Have you noticed your arena is dustier than usual? You’re not alone. Arena dust control is more important in the summertime, especially with the hot, dry weather we tend to experience during the warmer months. Riding just exacerbates the problem because the more you ride, the more your footing breaks down, eventually becoming airborne and creating dust.
Constant inhalation of dust can cause serious respiratory problems for horses and riders. Here are some ways to reduce and sensibly manage arena dust control for everyone’s safety.
1. Water: The most common method of arena dust control is through watering. The key is to water heavy and seldom, rather than frequent and light for the best results. Watering is cost-effective, readily available and highly effective if done properly. However, in large arenas you could be using up to 3,500 gallons of water a day just to keep dust under control.
2. Salt: Another common arena dust control technique is the addition of salts to your footing. Salt additives work best in high humidity because they draw moisture from the surrounding area, which helps to effectively suppress excess dust. The downside of this tactic is that eventually the salt will wash away making reapplication a constant nuisance.
3. Wood: An additional buffer that helps with arena dust control is wood pieces or shavings. Wood helps to slow the breakdown of sand while also helping your arena retain moisture. After some time, just like salt, the wood pieces will break down, but with regular watering you should be able to minimize dust for an extended period of time.
4. Footing: The best way to manage arena dust control is to eliminate it altogether. This can be easily achieved by using a dust-free footing, such as TruStride™ or LiteStride™, manufactured by IGK Equestrian. These arena footings eliminate the need for watering, reduce maintenance requirements and provide adequate support for both horse and rider. Did I mention both TruStride™ and LiteStride™ are dust-free and reasonably priced? Now that’s a long-term investment sure to minimize dust and maximize riding potential in your arena.
Let IGK Equestrian know how do you effectively manage dust in your arena?