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by Downunder Horsemanship

Prepping Your Arena Under the Summer Sun

By ABI

With the summer sun upon us, many notice their arenas being dry, dusty and inconsistent. Are you wondering:  “Does not having enough moisture on my arena footing affect my horse’s health?” The answer is, yes, it does! A dust-filled, dry arena can affect everything from your horse’s respiratory system to his skeletal structure.

Think about the last time you rode in a dusty arena. Did the dust bother you after a few minutes into your ride? The answer probably is, yes! That is because you are continually breathing in dust particles. Now think about it from your horse’s perspective, who can take in up to 600 gallons of oxygen per minute while doing strenuous activity. That is a lot of dust your horse is taking in per breath! After continuous rides in dusty arenas, your horse’s respiratory health is going to be weakened, not allowing him to perform to his best ability.

If your arena is not consistently watered, there are loose, less stable areas throughout it. Without water binding the sand grains together, there is no stability offered to your horse’s skeletal structure. After continuous rides on this inconsistent ground, your horse will begin to anticipate these flaws in your arena. The troublesome spots are not only distracting but may often lead to your horse not performing to his best ability because he is trying to protect himself from an injury, due to footing flaws.

So, what is ideal moisture for your arena footing? Typically, your arena’s moisture content needs to be around 20 to 25 percent. However, many people do not have a device to read the moisture content in their arenas. An easy technique to determine if your footing is too dry or too wet is to feel the ground with your hands. Simply take a handful of footing and squeeze it. If the footing crumbles out of your hand while opening it, it is too dry. If you clench your hand and water runs out, it is too wet. This is a quick and easy test to see what you need to do before your next ride.

Is there a tool that is easily accessible, sturdy and efficiently pumps and drains water that will eliminate dust in your arena and the risk of your horses becoming lame? Yes! The ABI compact water trailer does all of those things in one tool and attaches to an ATV or UTV. No tractor needed.

Check out more information at abiequine.com to keep you and your partner safe, healthy and performing at peak potential.