Water it for better health and performance from your horses.
There’s a rumor out there that synthetic footing needs less water than natural footing, or no water at all. Today, we are talking through good steps for maintaining your synthetic footing with watering.
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Hi everyone. Matt here with ABI Attachments. Welcome back to the ABI Dirt. A couple of episodes ago we talked about applying water to your natural arena and why that is so very vital, not only for you but also for your horse and your entire operation. And we got some great feedback from some of you who said, you know what, Matt, no problem. I’m not worried about it.
I’ve got synthetic additives in my arena so I don’t have to worry about watering as part of my synthetic arena care. And while we always love the feedback, and remember we use your comments, hint, hint comment below if you’ve got any questions or comments while we always enjoy your comments, this gave us opportunity to clarify some expectations when it comes to watering in synthetic arenas. And so today’s episode is going to be just that. We’re gonna do a rundown on dos and don’ts of applying water to synthetic arenas.
Don’t Forget to Water–Yes, Even Your Synthetic Footing!
To get us started. Don’t forget about the water.
Even if you’ve got additives in your arena that are water replacing and I know there’s a lot of items on the market there that talk about how you need to water either less or not at all. If you’ve got these mixes, these components in your arena footing just double check the impact of not having water. So even with the water replacing components, remember, a dry arena means that you’ve automatically got some separation happening in your soil components.
Soil Science – Particle Separation Over Time
I’m gonna talk soil science first and then we’re gonna get to animal science next. All right? When it comes to soil science, if you’ve got heavier smaller particles mixed in with bigger, lighter particles those particles are naturally going to separate as they dry out. Because remember, water is your binding agent. So especially if you’ve got synthetic additives into your sand, maybe a little bit of clay, some loam in there in order to keep those components all mixed up and get the maximum benefit from those synthetic additives you need to keep water on that arena so that those components bind together. And then remember a really great arena grooming habit so that you can continue to mix those components altogether and they bind together nicely. Now that’s the soil science side of things.
Animal Science – Health and Wellness of Your Horses
When it comes to animal science. A lot of the water replacing components that are on the market for arenas can actually cause some hoof or skin issues on your horse if you don’t keep them in the footing way they belong rather than drying out and dusting up your arena, which harms horses. So remember, water is great to keep those water-replacing agents in the soil in the arena rather than dusting up all over the place.
Do Feel Your Footing
Next up on the list, do get feely with your footing. Make the best way to tell if you’ve got enough moisture if you’ve got enough water in your arena is to actually get your hands in there and just feel it. If your arena footing even with those synthetic additives, if it’s too wet you’re gonna end up with potentially hardened surface and also just a very slippery surface that could cause some major problems during your training.
On the other end of the spectrum, if your footing dries out that means you could get additional depth there, right? Because you don’t have the compaction or the the core strength that you need on that on arena footing, which means you could end up with some not having the grip that you need when you go to make those jumps or go to make those maneuvers. And you could also cause additional stifle strain because there’s just too much loose material that your horse is training in.
So get your hands down in the footing after you apply the water to make sure you’ve got the right amount of water that you need. And don’t forget, test out a couple of places throughout your arena, not just the middle not just right under the sprinkler head. If you use a sprinkler system, not just in and outta the gate, go through the effort, walk all the way to the middle of the arena, walk to the side of the arena because depending on what your water patterns are and what water system you’re using you could actually have different water drop at different places. And remember additionally that where you train what discipline you train for is gonna play a big impact on where you’re riding. And that also means what aspect or what side of your arena where at in your arena is drying out faster than others?
Don’t Assume All Synthetic Footing is the Same
And speaking about different disciplines have different demands on your arena. Different synthetic additives have different demands when it comes to water content. So don’t assume that all synthetic additives require the same attention when it comes to water maintenance. So make sure you’ve got a good understanding of what have you put in your arena and what are the recommendations for the water content that needs to be dropped on that arena for that specific additive. And please remember as well this can change depending on where you are in the country. So in a colder climate, in a wetter climate you may not need to apply as much water to your arena as you would have to if you were in a dryer climate or even think indoor outdoor covered versus non-covered. That water is going to change how much moisture is in the air how much moisture is evaporating outta the arena. That will change how much water you need to apply to your footing.
Do Explore Your Arena Watering Options
Now with all of these considerations do please explore the variety of options you have when it comes to water management in your arena. There are loads of different options out there. You’ve got sprinkler systems and overhead systems and you’ve got an employee with a hose and you’ve got water trailers all different ways to get the water you need into your arena and all come with their own pros and cons.
Some have a heavy investment on the front end but are low maintenance afterwards. Some are very little cost. Think a hundred foot hose on the front end but there’s a lot of time involved in using that system to maintain the water in your system. And remember, please, that you also need to be careful of providing consistency when it comes to where you’re dropping the water in your arena.
Go back a couple of do’s and don’ts ago when it came to making sure that how much moisture in your arena is consistent across the entire arena. And that is why here at ABI Attachments we’ve preferred to develop an engineer specifically for this purpose. Water trailers for equine arenas so that you can have a rear spray bar that gives you complete control upfront from the seat of your tow vehicle actually to drop down just the right amount of water that you need when you need it so that you can mix that in with your arena groomer and get that perfect ride that you’re looking for.
Do Talk to Our Team!
Finally, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember that we’ve got a team of product specialists here available for you so that you can give us a shout out. Let us know what you’ve got going on in your arena. Let us know what your needs are, let us know what kind of synthetic additive you’re working with what climate you’re in so that we can figure out what water trailer may be the perfect fit for your scenario so that you can enjoy your ride. Until next time, everyone take care.