Avoid a Dry Arena By Using Our Horse Arena Watering Calculator

One of the most commonly asked arena questions is, "How much watering does a riding arena need?"

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, as many variables come into play. Below, we’ll provide you with a handy horse arena watering calculator to help you determine the approximate number of gallons needed to reach your desired moisture level and also look at the factors that may impact the water requirements of your individual arena.

Understanding the Basics: Horse Arena Watering Calculator

Making a very basic calculation of how much water you’ll need to apply to an arena requires understanding 2 things.

  1. Volume of Sand: Calculate the total volume of sand in your arena by multiplying its length, width, and depth. (It is worth noting that while a shallower layer of footing requires less water to saturate initially, shallower footings also dry out more quickly and therefore require more frequent watering than a thicker footing.)
  2. Ideal Moisture Percentage: Determine the moisture percentage you want to achieve in your footing.

The chart below shows the recommended moisture levels for arenas using TruTex additives but you can manually input the desired level to suit your needs. The watering calculator will provide you with the approximate amount of water required – assuming your arena is completely dry before watering.

ProductTruTex ElementTruTex EclipseTruTex Oasis
Moisture %8 - 1210 - 1513 - 18
Ensure measurements are entered in feet.
Ensure measurements are entered in feet.
Insert your total footing depth, not including any compacted base layers.
Adjust this number according to the moisture % you would like to calculate.

Total: gallons

Maintaining Consistency: How Often to Water Your Arena

The above calculation is the “worst-case-scenario” of how much water would be required to take your arena from being completely dry to being at the chosen moisture level. If your footing is already part way there, you might only need to apply half the amount for example.

Achieving optimal footing isn’t just about getting there initially; it’s also about maintaining consistent moisture levels. The frequency of watering depends on various factors:

Performance Requirements: Consider the type of equestrian activities taking place in your arena. More demanding activities may require stricter moisture control.

Watering Volume: The amount of water you can practically apply in one session affects your watering schedule.

Water Evaporation Rate: The rate at which water evaporates in your specific arena conditions is crucial.

As a general guideline, longer gaps between watering sessions, indicating drier conditions, will require a greater volume of water to restore ideal moisture levels.

Conditions Affecting Horse Arena Watering Needs:

  • Indoor or Outdoor: Whether your arena is indoors or outdoors makes a significant difference in how quickly it dries out and whether it’s also getting watered by mother nature.
  • Temperature and humidity: Affect the rate of evaporation.
  • Sun Exposure: Are you in full sun or in the shade? Your watering efforts will last longer in a shaded arena vs one in direct sun.
  • Wind: Windy conditions will accelerate evaporation.
  • Footing Depth: A thicker footing layer takes longer to dry out than a thin layer of footing.
  • Footing Materials, certain sands and additives help to improve moisture retention.

It’s pretty obvious that an outdoor arena in full California sun in August is going to dry out at a much faster rate than an indoor arena in New York in the spring.

Heat and wind will of course increase the rate of evaporation and dry out an arena more quickly.

The less obvious factors may be the sand depth and particle sizes. The deeper and finer the sand, the longer it takes to dry out. The reason for this is that in order for water to evaporate, there has to be air present that isn’t already saturated to its dew point. 

In simple terms, deeper and finer sand has less dry air available between the grains to dry it out and by the same theory, coarser or rounder sands will dry out more quickly than finer sands as there is more void space between the particles.


In summary, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to arena watering. Learning to strike a balance between performance needs, practicality, and evaporation is essential.

TruTex fibers can help reduce evaporation, potentially allowing for less frequent watering. For personalized assistance in optimizing your arena footing, consider consulting experts who understand the intricacies of different sands and materials, ensuring your equine business prospers.

Boots on the ground Equestrian Knowledge

Working with a footing expert who understands the way that different types of sands and materials will interact with each other and your horse is crucial so that you can optimize the footing to your needs. Not only do the materials have to be carefully selected, but they also must be consistently maintained. 

TruTex is owned and operated by equestrians who, in the past had struggled to find the best footing additives for their arenas. That’s why they sourced the best ingredients and formed TruTex! Contact us at 812-558-2669 or through our online form if you’re still unsure about what product is perfect for you. You can also request a free personalized quote. We look forward to helping you and your equine business prosper.

The TruTex Team are all equestrians themselves and consists of riders, trainers and engineers who understand the science behind arena footing and equine biomechanics. They continually strive to expand their knowledge in all things footing and equine in order to produce the best products and service.
The TruTex Team are all equestrians themselves and consists of riders, trainers and engineers who understand the science behind arena footing and equine biomechanics. They continually strive to expand their knowledge in all things footing and equine in order to produce the best products and service.
Picture of TruTex Equestrian

TruTex Equestrian

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