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I wasn't really sure what section to put this in, so I am sorry if this is wrong. I have always used arenas with sand footing and they seem to work great. However, I recently looked at a barn that has dirt footing. It looks fairly deep (a few inches) and I am told it is watered every night and then raked (or maybe tilled?) every morning. It looked to have a soft texture. So my question is, is this footing okay for general riding and some jumping (cross rails and small verticals) or will it be too hard on horses' joints?
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I have ridden on both, and I prefer sand as I think it looks better and is less dusty and drains better, but dirt is fine. I do think you need more dirt than sand for footing, but I know lots of horses ridden and jumped regularly on dirt (up to 4 feet).
 
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