Daily Arena Dragging and leveling: During the first week of installation of geotextile horse footings we recommend watering and rolling the arena surface daily. Afterwards, for daily maintenance, just watering and harrowing of the horse footing with an appropriate arena drag with coil tines, tines set not deeper than 1 inch into the surface is needed. The coil tines keep blending the geotextiles with the arena sand while covering the hoof imprints. We like to see the top 1 inch of the horse footing loose and not compacted so the horse’s foot can slide slightly into the horse footing when it lands to avoid any front leg jamming. While Showgrounds keep their horse footing super tight and grippy for best performance and time scores, your horse footing at home where you train daily, should be more giving! Make sure that your arena footing allows the horse’s foot to slide into the footing. This is very important for the soundness of your horses (jumping and dressage). For more detailed info on the biomechanics of the horse and the effects of horse footings we refer to the White Paper http:// www.footingsolutionsusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Equestrian_Surfaces- A_Guide-5.pdf
Watering: Even watering throughout the arena is essential. Water is the binder for the sand grains: You can control the level of firmness and respectively looseness of your arena footing with the adapted amount of water. More water keeps the horse footing firm, less water results in a looser footing. How much to water? In hot climates, we prefer watering once daily with sufficient moisture going down to the bottom of your arena footing rather than watering slightly 3 times a day. You will achieve a much better horse footing this way, while the moisture below stabilizes the horse footing and the top inch loosens up from evaporation. If you just water slightly 3 times a day you would just water the top 1 inch to keep the dust down but the arena footing would never achieve it’s desired level of stability further below.
How to water? We recommend our Platz-Max Rain arena drag with the water tank, a pulled water wagon or overhead sprinklers. HIT Active Aqua System – UnderGround Watering Irrigation: With this system you have the maximum control over tightness or softness of the footing, achievable through moisture content – our HIT ACTIVE AQUA system offers this flexibility. This system allows the surface to be tighter when top level riders are jumping, and looser for daily practice jumps and Dressage. The sub-surface irrigation works with the capillary effect of the sand. Combined with our FS GeoTEX arena footing for stability and extreme cushioning to reduce impact firmness, it allows the horse’s foot to slide into the footing without compromising traction . We consider this type of horse footing the ideal with respect to the biomechanics of the horse described in the White Paper Equestrian Surfaces A Guide.