Understanding Dust Control on Equestrian Arena Footing

ArenaKleen® works very well with all types of riding arena footing such as sand, stone dust, fine processed screened gravel, and all of the various blends that include the previous as well as many of the fiber products such as rubber, leather, wood, and blends.

The following is a bit of “dust education” to help make an informed decision:

When all things are considered, proper dust control in riding arenas is not expensive – it is cost effective.

Most importantly one needs to understand that the DUST is only the SYMPTOM of the PROBLEM.

People say that you cannot buy health at any price but silicosis is not a joke and ArenaKleen® will absolutely eliminate the dust, which has a very high potential for silicosis in the volumes created in an indoor hall, or outdoor riding ring with several horses moving around.

Using (chlorides) salt on the footing actually deteriorates the footing faster. Water also has negative effects on footing.

First one must understand what is creating the dust to better understand what is happening and why ArenaKleen® actually saves money in the long run.

  • Properly formulated new footing is not just dirt or sand; it is actually processed, coarse sand, (traction), stone dust (for strength, stability, firmness), and sometimes different types of fiber (wood, leather, rubber, etc. – to minimize compaction).
  • Properly formulated footing costs a lot of money. Actually even non-formulated footing costs a fair amount of money.
  • As the horses move over the surface, they pound the individual particles that make up the footing. They pound them together and churn them up. This causes the individual particles to wear, fracture, chafe and break.
  • This wearing of the particles produces additional “fines.”
  • The fines act as sandpaper and wear the footing even faster. It is an ever-increasing vicious cycle.
  • While salt initially attracts moisture giving temporary dust control and a false sense of accomplishment, the salt over time is actually drying the soil particles and causes the cycle of particle breakup/wear even faster plus the dried particles of salt are themselves unhealthy to breath in.
  • If water is used for dust control the water floats the soil particles, oftentimes this creates soft spots and in some cases even mud or slippery spots and it does not last very long before drying out requiring reapplication. Thus the footing when watered does not maintain any consistency but is constantly changing.ArenaKleen® special formulation allows it to:
    • Absorb into the particles rather than just coating the outside like the water.
    • Lubricate the particles so that they chafe less and thus wear more slowly helping topreserve footing longer all the while eliminating the symptom, the dust.
    • Stay with the particle for many, many months.

ArenaKleen® inherent long life means that:

  • Each retreatment will come at intervals further and further apart.
  • The amount needed will be less and less because all of the soil particles gradually become treated.

The footing material last longer before replacement or partial replacement is needed. This in itself is a huge savings what with the cost of quality footing and the cost of trucking and equipment to put it in place.Think about the health of your horse – they breathe in 300 times the air that humans breathe; imagine the amount of dust that they inhale! Besides the health issues to you and your horse, you may also want to consider aesthetics. If your stable looks clean, neat, and dust free people notice. It can generate more business because people enjoy riding where it looks and is cleaner. The tack stays cleaner, clothing stays cleaner; even the horse stays cleaner.

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To conclude, it may be possible with some footing materials (particularly when new or freshly installed) to use less than the recommended amount of ArenaKleen® An educated consumer will understand that the dust is just the symptom of the underlying issues that creates the dust in the first place. They will realize where the problem comes from. They will realize that different footing combinations, depths, and age affect how a dust abatement product or dust abatement program will perform. ArenaKleen® will always perform much better and for much longer than the alternatives. Typically, it will last 8 – 15 months for an initial application. Subsequent applications build up in the footing material and gradually less ArenaKleen® will be required to renew the dust controlling effect. Subsequent applications should last as long or longer and as explained above will use less and less product each time a renewal application is applied. If a proper treatment program is instituted, the treated riding area should never have dust, the footing should be very consistent, the footing should never compact, should never freeze, and the life span of the material that makes up the footing in the arena should be good for as long as possible. Absorbent fibers (if incorporated into the footing material) will necessitate higher initial application rates to meet the fiber’s absorbance factor.