Guest Blog: Crucial Footing Care with Equestrian Services International (ESI)

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Crucial Footing Care

The Team at Equestrian Services International offers the necessary tools and services for premium footing maintenance

The installation of an arena with premium footing is just the first step in the process of maintaining maximum performance in a riding space over time. At Equestrian Services International, a major component of the team’s mission is to work with their clients to make sure they receive the tools and continued service for top quality footing performance year after year. From some of the world’s top competition venues to private farms of all sizes, each location receives personalized support for the maintenance of arena footing.

In ensuring the continued health of their footing blends, ESI focuses on three major areas of maintenance: regular grooming and surface clean up, proper irrigation, and the annual full tilling and grading servicing.

Daily Grooming & Servicing

Regular grooming is key for correct consistency and leveling of the footing. When an arena is in use, it is especially important to groom between sessions to prevent issues such as compaction of lower levels of footing and development of low and high areas of footing depth.

Recommended groomers are made with heavy gauge steel to prevent bouncing of the equipment across the arena surface. They also come with features such as ripping times for lifting and turning all layers of footing, the leveling bar to maintain even depth of footing, the spring tines for dispersal of any clumps or material buildups that occur. ESI offers a full line of high quality groomers for purchase. It’s maintenance supervisors are also well versed in providing clients with training for best grooming processes.

In daily maintenance, grooming is not the only necessary component. Regular cleaning and clearing of the surface is also important to the health of the footing. After the daily ride, any manure on the surface should be removed rather than allowed to blend into the footing. Manure built up over time can contribute to the breakdown of any additives in the footing and alter the consistency of the material. Weed removal, especially after periods during which a ring has not been in use is also essential, so that weeds do not blend into and alter the integrity of surface.

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Watering is another crucial daily practice for ensuring consistent balance and overall health in sand footing. Functioning as a binder, water maintains density and shear of the footing so that it retains the desired firmness. Simultaneously, irrigation works with the sand blend and footing additives to keep cushion in the surface.

Having designed and installed countless systems for all manner of riding surfaces, ESI sees clients’ irrigation systems through from concept to installation to maintenance over time. With the installation of automated clocks that control regular irrigation cycles and advances in technology that allow for remotely monitoring and adjusting scheduling, flow, and water output, providing an arena with the water it needs is easier than ever. ESI irrigation supervisors are highly trained in the latest technology of the industry and ready to assist with whatever a site may require with regards to watering.

Annual Arena Maintenance

In addition to the daily maintenance procedures, ESI recommends at least one annual full ring maintenance service to keep overall balance and leveling of the riding surface. The full maintenance includes tilling the footing to pull up lower levels of the footing and fluff the material as well as laser grading to level footing to consistent overall depth. A full arena maintenance can make an arena’s footing feel like new and will often assist with alleviating drainage and footing compaction issues.

ESI’s maintenance crews travel all over the country to provide service for show events and private rings alike. Crews are also highly experienced in custom blending and deliver the appropriate footing to revitalize arena surfaces as part of the maintenance program.

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ESI – Providing Full Service Maintenance

The health and longevity of sand footing is highly dependent on proper maintenance. The ESI team is there to assist in any capacity well after the initial footing installation is complete. Let ESI help you design, install and maintain your dream arena.

To learn more about Equestrian Services International (ESI) Footing click here.

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