Is it bad to practice gaming events (poles, figure 8, and all those other good events) in a grass/dirt (but not tilled) arena? I'm curious because the outdoor at my barn isn't tilled up, it's just flat surface with some grass here and there, but mainly dirt since the horses are allowed in it 24/7 unless we specifically close it off for riding.
It's not super big (60' by something like 90') but big enough for practicing most of the gaming events in, if you run out into the outdoor from the indoor, or set up super small patterns. I'm just worried that this is strenuous on my horses' legs/feet and that it's not okay to lope the patterns on that type of footing. Err, lack there of. I don't know if the BO could till it up or if she has the means too.
I don't know of any arenas in the area that I could haul to which would allow me to set up different patterns and let me run them. I've been meaning to find out.
The rodeo grounds doesn't have the best footing in the summer time - it's hard packed and even when they till it up, their till only tills the top 4 inches and they never till between runs. I think it's harder than the outdoor at my barn.
We don't practice gaming every time we ride. The covered arena does have footing, but it's uneven in a most places and since it's 60x60, it's not really feasible to practice in. I could set up something like keyhole, cal stake, and half 8 in the covered arena, and then run in from the outdoor, though. But for the rest of the events (barrels, pole bending) it's just not big enough.