How To Maintain Your Arena

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When you use your riding arena on a regular basis, it will naturally wear down and become uneven in places. You need to regularly maintain your arena in order to keep it safe and in good condition for riding. Here are some tips to help you maintain your arena throughout the year.

Establish Proper Drainage

Good drainage is essential for your arena, since it will help keep your arena from flooding and maximize the amount of use that you can get out of it. Your arena should be raised slightly up from the ground around it, and it shouldn’t be located on a low geographic point. You can increase the drainage of your arena by adding gravel to the outside edge to help prevent mud, and by sloping the ground around the arena so that water runs away from the arena, instead of towards it.

Drag the Arena Regularly

The more that your arena is used, the more wear the footing will sustain. It’s important to drag your arena on a regular basis to keep the footing smoothed out. Regular dragging will help to eliminate the tracks that form from riding and lunging, keeping your horse safer. Additionally, since regularly dragging your arena helps to keep the footing surface smooth, it will lessen the development of puddles after heavy rains.

Add a Dust Suppressant

Dusty arenas are unpleasant to ride in and pose a health risk for both you and your horse. If your riding arena gets dusty quickly, make sure that you’re dragging the footing regularly, and try watering down the arena to reduce dust.

Magnesium chloride flakes make a popular arena footing additive when the footing is too dusty. There are also commercial dust suppressants that you can purchase to mix into your arena’s footing.

Bring in New Footing

Even with top maintenance, every arena will need new footing at some point. Just how frequently you will need to add footing will depend on the use of your arena, the arena’s purpose, the climate in which you live, and how well your arena is maintained.

Purchasing a large order of arena footing can be a hefty expense, so it might be best to add a bit of footing every year to break up the cost. It’s also a good idea to keep extra footing on hand that you can pull it down from a pile and distribute across your arena in areas that are running low on footing.

Maintaining your arena will pay off in the long run, since you will get more use out of the arena and it will be a safer surface for your horse.

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