When it comes to riding and other equine pursuits, the addition of a horse arena to your property can be a game-changer – but how do you maintain it?
Monthly, weekly and even daily grooming is mandatory if you want to maintain a great surface in your arena. However, it is worth noting that the maintenance associated with your arena generally boils down to how much you use it – will you be in there every day, once a week, or as required?
How much attention your arena required often boils down to the landscape that it was constructed on, and the materials used. Your arena shouldn’t be exposed to too much water, as a lack of drainage is guaranteed to shorten the lifespan of your arena. Sand is the most popular option for your arena’s top layer, but each owner will generally want to achieve different results from their space – some want a softer and cushioning top layer, while others may seek a harder finish.
The cost of constructing a horse arena may well be the same of a new car for some, investing your time, energy, and (when required) money will ultimately ensure that your space goes the distance and lasts for many years into the future.
Tips For Success With Horse Arena Maintenance
Raking – The amount required will generally depend on how much use your arena is getting. Many opt to utilise a quad bike to complete this, usually two to three times per week. Raking will need to be done more often in rainy conditions, and less in summer or dry weather.
Corners – The corners of your area will need to be hand raked at least every three to four weeks to ensure your surface area remains flat. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to high traffic areas of your arena, like entries and exits.
Sand Maintenance – Once again, this will also vary depending on how much use your horse arena gets. As a general rule, ensure you replace the top layer of sand every five to ten years to keep it in top condition.
Depth Checks – Regular depth checks is an easy way to check for inconsistencies with the overall depth of your arena, and to ensure that it’s level. Every three months or so, measure the depth around the track and on the quarter, centre and three quarter lines.
Remove Organic Matter – Try to ensure that your horses feet are reasonably clean before they enter the arena. Keep on top of removing organic matter such as your horses droppings, as these can easily affect your surface (if you have a wax coated surface, this will dry it out).
Weed Control – It’s important to nip this in the bud wherever possible, particularly in winter. While many opt to hand weed an arena, there are also organic solutions available that won’t negatively affect your horse (or yourself).
Agronomist Logan Brown is an avid equine lover, and spends much of her time at home riding and training eventing horses. A more recent hobby of hers is retraining racing horses, so that they can compete in the same style of eventing. Needless to say – the arena on her Victorian property certainly gets a workout, and requires regular attention to keep it in top condition. In an effort to combat leafy invaders to her arena, Logan regularly uses Bioweed as an organic herbicide weed killer.
“There’s a lot of different methods that you can use. A lot of people like to hand weed, but I’m a little bit lazy and use Bioweed instead. It’s got the no-withholding period, so I know that I know that I can ride my horses in the arena straight after spraying without having to worry. It’s also got the seed control, so I know every time I spray I know there will be less popping up – for me, it’s really been a long term investment.”
Bioweed functions a little differently to conventional herbicide, so it’s best to pay special attention to the outskirts of the arena with full coverage. If you would like to know more about organic weed solutions, please get in touch with us today at Bioweed to discuss ways we can help to combat weeds organically at your property.