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Is Your Footing Fitting? Some Choices for Your Equestrian Arena Surfaces

A close-up of a hybrid equine footing

This is a closeup of Airfoot™, a hybrid equine footing that is a mixture of nylon, rubber, foam, and fiber designed to reduce compaction, promote water retention, and help bind sand together in an equestrian arena. | Photo courtesy of Footings Unlimited

It’s hard to appreciate good arena footing for horses until you’ve ridden on something lousy. Having your poor horse slog through boggy equine footing that feels like quicksand is no fun at all. The same goes for equestrian arena surfaces that I dub “the Sahara,” because they are endless dust bowls of shifting sand.

Luckily for the horse world, there are companies like Footings Unlimited, who describe themselves as a world-wide arena surfaces company. They also know all the best materials available for footing for equine arenas, and I thought I’d share the choices with you in case you want to improve the footing in your own equestrian arena (or, if you board, to perhaps gently hint to the owners of your facility). Good luck!

Rubber Arena Footings

Shock Stop™  This premium virgin rubber product made from the same material found in many types of running shoes greatly reduces concussion forces, minimizes compaction, and facilitates drainage in an equestrian arena.
Arena Grips™ A mixture of granular rubbers with some fibers attached. It serves to reduce compaction, improve cush, and provides for water retention in equine arenas.
Pay Dirt™  A fine angulated granulated rubber suited for use in slick, heavy clay footings. It can prevent compaction and reduce slickness on equestrian arena surfaces.
Rubbermate™  This family of granular rubber products will reduce compaction, increase cush, minimize maintenance, and optimize toe penetration. It can be custom-sized to match your particular equestrian arena sand.
RX™ A flat highly flexible rubber used to provide cush, compaction reduction and stability of equestrian arena surfaces. This product also comes in a “natural” semi-granulated form.
RX Prime™ This light gray rubber product is designed to easily blend with your equestrian arena sand and provides both stability and concussion reduction of equine arenas.

Textile Footings

EuroFelt® This fabric-based material provides cush and helps to stabilize sand. It provides one of the most consistent surfaces available in an equestrian arena.

A closeup of EuroFelt® equine footing

A close-up of EuroFelt® equine footing. | Photo courtesy of Footings Unlimited

DuraFelt™
A honeycomb textile material. It serves to reduce compaction, improve cush, and provides for water retention in equine arenas.

Hybrid Footings

Airfoot™ A mixture of nylon, rubber, foam, and fiber designed to reduce compaction, promote water retention, and help bind sand together in an equestrian arena.
Lightfoot™ A fabric mixture with some nylon, rubber, and foam. It is used primarily in very deep sand or mixed with other products to provide water retention in equine arenas.
Sandmate™ A mixture of flat rubbers and fibers designed to stabilize loose sand, retain moisture, reduce concussion, and minimize sheer on equestrian arena surfaces.
Travatex™ A blend of flat rubber, felts and expansive fibers. This blend incorporates the properties of both rubber and textiles in equine footing.

And if you’re interested, Footings Unlimited can also do dust-free and custom arena footing for horses.

For information on do-it-yourself dust-control products, you may want to visit: http://www.dustfreefootings.com/.

Categories: Arenas.

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