East-West Arena Construction Blog

Proper arena footing is crucial when building for different horse show events

Posted by East-West Arena Construction

Feb 14, 2014 12:00:00 PM

In many sports, being able to get good footing and traction can affect results. The quality of the field has an impact. Football players will wear different cleats if the field is grass or AstroTurf. Runners used to runon clay, cinder, dirt, sand or grass, which is easier on the body. More modern surfaces include a combination of asphalt and rubber, all-weather tracks which uses latex or rubber surfaces, and polyurethane, all with different effects requiring different equipment.

It's no different with horses as proper arena footing can also mean the difference between a winning round or a rider falling off the horse.


Horse Show

Equestrian events require appropriate non-slip footing for the safety of both horse and rider.


There are many disciplines within the horse industry.  The events taking place in the arena need to be considered when choosing your arena surface.

  • Hunters, In this event, the horse is judged on pace, jumping ability and movement and the course usually has 8-12 elements.
  • Equitation is a discipline where the rider is judged.
  • Jumpers, where horses jump over obstacles and style is secondary. The jumper courses are more complex and technical than hunters.  Speed and going "clean" (not knocking down rails) is the name of the game
  • Saddleseat incorporates different pace categories:  five-gaited, three-gaited, fine harness, pleasure, park, and western.
  • Roadster has a two-wheel carriage attached to the horse, so the imprint the wheels make in the course can alter the feel of the course. The horse is judged for three different speeds of trots.
  • Hackney horses and ponies. The harness and cob-tail ponies draw a four-wheel buggy and driver. The pleasure pony draws an open two-wheeled buggy. Roadster ponies are fast and draw a two-road bike..
  • Western Reining is a competition for horses where the riders guide the horses through a precise pattern of circles, spins, and stops. 

For footing surfaces, we utilize German Geo Textile Footing (ggt)..When the textile is added to sand, it stabilizes sand and soil particles. We recommend a special blended sand to GGT ratio to reduce the amount of packing and help hold moisture in the surface, which leads to reduced dust.

Here’s why:

  • Sand stability
  • Energy absorption=less compression on horses joints
  • Reduces dust
  • Retains moisture
  • Non-toxic and non-allergenic
  • Can be added to your current sand as an additive

For best arena footing, contact us.

Topics: Footing

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