Riding Arena Maintenance

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Maintaining your new arena is important if you want to get the most out of it for your horse’s performance and to create safe footing. George Chatigny manages the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, Calif., one of the busiest facilities in the United States. He has some tips to help keep up your home arena.

  1. The right tools are necessary for arena maintenance: You will need a tractor. Choose one that can level, rip, move footing and work with your dragging implement.
  2. Choose a drag that has an adjustable depth level to loosen the footing plus a grooming device to smooth or level it. Make sure to set the teeth to the correct depth. If you drag too deep you risk mixing the base into the footing.
  3. Your arena should be dragged daily. This will provide proper footing and keep the ring in good condition. Drag slowly in different directions, the short width followed by the long width of the ring. Dragging in one direction may cause high and low spots.
  4. Water the arena so that it won’t dry out, which makes the footing too soft.
  5. If you are designing your arena and don’t want corners, try a curve on the ends to allow for the tractor to groom the entire arena without having to back into corners. Most 90-degree corners are unused in show-rings. If you’re designing a dressage arena, allow the ends to be dismantled for easy maintenance.

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