Maintaining your horse arena is important not only for the health and performance of your horse but for your enjoyment as well. How much time you invest in maintaining your arena is up to you, but it’s a good idea to at least cover the basics.
Proper arena footing is the first step to ensuring your horses safety, comfort and ability to perform.
A good horse arena will have three surface layers: the bottom layer, what is left after topsoil is removed; the base layer, a layer of compacted material that provides support for the horse; and the top layer, usually sand which helps soften the impact on horses joints and bones.
No matter your desired firmness and cushioning, or what surface your arena has, daily dragging will be key to maintaining your arena footing.
Maintenance can be done with a simple arena drag, but there are multiple tools to aid in the ease and efficiency of this this task such as a compact utility tractor and its various attachments.
You can find a quality compact utility tractor and attachments at your nearest 4Rivers Construction, with locations in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. For more information and inventory, visit Compact Utility Tractors.
Choose a dragging attachment and drag your arena to make sure it remains even and level for good footing. If you can, choose a drag with an adjustable depth level that also features a grooming device to help smooth. Make sure to drag slowly and in different directions.
If you find you still have deep grooves from usual riding patterns, consider a box blade attachment for the compact utility tractor to help move large amounts of sand or dirt into the low spots that have compacted. These attachment options prevent you from pushing the top layer to the edges of the arena and loosing valuable footing.
Aside from dragging, watering the arena will help to combat dust and prevent the footing from getting too soft. Some drags feature a watering device, but pull behind sprayers for compact utility tractors will do the trick as well. How much water you use depends on factors such as the weather, if yours is an indoor or outdoor arena, and how well moisture levels are held in the arena.
Perform these few basic maintenance tasks on your arena and you’ll see the results in your horse’s performance in no time.