Outdoor Arena Footing
 
 

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Outdoor Arena Footing

This is a discussion on Outdoor Arena Footing within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • What kind of dirt should i use for barrel racing arena
  • Dry time for arena footing

 
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    01-04-2012, 09:33 PM
  #1
Foal
Outdoor Arena Footing

I'm building an outdoor arena, and I'm looking for footing. So far I have a gravel based base, and I'm looking for what to put on top of it. I don't want to spend too too much money. I ride western, and do some simple reining moves, so I'm looking for footing that has some slide to it. I was thinking a compacted clay/slit base on top of what I have, then a sand/stonedust mixture on top of that. I also want something that won't turn to mud if it rains. What do other think? What have other people used in their outdoor arenas?
     
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    01-04-2012, 11:42 PM
  #2
Trained
I am not sure where you live or what is available to you. The trainers I worked for lived in California. Most of them had a decomposed granite packed base with a washed crushed sand top. The decomposed granite packed hard so it was easy to slide on. And then about 4 inches of a washed crushed sand on top was the best because when it rained it was less muddy, less dust when it was dry and they could push through in their stops.

I know people who have a packed clay base which is cheap but it has to be dry otherwise it is a slick nasty sticky mess. Those people are extra careful to float the arena before a storm otherwise it is a long time before it dries out enough to ride in again without ripping the base and mixing the clay in with sand....then I guess you might have a roping/barrel racing arena....
     
    01-05-2012, 12:03 AM
  #3
Yearling
I have a fairly new clay dirt arena that hasn't been broken up yet. You can make a horse sore fast on it if you're doing performance stuff.

The reason I haven't broken it up is because I'm putting sand on it. I kinda want to leave the base hard and see how I like it. I also think I'll need to smooth it before a rain. It has a little fall (6 inches over a 70 foot length) and I hope my sand doesn't wash away.
     
    01-08-2012, 07:45 PM
  #4
Trained
I speak from experience that clay is slippery when wet.

My farrier does roping in his sand based pen. He said that it drains and dries within an hour of a good rain. He lives far enough south in Georgia that everything is sand. We have red clay instead of dirt.
     
    01-09-2012, 12:54 AM
  #5
Foal
Arena Footing & Base

I have done several outdoor arenas. Do it right the first time, or it will cost you more $ and it is harder to fix. There are 2 parts. Base and then your footing.
Your base should be hard. You want a minimum of a 4% slope to where you want water to drain off. Have your "dirt man "scope it." Do NOT let them "eye ball it!" Trust me your "dirt man is KEY!" Depending on where you live "hard pack" may be called different names.

Your footing goes on top of your base. 6" is custom. Reiners, barrel racers, working cow, prefer 6". English riders want about 3 inches. They want bounce. So depending on the discipline is how I set my arena equiptment depth.
You want a "dirt or combination of sand" that does not pack easily. You want a soft footing to prevent leg injuries. If your base is not compacted hard, you will loose your footing into your base.

NEVER CUT INTO your base with your arena equipment. You only work your footing. Set your arena equipment to the depth of your footing you prefer to ride.

Your arena base will allow it to drain and your footing will dry out. If you have puddles or mud holes, it is because you have not groomed your arena footing level.

I would not use clay as footing. Hope this helps. Remember it will cost more to remove your footing and go back and fix your base. (been there, done that mistake)
     

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