Why do so many people hear the word “dressage” and cringe? Some people talk about it with as much enthusiasm as getting a root canal. If dressage has become a torment for people then they are missing an integral part of it-its purpose. Riding in a professional dressage arena should be a joyful experience for both the horse and rider because it is training based on love.
Caption: Good drainage is important if you arena is outdoors. It will expedite the rapid runoff of water and increase the number of days the arena is rideable, not to mention saving your horse from slippery, loose footing.
According to Wikipedia, dressage is defined as “the highest expression of horse training”. It is a quest to let go of your own ego and become one in harmony with your horse. The method of dressage uses only natural means to develop the horse. It is based on kindness and reward and excludes the use of force. How can one not be intrigued by such a discipline?
And once you are intrigued, you need a place to practice-building a professional dressage arena isn’t exactly an everyday project. There are things that go into making an arena such as design, construction, proper drainage, and footing. You can understand design and construction well enough, but what about proper drainage, and what is footing?
Good drainage is important if you arena is outdoors. It will expedite the rapid runoff of water and increase the number of days the arena is rideable, not to mention saving your horse from slippery, loose footing. Proper drainage also minimizes the damaging effects that erosion and frost heave have on your footing.
Footing is the material found on the surface of a riding arena. There are basically two categories of footing in English arena riding: dressage and hunter/jumpers. Dressage footing is usually a bit deeper and consists of sand mixed with shredded textile. This mixture provides greater stability and less loss of traction.
Whether you are building a new professional dressage arena or refurbishing your old one, contact us for a free consultation and your free download of “Intro to Arena Footing”. The sooner you build, the sooner you can practice that beautiful harmony with your horse!