Footing depth is always a tricky question. The depth of the footing really depends on what you plan on doing in your horse arena. I’ve had customers call saying they want 5 inches of footing in their arena. That’s a big no no. You don’t want to have your arena footing so deep that your horse is struggling through it; which is often seen in deep sand arenas. I have rode in arenas where I skip around a whole section of the arena because the footing is so deep and my horse constantly trips through it.
Typically when we quote customers with our dust-free footing, we start with a minimum depth of 3.5 inches. This depth is great for ground work, walk trot canter, and dressage. If there is any jumping happening in the arena, we bump the depth up to 4 inches. The 4 inches is only recommended for lower level jumping. Grand prix style jumping should have 4.5 to 5 inches of footing in order to properly support the horse when taking off and landing. However, these depths only work with our footing, not with sand.
Our TruStride arena footing has been installed at depths around 9 inches before on Thoroughbred training tracks. It does not give riders a “deep” feeling when riding at deeper footing depths. The deeper depth gives the horse more cushion when performing extraneous activities. For other disciplines such as barrel racing and poles we recommend 4 inches for the horses to be able to dig in and get around the obstacles. Reiners typically prefer 5 inches of sand in order to get the proper slide in their arenas.
Every customer that we quote, we find out what type of riding they do in their arena as well as how many horses they expect per day, and based on that we can recommend a footing that would be the perfect match for their arena. Contact us today to get a quote for our dust-free arena footing for your arena!