What is the Best Footing for Dressage Horses?

As a dressage rider, you want to be sure your ring has the right footing to suit your discipline’s unique needs. You’ve got some decent sand in your ring but it’s leaving something to be desired, especially as you train at higher levels. You’re ready to invest in your arena footing, but aren’t sure what exactly you’re looking for.

Back to Basics

Let’s start with the basics of what makes good footing.

First of all, it must feel consistent throughout the ring while supporting and protecting soundness. It also has characteristics that match the kind of work being done. Jumping horses, for example are subject to a high force of impact on landing from a jump. Therefore jumping arenas need footing that provides plenty of cushion, in order to dampen the landing force and protect the horse’s soundness.

What about Dressage Horse Footing?

Dressage has its own set of needs when it comes to footing, especially with the wide range of movements and gaits that are performed at the higher levels.

Dressage horses need footing that:

  • is relatively firm and grippy
  • has some give for movements like the pirouette
  • is uniform across the whole arena
  • has some cushion but without riding deep 
  • is dust-free

Test Your Footing

How do you Achieve the Best Footing for Dressage Horses?

Start with the right kind of sand. This is a huge advantage to optimizing your footing. You’ll also want to be sure you maintain the appropriate moisture content in your footing. Regular grooming is a must with any arena, and you’ll need a tool that works well with the footing you’ve purchased.

When considering an additive, you’ll want to be sure it’s ideal for the kind of sand you already have. Geotextiles like TruTex Oasis generally work better with fine, sub-angular sands, but high fiber-based products like TruTex Element or Eclipse are a better option for other types of sands that are more prone to being too loose and slick or ones that get too hard and need more cushion.

When you have a high-quality sand to start with, you don’t have to try to make up for inadequacies in the sand, just to have decent footing. You can simply focus on enhancing the footing overall. 

Not sure if your sand is up to snuff? We do free sand evaluations!

 With three different types of additives that work with a variety of sands, TruTex can help you achieve the optimal dressage footing you and your horses are looking for!

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