How to control dust in your arena

Arenas are like horses; they are all unique. But one thing they have in common is their need for regular maintenance to fight dust. Take a look at three simple ways to combat dust

1. Watering

When watering your arena, only water enough to saturate the top two-thirds of the footing. Groom when your arena is wet, as this will reduce wear and tear on the sand, decrease dust, and prolong your footing.

2. Waterless footing

This is by far the most expensive route, but the most effective. These arenas never need to be watered, usually due to a polymer additive that coats each individual grain of sand.

3. Dust control additives

The third option is arena dust control additives. This is a great alternative to waterless footing if budget is a concern, and an environmentally-friendly solution if water is scarce in your area. Often, dust controls can be applied in either granular or liquid forms and can be organic-based, chemical-based, chloride-based, or polymer-based.

Dust controls work in different ways. They coat, causing adhesion to the footing; retain water to weigh it down; or charge it using flocculation. All dust control additives have pros and cons, and the best way to find the right one for your arena is by researching which ones have worked in arenas similar to yours.

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Alexander von Hauff has over 13 years of experience working with horses and riders, and has attended riding clinics in Canada and South America to increase his knowledge of the Equestrian world. Over the past seven years, Alex has worked with arena builders in the US and Canada. He has spent the last four years treating and fixing troubled arenas, and the last two years grooming rings, and overseeing grooming and maintenance at Jumping/Dressage/Expo shows.