Watering your horse arena is necessary to prevent the rising of dust. But, as you might have noticed, it can be expensive and time-consuming.
Let’s see how you can save costs and keep a well-balanced arena that’s fun to ride for both you and your horse.
One of the critical ingredients in arena footing is water. No matter what type of footing you use, moisture is essential to keep it dust-free. It’s best to have a 20-25% water content in your footing to keep the dust down and get the best performance.
But, depending on the area you live in, the surface of your arena, and the budget you have, often watering to keep that perfect moisture level may be difficult. Here are some tips to help you reduce watering expenses while maintaining a well-balanced water content.
1. Water in the mornings and evenings to prevent evaporation
When it comes to keeping the ideal moisture for your arena, evaporation is your biggest enemy. If you water in the middle of the day, you’ll soon notice the water is gone quickly, and dust starts rising again. This happens because the water evaporates before it gets a chance to saturate.
The best time to water your horse arena is early in the morning or late at night when the sun doesn’t shine directly, so the water has time to stick to the footing and evaporate at a slower pace.
2. Select environmentally friendly dust-control products
A great way to reduce arena dust is to use environmentally friendly dust-control products. WHOA Dust™ works by charging the neutrally charged dust particles floating in your arena. This way, they will be pulled down and no longer suspended in the air.
This way, you can reduce the need to water your arena by a minimum of 50%.
The footing will also be optimized for performance and safety:
- it will become more supportive
- It has a better texture, which offers superior traction.
3. Invest in a low-dust footing
Investing in a low-dust footing material for your arena might be the best thing you can do to reduce watering and manage dust at the same time. However, the efficiency of these materials depends on the environmental factors and your budget.
There are several options on the market, such as wood shavings, rubber, foam, or polymer-coated sand, but each has its pros and cons, so it’s best to do your research before investing.
4. Plant hedges around your arena to protect it from the wind.
As we mentioned above, evaporation is your worst enemy when it comes to watering your arena. The cause is not always the sun; the wind can also dry out your arena, sometimes shortly after the watering.
Planting hedges around your arena may help protect it from the wind and keep the moisture in longer. Horse hedging has other advantages: it contains your horses in their field, it keeps other animals out, and protects your arena from the sun and the rain.
5. Use Water Sprinklers
Watering your arena using a garden hose with a spray nozzle is the lowest-budget solution, but it can become expensive due to labor. It requires an individual to walk the entire surface of the arena, and that person’s time is money.
Using a water sprinkler system may save you time and money since you don’t have to water manually or pay someone to do it for you. You can use them to water all parts of the arena at one time; this way, you won’t have to worry about half of it being dried out by the time you have finished watering manually.
6. Invest in an automated watering system
If you have the budget for it, an automated watering system may be worth it in the long run since it can help you save water, time, and money. Watering systems can be programmed to run anytime you need them to, so you can use them at night to be more efficient.
This option is well suited for both indoor and outdoor arenas and ensures an even water distribution.
7. Trap rainwater to store it for later use
A great idea to save water and use it efficiently is to trap rainwater and store it for later. This way, you can reduce your water bills and use a natural resource to cover your needs.
Harvesting rainwater means collecting it from a surface, usually a roof, to store it for later. Rainwater collection systems can be as simple as collecting rain in a barrel or more elaborate. You should choose your system based on the size of the arena you need to water, the climate from your area, and, of course, your budget.
Even a simple system can help you save a lot since rainwater is a clean and absolutely free source of water you can use to water your arena.
There are many ways to save water, time, and money if you have a strategy to identify and minimize water waste. But this doesn’t mean you have to leave your arena dry and risk the hazards of dust.Reach out to find out more about how to water your arena without waste.