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Rubber mulch-arena footing addition

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  • Rubber mulch-arena footing addition

    Wondering is anyone has ever attempted adding rubber mulch to their arena? My footing is currently sand. Looking at adding rubber to it. I am curious to see if it will help keep the arena somewhat unfrozen throughout the winter.

    Debating doing it piecemeal...maybe do the rail first? I am also curious if the mulch I would get from Home Depot/Lowes is the same stuff. I just priced it out and the price per cubic foot is not that different if you buy in bulk or bagged. I don't have a spreader small enough to spread so would be doing adding by hand and dragging with the Rascal to mix, so using the bagged would be easier.

    Opinions? Good idea? Bad idea?

  • #2
    if you go that route, check out this company:

    i got a quote with delivery to fl (mulch was made in MI) and it was reasonable.

    also Beam Farm in Elverson, PA has rubber mulch for riding arenas i believe. 610-286-6981. that's maybe a couple of hours from you. i'm not 100% on the rubber, but i use another additive from them.


    • #3
      I have ridden in it, and don't like it. It makes it hard to transition to other footing materials if you want to show/travel with your horses, it will float if you're arena floods, and it's hard to guarantee that there is no metal in recycled rubber materials because of shredded tires, which include steel bands.
      I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

      BaileyAnn Neal


      • #4
        A well done rubber arena is really lovely to ride on. However, I think a lot of people don’t understand that you don’t need as much sand if you add rubber, and so they make the arenas way too deep.
        If you have enough water in your arena that the rubber floats away, you have drainage issues that need to be addressed.
        I find that the rubber arenas thaw faster and don’t freeze into a solid block. I also find that they aren’t as dusty and don’t compact when you haven’t had rain in a while.


        • #5
          Originally posted by StormyDay View Post

          If you have enough water in your arena that the rubber floats away, you have drainage issues that need to be addressed.
          I find that the rubber arenas thaw faster and don’t freeze into a solid block. I also find that they aren’t as dusty and don’t compact when you haven’t had rain in a while.
          Or, you live in a place like Florida where it rains buckets in a short period of time.


          • #6
            The farm where my granddaughter lessons added rubber to the sand in their indoor just over a year ago.
            The footing was very good before but even better now.
            We're in Ontario where it does get very cold, but the footing did not freeze nor was the arena dusty.
            They're putting up another indoor and have plans to make it a sand/rubber mix as well.
            They used bagged rubber. It took them an entire day to get it in and mixed/spread.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Mallard View Post
              The farm where my granddaughter lessons added rubber to the sand in their indoor just over a year ago.
              The footing was very good before but even better now.
              We're in Ontario where it does get very cold, but the footing did not freeze nor was the arena dusty.
              They're putting up another indoor and have plans to make it a sand/rubber mix as well.
              They used bagged rubber. It took them an entire day to get it in and mixed/spread.
              Mallard Do you know how much they added and how big the arena is? This is my plan...I have existing sand and don't want to make it too deep.


              • #8
                This may not be an issue in your location, but the couple of rubber (outdoor) arenas I've ridden in here were noticeably hotter than the surrounding areas during warm weather.

                To the point that it was uncomfortable, at least to me, mounted on a smaller horse.


                • #9
                  I was jump crew for a clinic that was held in an outdoor arena that had rubber footing and then a few months later rode in the same arena for a similar clinic. The footing was great for the first several hours of the clinic, but the corners got very deep by the later afternoon.

                  If there are just a few riding daily and the ring will be drug regularly, then the rubber may be a good alternative for you. If there will be many riders at a time over many hours (think lesson barn), then rubber may not be great late in the day.

                  What I found to happen as the day went on, horses rode a pattern or course and the areas where they traveled had less rubber (rubber was lighter than the other footing and was more easily moved away from the track). The areas just outside of where they had traveled had deeper rubber/sand or DG.

                  The farm owner did say that the ring, surrounded by woods on every side except the N rarely froze, and if it did, it thawed very quickly.

                  Do take into consideration that if you ever need to remove/redo the arena footing, the rubber will make it more difficult as it is consider a hazardous substance.


                  • #10
                    The arena is large...100 x200. I don't know how many bags they used as I wasn't there. It seems to be more sand than rubber.
                    It is used for lessons every evening for 3-4 hours. They drag it a lot..probably 3-5 times a week.