Whether it’s a custom horse stable or an arena, everything associated to your horse requires regular maintenance. Maintaining the arena footing is the most important factor as it is your most valued investment on your farm. If not maintained properly you could face issues related to drainage, depth and inconsistencies throughout the arena footing.
Well-maintained footing ensures proper drainage, good stability and absorption. Most well-constructed arenas are built with excellent footing, but over a period of time keeping it functioning like new gets challenging, especially if they get a lot of traffic or, in the case of an outdoor arena, is exposed to natural calamities.
Immediate fixes, such as creating a channel to drain away excess water by drawing in the edges of the arena, getting rid of the weeds and plants that grow around the edges and timely removal of manure can save you from a lot of damage and operational cost.
You should pick up manure. As manure is organic it breaks down and turns to dust quickly. To avoid dust problems, manure should be removed after every ride. Keeping an arena rake and muck bucket handy can encourage your riders to use them as and when required. An arena rake can be used to position the footing anywhere it is likely to be displaced. Try to find a multipurpose arena rake as you will probably need to harrow the paddocks, rake the arena and groom your roads and the regular, cheaper, poorly designed arena rake will not do a good job and will probably fall apart.
Watering and dragging are also two main arena maintenance routines. Water can help to keep the dust down and dragging levels out the potholes and imprints formed by riding. It is important to have a quality Arena Rake that has the ability and strength to go below the visible surface and reach the working base where the horse’s foot actually lands. Most arena rakes make the top look pretty but do not attend to the problems below. How often do you need to drag the arena depends on the heavy or light use of the arena, how much traffic it gets, and the type of footing you have. Dragging helps in restructuring uneven footing and create a perfect level for riding. Once your horse is on the even footing, it will instantly notice the difference and will grow in confidence with each ride.
There are many different drags and arena rakes available on the market that are poorly designed and can do more harm than good. The ABI range of arena rakes are a stand out in the field of surface and arena rake technology. This line of equipment has been designed by experts so you don’t have to be. They are designed to be multi, purpose, durable and on the leading edge of technology. Do not put you arena investment at risk by going short on the arena rake.
For more information about Priefert’s range of Arena Rakes please see our catalogue.
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