Footing!!!!

Sorry for dropping off the face of the planet - a five day business trip to Michigan isn't conducive to, well, anything.

I came back to the barn to something new!


THAT is our salvation this winter.

I have written before about our terrible indoor footing.  How I feel bad for complaining about footing when I know I'm lucky to have an indoor at all.  But it was sold to us six-ish years ago as this fancy lifetime dust-free arena footing, and within a couple of years, it had broken down badly.  Choking dust no matter how much we watered it, and so deep and shifty there were areas of the arena we couldn't use.  It caused Connor to lose all impulsion, and his work in the indoor is never great.

We reached out to the manufacturer, since it clearly was defective, and they were not helpful at all.  They offered some additive for an additional $xx,xxx.  Uh, no.  So we avoided riding in the indoor unless we had to (so, November-March) and didn't complain, but it sucked.

(I will not publicly shame the first manufacturer, but if you are looking to buy footing ever, PM me and I'll tell you who to avoid.)

Then.  This week.

Not totally mixed in yet, but it will be - trainer is dragging it between every ride until it fully mixes and settles.

This happened!  A manufacturer worked with us to determine that this fluffy stuff would successfully mix into the busted footing to stabilize it and kill the dust.  They did tests to make sure of it ahead of time.  So bales of this stuff arrived and the manufacturer spent "a really long time" (multiple days) mixing and fixing it.

Some fluff that landed on the wall.

It is.

Amazing.

My thoughts are 1) It feels like I'm riding on top of the footing rather than through it like it felt before.  and 2) We're actually going to be able to make Dressage progress this winter.  I'm actually going to have impulsion in the indoor.  3) I actually enjoyed riding in the indoor for the first time ever.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Trainer's thoughts: Look at the takeoff point!  There are no huge holes, it's all still level after a whole lesson!  I'm actually going to be able to hold jump lessons in here now.

They also mixed in a bale of stiffer green fluffy stuff in the more unstable spots.

As if that wasn't enough (it was, really really it was) Christmas-in-October isn't over.  They're also expanding the outdoor by maybe 12 feet down the long side and 10 feet down the short side!  So we'll be able to set up the full Dressage ring in there now, as well as set some good courses.

They haven't started that project yet, this is what it looks like today.  They are taking out the existing arena fence on the right, and expanding the arena to cover where the track is now, so the arena will go all the way to the white board fence on the far right.  The track will get moved accordingly to the right.  Then it is also being expanded toward the photographer by 10 feet.

I am very lucky that my only option for boarding is this place!

30 comments:

  1. Those are excellent improvements! Enjoy!

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  2. That is what we have in our outdoor, super stuff! You'll have a great winter training now! :)

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    1. I am very excited about it, thanks! It's always been where you prefer riding in the outdoor to the indoor here, they might be equal now.

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  3. I rode at a barn that had horrible footing in the indoor, and honestly, it's almost worse to have and indoor with bad footing than it is to not have one.

    That's super exciting!

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  4. That footing looks fabulous! Glad your barn was willing to fix it - our footing is OK, but not great, and the BM's answer is 'meh'.

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    1. Yeah, I know we're really lucky in that regard. BO built the place for his daughter who is still there, so I'm sure that helps us.

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  5. That looks like the stuff they have the KY Horse Park. I didn't get to ride in it, but it looked super nice.

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    1. Very observant! Our outdoor is the exact footing from the KHP, only without the rubber mat underlayment they have there.

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  6. haha you know you're an equestrian when the new footing sends your heart a flutter :D that's so awesome !

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  7. That looks like really good footing. I wish they'd do something like that in our indoor. We have the same problem with dust.

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    1. Riding in a dusty indoor is awful. We had it really bad in college - broke down 30 year old crumb rubber + dirt, and it left yellow dust on our eyelashes even. You know that was mixed with manure. Gross.

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  8. That looks amazing! It's so good that you are at a barn that makes the effort to fix that kind of thing.

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    1. Absolutely, I know we have it good here. It literally is my only option for boarding!

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  9. The amount of jelly I am feeling right now... Very lucky that your BO invests in the place! Fancy fancy!

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    1. We are SO lucky. Come visit me/see it sometime!

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  10. I can totally get into the new footing celebration with you! The arena at my barn was so hard and dusty when I moved here, but now that they've got the new footing in and have been working on getting the right consistency to it, I'm so looking forward to not choking to death over the winter!

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    1. That's fantastic! It makes such a huge difference. Yeah the consistency will be weird for a bit, but totally worth it. I honestly think one of the reasons our barn has had so few major injuries for a competitive eventing barn is the footing and turnout.

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  11. Replies
    1. Do ittttttttt I need friends! Haha.

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  12. Excellent footing is definitely worth celebrating. Dusty footing is a respiratory condition waiting to happen and is no small matter in a horse or human. Ask me how I know.

    I have had issues at a local house show ground that inherited footing from a temporary rodeo that visited our area. The footing looked pretty, but my horse lost his impulsion, like you said. I do not ride with spurs and honestly my horse does not need them, but all of the sudden it felt like we were moving through quick sand. He was trying, but it was too deep and heavy. Not cool for a dressage test. I think deep footing is also a recipe for joint and hock problems. I have heard other riders praise such footing for "making a horse really work". Seems foolish to me. Those people should try running in the footing they are making their horses work in.

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  13. That footing is definitely going to improve your indoor riding!

    I would like to take a moment to tell you about this great new project.

    Equisense, a French startup, is currently developing Balios, which analyzes your horse's stride, bascule, soundness and more while you ride and gives you updates on your smartphone! Plus you can track of shoeing, dental work, chiropractic visits, and more so your horse never gets behind schedule!

    Data is collected from a sensor that you attach to your horse’s girth.

    A Kickstarter will be launched November 4th to make this tracker a reality. The team would also like feedback from equestrians for the final product and app. To learn more, visit the site http://equisense.com/en/?code=8gQGSE where you can sign up for updates or become an Ambassador.

    I really hope you will consider taking a look and supporting the project.

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