Horse Arena Footing Selection Tips

The Importance of Choosing the Right Horse Arena Footing


Posted: November 25, 2009

No matter what type of equestrian events you may sponsor, it is important to choose the right type of arena footing in order to keep horses safe. It is not only essential to provide footing at all, but also to find the right type for every area that your horse will be exposed to while training or performing. Arena footing does not all behave in the same way under certain conditions. For a product that is versatile and has the characteristics to make it a good choice for a number of equine situations, recycled rubber products will provide you with a surface that will help you get the results you want.

Your horse has a job to do whether he is running barrels in an arena or pulling a cart down a track. There are a wide variety of equestrian events that your horse may participate in and the footing you provide him with will make a huge difference in his performance. The arena footing that works best for one application may not work in the horse ring or in a training stable so you must find the one for your individual needs. Factors such as the traction needed to support him as he moves can vary greatly from one event to the next.

When selecting the materials for your arena footing, you will have the choice between primary materials like sand and dirt or additive materials like recycled rubber or synthetic fibers. Anyone who has participated in an equestrian event where primary materials were used for the footing knows the disadvantages that they have. While sand is used in some, dirt is more commonly seen and does not provide a very stable footing for the horse. Loosening of the surface gives an unfair disadvantage to competitors who run after several others and dust can also be a problem for the animals and the riders. To get the best performance at an equine event, your horse needs to have a surface that provides him with the right amount of resistance so that it will support him but also have enough “give” to lessen the impact on his joints.

While sand will provide adequate footing for some types of equestrian events, it is not adequate for many western shows where the horse needs a surface that provides compaction. Sand will not fit the bill since it will roll under the horse’s foot too much rather than giving him the compaction he needs to make him stable. In some instances, sand may be mixed with other materials to design arena footing that has the right compaction and give for the event. While sand and dirt may be mixed, there are also some who add crumb rubber to the primary materials to for adequate footing.

Choosing the right arena footing for your equestrian events is easier when you understand what your horse needs to do his job. If he must run around a barrel, then he doesn’t want for the footing to move when he is making his turn. However, in cutting, your horse will need some give to compensate for his sudden shifts in direction and the force behind his moves. You also want to use arena footing that will keep your horse safe while performing in any situation. When he goes into the horse ring, every detail matters when it comes to performance and safety.

Drainage potential should be another consideration in choosing equine arena footing. You don’t want puddles in your outdoor arena. Crumb rubber that is placed on a slightly inclined ground will provide you with exceptional drainage so that weather won’t interfere with equestrian events. A horse ring full of water isn’t good for your horse and it isn’t an effective arena. Recycled rubber footing is durable and will reduce the dust that you can expect from arena footing that is composed of only primary materials.

A performance horse’s feet are an important part of his capabilities and keeping them healthy by providing arena footing that has the right texture and support only makes sense. You also want him to perform to his potential and the footing in the equestrian arena will support him in many ways. To keep your horse’s feet healthy, consider recycled rubber footing for your horse ring.

Click here to see our rubber arena footing products