Everyone wants to extend the life of their arena. There are many ways to extend life of arena, to get the most out of it, for as long as you can. The want to spend money up front, and not have to spend money again on the arena for years to come, although it sounds nice, is not realistic.
Grooming your footing is one way to extend life of arena: Routinely grooming your footing can significantly extend the life of your arena. Almost all horse show organizations now have rules to groom between so many riders. Grooming every 4-7 riders, breaks up the footing and can considerably reduce the injuries to a horse and rider in an arena. If there are clumps, or deep and shallow spots in the arena, it can cause injury to the horse for the inconsistency in the footing. Dragging prevents ruts against the wall and the surface compacting in the corner. Continuing to regulate your grooming is a great way to keep your footing looking great, and performing great!
Picking up organic material is another way to extend life of arena: I have been to barns where horses are constantly turned out both in indoor arenas and outdoor arenas. Although this space is nice to let a horse run around, horses shouldn’t be kept in this space for long periods of time by themselves. Manure and urine lead to a decline in your footing. Once manure gets into your footing and breaks down, this creates organic material in your footing, which then creates airborne dust. Manure should be picked up before it can be worked into the footing, and horses should not be left in an arena for long periods of time. In addition to manure in the footing, horses should never be fed hay in the arenas. Hay also can easily get broken down in the footing, which again creates dust.
Premium footing is an investment for all equestrian facilities. TruStride™, LiteStride™, 5K Ranch™, and Equi-Blend™ are the only footings on the market, which use recycled components and require no more than regular maintenance. Regular maintenance includes arena grooming and most importantly following the rule of picking up after your horses and not turning them in your arena. Keeping these simple rules in mind when concerning your arena can significantly extend life of arena footing and the base.