Dust can be a big problem in equestrian arenas. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can be very unhealthy for rider and horse alike to constantly be breathing in dust. Several studies have reported that equestrian workers exposed to dust are more likely to develop chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and other conditions. Horses exposed to chronically dusty conditions can develop allergies, chronic coughs, reduced performance, and of course heaves.
The most basic solution to dust is to water the arena footing. However, watering is a time-consuming and water-consuming chore. In very dry climates the arena may need to be watered multiple times per day to keep the dust level under control. And in very cold climates, it may be impossible to water the arena for months at a time each year. Some cold-climate arenas resort to controlling dust with oil or salt. Salt is corrosive to metal and can irritate the skin. Oils have to be re-added frequently and can therefore be quite costly to use over time.
Caption: For superior moisture and dust control, GGT has developed a special dust-control additive that can be mixed into any type of GGT footing.
One solution is to add textiles, such as GGT, to the footing. The woven textiles trap fine dust particles inside their structure, reducing dust. And the presence of the textiles reduces the amount and frequency of watering needed to maintain the surface. GGT textiles absorb water and slowly release the water to the surrounding sand, keeping the footing at a relatively constant level of moisture. Many arenas cycle from just-watered soggy mud to needs-to-be-watered dusty mess on a weekly or even daily basis. Adding GGT textiles will help keep the footing more consistent from day to day.
For even better moisture and dust control, GGT has developed a special dust-control additive that can be mixed into any type of GGT footing. The additive absorbs 300 times its volume in water and binds to dust for a prolonged period of time. The use of this additive will dramatically cut down on dust, dramatically cut down on the frequency of watering required, and will improve the consistency of the footing between waterings.
If your arena used to have controllable levels of dust but has gotten extremely dusty over time this may mean that the footing has broken down and needs to be replaced. Sometimes it means that the base has been disturbed and is starting to rise through the footing.
It's best to consult an expert about the causes of dust in your particular arena before settling upon a solution. We are experts in both constructing and rehabilitating existing arenas. We are also a certified GGT distributor. Don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your arena dust problem.