December 27, 2018

Product Review: TruTex Footing

I feel like it's time for a proper review of my barn's TruTex footing, which I mentioned briefly when we put it in a year ago, in November of 2017.  If you remember, footing was the only thing I compromised on initially when I moved Connor to the new barn in May of 2017.  My old barn had gorgeous Thoroturf and GGT rings, so I was definitely spoiled.  But now, our footing is just as good as my old barn's, and for a fraction of the price.

Not my barn.  Wouldn't that be awesome though?
PC: TruTex website

First, what is TruTex?  Their tagline is "Making Luxury Arena Footing Affordable".   It's a purpose-made fiber additive that can be added to any kind of existing arena footing to give it the same stability, structure, water retention and shock absorption of any luxury footing brand.  Popular in Europe, it's just starting to catch on in the US.

PC: TruTex website

If you remember, the footing at my new barn was deep and shifty when I got here.  It would be alright the day you watered and dragged it, but quickly fell apart after that, requiring tons of maintenance.


PC above two images: TruTex website

As a rider, on the old, shifty footing a tendon injury was always in the back of my mind, and my very footing-conscious horse was never quite as confident on it as he was at our old barn, especially at the canter.

Before TruTex.  He always felt sticky and unsure of himself on the old footing, especially during tight turns in the canter as shown as the beginning of this GIF when I practically have to kick him out of the turn.

Then we got TruTex.  Our footing is still the same sand we had before, but it rides just like the high dollar footings I was used to from the old barn, no kidding.  And it only cost $3,000 to take our pretty big indoor from deep and shifty, to comparable to the best footing systems in the world.

After TruTex - much more confident on a similar turn.  I kicked him here too, but only to make the distance on the circle of death when we were alternating 4 strides and then 5 strides between the poles.

Over the past year, we've installed it in both the indoor and the outdoor, and I genuinely could not be happier with it.  It's stable under Connor's feet, absorbs shock extremely well, springs back after impact, and immediately after it was installed, Connor felt more confident under saddle than he ever had on the old footing.

From a maintenance perspective, the outdoor stays safely rideable in conditions that would have sent us scurrying for the indoor in the past.  And it requires so much less watering and dragging than it did before we added TruTex.


4* eventer Matt Brown reviewing his TruTex installation, including jumping in the pouring rain
(YouTube video, you may need to click through to view if you're reading this on an RSS reader)

So besides the fact that it's a great product that's totally transformed my barn's footing and that it's the cheapest way to get high quality footing I know of, why do I think TruTex is going to take the US market by storm in 2019?  Short answer: I don't think any other vendor in the footing market makes it this easy.  If you've ever shopped for footing before, you'll appreciate the following:
  • You get a quote by plugging in your arena's dimensions on the website.  Most footing companies require you to go through a sales rep for that kind of info.
  • It ships directly to your front door.
  • It requires no special tools or skill to install.
  • It can rehab any type of existing footing, and doesn't require you to start over completely with your existing arena.
  • It's compatible with any kind of sand.
Cross section of an arena with TruTex fibers throughout the sand
PC: TruTex website

Bottom Line:
 If you're putting up with less-than-perfect arena footing because you always thought rehabbing your arena was out of your price range, TruTex is a fantastic cost-effective option that doesn't sacrifice even a little bit of quality compared to the big names in the footing market.

Price: Enter your info here for a quote

Full disclosure: My trainer became a TruTex dealer after putting it into our arena, but she didn't ask me to write this, I am not getting compensated for this, and she did not influence this review in any way.  As with all of my product review posts, all opinions are my own.

16 comments:

  1. Wow - looks like an excellent product and problem solver for my area which is 100% sand already. Thank you for sharing this review!!

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    1. You're welcome! Let me know if you have any questions, happy to answer them!

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  2. This has been on my "want" list since you told me about it, so I'm hoping by 2020 I'll have saved up to do my arena! Tragically house building has to come before any further arena reno lol

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    1. Totally understand that. It will be waiting for you when Myles puts it under the Christmas tree a year or two from now :)

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  3. How cool! I know my barn briefly looked at getting fancy footing in the arenas, but it was so outrageously expensive, it didn't make sense. I bet this product will TAKE OFF in the U.S.!

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    1. You should share this with them, I'm just amazed at how nice it makes an arena for so little money.

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  4. Totally sending this blog post to the barn owner! Thanks!

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    1. Nice! Yeah I remember your footing, it would really make it nice!

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  5. That is facinating. I wonder how it does outside with winter conditions?

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    1. This is my second winter with it in the indoor but my first one with it in the outdoor, so I'm not sure how it handles snow and ice yet, but it's done really well with all the rain we've been getting. About halfway through that YouTube video I linked, one of Matt Brown's students is taking a pretty big jump course in the pouring rain with standing water splashing up with each footfall, and he says the footing is still safe and rideable.

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    2. I was thinking/wondering the same thing?? If it can withstand windy, snowy, rainy, icy winters, it would be like magical unicorn fibres here in Canada!

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  6. This is really interesting. I do not have an arena because many reasons, chiefly poverty, but I know how expensive & frustrating they can be, especially when you are doing any type of demanding work. And after I said, "OMG, $3k is a lot of money," I also said, "But it's very cheap for any type of arena maintenance." I am definitely filing this under my "things to keep in mind," file & will share with others who do have arenas.

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    1. For sure, I won't pretend $3,000 is nothing, but it's also not the $50,000+ a luxury footing brand will run you. It really is a good option for doing good arenas on the cheap. And I have high standards!

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  7. I love the idea of being able to add that to existing footing! That will be such a game changer for so many people.

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    1. I think so too! So many footings out there require you to buy their particular sand and fiber mix, but being able to get whatever generic sand from the local quarry and then add this, that's game changing for sure.

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  8. Want. Trying to figure out the best way to pitch this to my barn owners...

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