A dusty arena can significantly impact both the horse and the rider’s long-term lung health. We’ll discuss how arena dust may impact lung health and what you can do to reduce the risks.

Many studies show the impact of barn dust, but arena dust also significantly impacts lung health, especially if exposure is prolonged over many years.

Fortunately, there are some simple solutions you can put into practice to ensure both you, your employees, and your horses are less impacted by arena dust.

Read on to know what you can do to reduce arena dust!

Impact Of Arena Dust On Horse’s Lungs

Arena dust impacts horse lung health as the footing breaks down into smaller and smaller airborne particles and dust rises. The impact becomes even more significant when it comes to indoor arenas, where these particles get trapped inside a closed space.

Dust can contribute to significant horse health issues such as:

  • Recurrent airway obstruction (RAO)
  • heaves (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Inflammatory airway disease
  • Poor performance
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Impact Of Dust On Rider Lung Health

But arena dust doesn’t only impact the horse’s health; it is a health risk for risers and trainers as well.

Most large dust particles get filtered by the nose, but the smaller ones can reach the bronchi and bronchioles, leading to the lungs. Then, dust may reach the alveoli, where it can produce severe damage to the lungs.

To get a clear picture of how serious this situation is, let’s see the prevalence of the respiratory disease among riding instructors.

Studies show that 39% of riding instructors reported wheezing associated with a cold or respiratory infection. The prevalence of asthma was 14% among riding instructors, while 23% had a history of pneumonia.

Equestrian professionals working in dusty arenas are potentially exposed to a threat of a wide range of respiratory conditions, such as:

  • organic dust toxic syndrome
  • chronic bronchitis
  • chronic obstructive lung disease
  • hypersensitivity pneumonitis (Farmer’s Lung)
  • Asthma
  • pulmonary fibrosis

Tips To Reduce Arena Dust And Protect Lung Health

Watering your arena

Often watering your arena can seem like the simplest thing to do to reduce the impact of dust on human and horse health. But it’s not as straightforward as it looks.

Some arenas may not have access to unlimited water sources. Getting that consistent sweet-spot of perfect moistness can be challenging to achieve, especially if you can’t invest in a sprinkler system.

Ventilation for your indoor arena

Proper ventilation is an essential part of keeping your arena dust-free and maintaining a healthy environment.

Arenas that are often watered to keep dust levels down may be faced with increased humidity. This can also pose significant health risks for both riders and horses because microbes, mold, and fungi may develop faster in a humid environment.

Natural ventilation is the ideal solution for the humidity problem, but if this is not available, you can always supplement by using fans to ensure proper ventilation.

Salt usage to reduce dust

Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are used because they have the property to increase moisture retention and reduce the need to water frequently.

These dust suppressants may be a cheaper option for controlling dust in your arena, but this small price comes with a long term cost. Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride may hurt your arena, machinery, and horse.

Using additives to reduce arena dust

You can use footing additives to reduce the risk of arena dust, but you should carefully research how each of them might impact your horse and the quality of your footing.

Some of the most widely-used additives are:

  • Chips of wood
  • Coconut fiber
  • Peat moss
  • Petroleum products
  • Wax coatings
  • Shredded rubber or yogo mats

The best horse arena dust control solution

As you can see from the examples above, all indoor arena dust-control solutions have their drawbacks. If you use water to suppress dust, you might need to invest in both a sprinkler system and a ventilation system to ensure you’re not just replacing one problem (dust) with another (high humidity).

Salt usage or footing additives may positively impact rising dust, but they might be the cause of other problems that affect the quality of your footing.

If you are trying to find the best solution for reducing dust without causing any other problems in your arena, you’re in the right place.

WHOA Dust is the natural solution to reduce dust safely for both you and your horses without damaging your arena footing properties. Using WHOA Dust will improve your footing qualities while helping you and your horse stay healthy.

Want to know more?

We’re glad you asked! You can visit our site to read the answers to the frequently asked questions most arena owners have about using WHOA Dust. Alternatively, you can contact us for any other questions or concerns you might have. We’re here to help you.