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Apart from reducing dust, why water ring first, then drag, instead of vice versa

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  • Apart from reducing dust, why water ring first, then drag, instead of vice versa

    I'm still new to having my own ring but I'm curious as to why it's always first water, then drag, with a sand ring? I understand the reducing dust part, but any other reason? Got mixed up on my sprinkler schedule and did just the opposite and I actually liked how the ring rode better that way! It seemed to pack it down better, which is better for my purposes (bringing back soft tissue injury as well as using ring for miniature horses, who do not need any depth at all!)
    R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

    Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ljc View Post
    I'm still new to having my own ring but I'm curious as to why it's always first water, then drag, with a sand ring? I understand the reducing dust part, but any other reason? Got mixed up on my sprinkler schedule and did just the opposite and I actually liked how the ring rode better that way! It seemed to pack it down better, which is better for my purposes (bringing back soft tissue injury as well as using ring for miniature horses, who do not need any depth at all!)
    I think you answered your own question. The other thing is not "just" dust control, but that "dust" is really your footing slowly disappearing, so watering first also helps to preserve your footing.


    • #3
      I have an outdoor sand arena and it's fairly dry where I live, so I'm frequently dealing with dust. I water first, then drag. Then water again, and drag again. The first drag buries the moisture an inch or so down. Watering again adds another layer of moisture to the now dry surface. The final drag buries that second application of moisture another inch or so. While initially, this method seems like a lot of time-consuming work, I find there's less evaporation, the ring stays moist longer and I have to water less frequently. I think it also helps the sand footing from getting packed down and hard as well as breaking down, which increases dust. I also try and do this early in the morning when the air humidity is higher. I estimate that my sand is probably about 6 inches deep, maybe a bit less.


      • #4
        I've been wishing that my barn would do that. When the ring is dragged and then watered, then a wet upper layer is sitting on a fluffy drier layer. I've seen horses slip in these conditions, on the longe, thankfully not under saddle.


        • #5
          watering first and then dragging mixes in the moisture. The other way around, just the top gets watered. It can make the footing really uneven
          Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


          • #6
            if you water at night and give it a few hours time to soak in then drag in the am it keeps the footing an even moisture.

            for my arena 30 - 45 minutes of water at 2 or 3 am was perfect.

            if there is too much sand you can always remove some.


            • #7
              Watering first creates more surface friction on the drag.
              My goal is to have a uniform surface not one superficially smooth.I use a two step system after watering for 30 minutes.
              First the disk drag, this digs in to about 4" it redistributes the wet sand /rubber and breaks up clumps of footing around the jumps and on the outside track, The second is a chain harrow which smooths the surface.
              I use the 2 step method at weekly intervals and drag daily after watering with the chain harrow only.