Water conversation has been a top-of-mind subject for many years now, but it’s always been tough to tackle in the world of arena maintenance. A subterranean irrigation system is just the ticket, says horse arena footing expert Hilo Nick of Footing Solutions USA. Nick discovered the system in Europe earlier this year and debuted it stateside with a display at the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, where “we received great feedback”.
The innovative system combines the HIT Draingrid base module which special drip lines for subterranean irrigation. The result is an well draining arena even in severe weather conditions, a high performance, low maintenance and energy efficient arena base. The system uses just half the water required by overhead sprinklers, water trucks and other methods of maintaining moisture in the horse arena footing. Because the water is coming up from the ground, it is not subject to loss from evaporation and wind.
Water conservation, however, is only one of the benefits of the HIT-Draingrid. The grid itself provides extra spring adding to shock absorption in the horse arena surface. The underground irrigation method makes for a more stable equestrian surface with better traction from the ground up. For these reasons, elite jumping and dressage riders have been especially enthused about the horse arena system.
Made of elastic polyethylene raw material, the grid provides ideal drainage, creating truly all weather riding arenas, not to mention mud-free paddocks surfaces. The drip lines in the belowground grid facilitate even irrigation throughout the area, making uneven moisture, puddles and dry sports a thing of the past.
In the paddock application, the grid can be used with or without the drip lines.
FSGEoTEX blended with high quality horse arena sand is the final component in this innovative arena construction and maintenance approach. When mixed with quality arena sand, this blend of special synthetic felt and polyester fibers assures spring and stability in the top riding surface.
“We clearly understand that so much is riding on your surface,” says Nick. ” Our ultimate value is your horse’s comfort and your success.”
Based in Santa Barbara, Footing Solutions USA has been bringing the best in German arena technology to the U.S. for more than two years. The company has quickly established a great reputation among North American equestrians. Footing Solutions USA other Products include FSGEoTEX, high quality needle felt and polyester fibers imported from Europe, the High- and Low Tide arena system; and a high tech engineered arena drag for professional maintenance.
These horse arena footing systems and products have been used successfully in Europe for over 15 years, while the HIT-Draingrid is newer. “I found it in Europe this past March,” Nick explains. ” It is actually widely used there in private barns and training centers.” Its popularity in Europe is due to both horsemanship interest and environmental conscientiousness.
Footing Solutions USA next challenge is to find a way to recycle water collected in the drainage network. ” We’re not quite there yet, “Nick says, but given the track record of her company, probably not too far off from introducing yet another innovative horse arena product.
Article printed with permission, California Riding Magazine, June, 2009