rocks? then footing? Help me i'm clueless!
Could anyone with experience in this topic give me some advice on the proper steps to take to make this indoor perfect! I can't seem to find anything on the internet to help me. And anyone else with opinions of their favorite footing to ride on.... Thank you so much
Location will be a big factor in what you have available. I have footing that I love for the price (eventing as well so jumping and dressage) but I pay more to have the footing shipped to me then it costs. Need to rake the track by hand and drag arena daily; water depends on environment and personally we water about once a month and add Mag Chloride. Have no dust and no slipping. Although my indoor has heavy traffic so maintenance will depend on usage. If you are close to NJ happy to have you come see/ride in my arena.
Around here a lot of people have heavy clay that is compacted and serves as the indoor's base with angular washed sand on top. Obviously drainage is not good on clay, but if you aren't watering then it isn't as much of an issue. It is used because it is the most affordable and easily available footing. Some add rubber. There is GGT too.
That said, as stated above, Mag Chloride or Cal Chloride (a bit harsher I believe, although we had no hoof issues) is your best friend with sand, imo. Cuts watering down to almost none (assuming you have some air humidity) and controls the dust.
My dream footing woud be a proper base with GGT footing, per their installation instructions (they use a grid underneath I believe). Like the KY horse park. You do need a parma groomer for that I think... of course my dream footing is maintained by my dream staff, so I don't really worry about it.
My old BO had cal chloride sprayed and the only issue was they oversaturated the base, so the clay was slippery. After two weeks it was fine. We didn't water again for 7 months!! That was with three riders (private barn). She did bags of mag chloride last time and wasn't as happy with it. I'm not sure she used enough, I have no idea though.
After doing a lot of research and riding in a lot of indoors (I live in a very cold climate) I chose travel light footing for my indoor.
It is very expensive. The logic in choosing it though was that the building we are building is more expensive and needs to last a really really long time. As soon as you introduce water into that building you are shortening it's life.
Any other footing I looked at needed water to keep dust down, and as soon as you water your footing that water is going into the air and into your building. If you have a metal building this means rust, in a wood building it means mold.
Not only that, but the cost of water, and the time involved all adds up. Also, you need a less vigorous ventilation system needed to keep the moisture out of the air if you are not watering footing. There is still moisture from the horses and people sweating and breathing that you have to deal with, but not watering your footing cuts down on this a lot.
Also, it is exceptional for the horses and only requires minimal harrowing (weekly in a high traffic arena) to stay really rideable. It does not compact or create a track or hump up around the outside.
Make sure you prep your base expertly. If you do not, any footing you chose will just be a waste of money. This means you need someone with a laser level to prep that base. Depending on what you have there now, you will need to bring in road crush and smaller gravel compacted to probably 6-12". You should try to to get it down to clay to start, but that all depends on your area. Also, the guy prepping it should have a lot of experience with compaction. He doesn't have to have equestrian experience but a really good road builder will be your friend. He needs to prep it as though it were being paved.
don't skimp, you will pay for it many times later if you do. There are professional consultants that should be a good investment of time and $$. Where I keep my farm has lovely footing- the last place did not, even after she redid the arena.