Arena Footing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Arena Footing

So, I wasnít sure where to post this topic, but here I am. We recently ordered a round pen for me to ride my pony, Hershey, in. Iíve tried doing research on what kind of footing to put in the round pen but it seems pretty... confusing. Would stone dust work? What about sawdust? Sand? Those are a few that I saw. Any recommendations or tips?
Thanks
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 03:56 PM
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Where are you planning on placing the round pen?
What is currently the "footing" now?
If it is grass...leave it.
I would not put anything different in my round pen for footing,
A few times of use and you will have a track from using the edge more often..
If your location has longer grass in it...turn the horse loose and let it graze it down to nothingness..
Just using the round pen will break down any ground with the exception of concrete or blacktop, hopefully not surfaces dealt with.
Remember anything you add you will then be having to rake and smooth periodically, filling in usage ruts...
The more material the deeper the footing, = more torque and harder the ground your horse must move through = leg strain.
Be cautious how much depth you create with the best of intentions.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 04:02 PM
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You mentioned stone dust... I use that in my driveway to fill in ruts cause it gets near like concrete when compressed.
To me, no stonedust.

You mentioned sawdust...
Is this round pen going to be in a weatherproof setting?
Indoors with walls?
Otherwise, no sawdust as it absorbs water and gets slippery, smelly during dry time...

Honestly, just let nature work with you.
As you use the pen and the ground settles then replace with dirt or sand to fill in low spots.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 04:07 PM
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@horselovinguy but if she leaves it just grass, won't it be unusable when it's wet? Because the grass will get worn down, then it will turn into dirt, then into mud?

Maybe I'm just scarred by our terrible clay soil here, but I can't imagine riding in it when it's wet -- it is just so terribly slippery and sticky and nasty.

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 04:13 PM
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When you ride in it your horse will naturally churn the soil when moving.
The grass will disappear and get ground up, gone.
You will have a dirt arena in no time.
Grass will return when you not use the arena for a few weeks in which case you again start by grazing it down, then work them in it...
You will see a noticeable use track within 3 times of using the arena going roundy-round or criss-cross...we tend to ride the same patterns when we ride...that makes a imprint on the ground.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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We are planning on putting the round pen in our pasture, on a flat area of land. Yes, there is grass there but I was wondering that if we didnít put footing that Hershey would try to eat the grass while Iím riding her. Maybe we could let Bunny loose in the round pen? Sheís the one with the grazing muzzle problem though... maybe Hershey would be better, haha. I understand what you are saying about different footing and having to constantly maintain it... I think just leaving it as is is the best idea. Thank you!
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 05:20 PM
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You should not be allowing any pony/horse to eat when you ride unless it is your idea.
When you ride, head is up and feet are moving...
You the rider are in charge, not the animal.
If you do not have the strength to keep the pony from over-powering you, taking advantage and putting their head down then invest in a anti-grazing device and use it!
These work on English or western saddles...there are several styles and many costs difference depending upon what you choose. There are several styles to choose from...
Pictures I find are to large to get to view them here.
Here are 2 addresses you can highlight and rt click your mouse to open in a new tab to view..
https://justforponies.com/tack/train...grazing-reins/
https://www.amazon.com/Centaur-Anti-.../dp/B002HWIT8E
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 05:26 PM
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@ACinATX that slick, sticky clay would need amending. I don't remember those soils fondly. Here we add sand or top with a sandy clay mix.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 05:36 PM
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I just re-did an arena for a neighbor. Put sand down and then tilled in shredded running shoes. It gets drug rarely and everyone likes it.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-06-2020, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boots View Post
I just re-did an arena for a neighbor. Put sand down and then tilled in shredded running shoes. It gets drug rarely and everyone likes it.

New one to me...
shredded running shoes


OK...my mind just went to a bunch of Nike sneakers tossed in the dirt...


Help me to better understand...
Thanks.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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