Arena Maintenance: 4 Tips to Increase the Longevity of Your Riding Surface
1. Drag Daily: Dragging daily is the simplest thing you can do to your arena to ensure longevity of the footing and safety to your horses. Inconsistent footing can lead to preventable injury to your horse’s joints, tendons, and legs. For dragging your arena, we always recommend Carolina Arena Equipment’s DragNFly arena groomer (see right).
2. Rake the Corners: Drags cannot reach all spaces of the arena. Make sure to move jumps or other arena items when dragging. For areas that need special attention from built up footing, rake these areas monthly. The most common areas you can find that get missed with the drag are the corners of your arena. In these areas, weeds can often be found. It is best to pull the weeds and patches of grass as soon as possible. Leaving the weeds to grow allows them to root into the base of your arena which can reduce the longevity of your riding surface.
3. Water Arena as Needed: Maintaining proper moisture in your arena is the simplest way to control dust and the proper consistency of the footing for your riding surface. When watering your arena, it is important to make sure the surface is getting watered evenly. Allowing inconsistent watering in your arena can lead to injury to your horse’s legs. For watering your arena, we always recommend the MicroRain watering system (see right).
4. Roll: It is important to roll new arenas daily before dragging to compact the footing and allow it to settle. Depending on how hard you prefer your footing, roll your arena as needed (weekly at a minimum). If you intend to roll your arena after it is watered, be sure not to saturate the footing. If the footing is too wet, it may cause the footing to stick to and clog the roller. Additionally, saturated footing could pull the vehicle causing it to get stuck and create ruts.