There is no avoiding dust in a horse arena completely, but it can be managed to ensure a more pleasant experience for everyone — horses, riders, trainers, and spectators alike. Inhaling or ingesting dust can pose health risks, which is why we’ve put together a few methods of horse arena dust control to help protect against such danger.
These dust control solutions include oil, water, and even rock salt, and can help promote safety and better performance when implemented.
Water for Horse Arena Dust Control
A typical choice for riding arena dust control is watering the arena to coat dust particles and make them stick to one another, decreasing dust movement. This form of dust control, when done properly, can be incredibly effective.
Sprinkler systems, and similar irrigation systems, are an excellent choice, as they allow for even disbursement of the water throughout the entire arena. Hoses and other methods are not as effective, leading to spots that are too dry, meaning the water won’t penetrate properly, and other spots that are too wet, making it slippery for both the horses and riders.
Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride for Arena Dust Control
Perhaps the most effective method for suppressing dust in commercial rock salt or salt blends. Using either calcium or magnesium chloride for dust control in a horse arena will help attract moisture from the air and surroundings, working the same way as water does to make the dust stick together and weigh it down. Watering the arena after spreading the salt will help to lock in the moisture.
Both magnesium and calcium chloride as dust control in a horse arena is a cost-effective and simple method for keeping flying dust to a minimum. Though calcium chloride has a small amount of chlorine which can corrode metals over time, it is still an excellent way to combat dust. Magnesium chloride, on the other hand, is a non-corrosive option, making it an incredibly popular option.
Magnesium and calcium chloride are especially effective for indoor horse arena dust control, as they can’t be washed away by rain and will last a much longer time (6+ months). Not to mention that these salts lower the freezing point of water, which will lessen the likelihood of your arena freezing during the cold winter months even if you water it.
Other Dust Control Solutions
If you’re wondering how to keep the dust down without relying on constant water applications there are a few alternative methods to consider. Additives like wood, petroleum-based products, and even vegetable oils, all listed below, can be powerful dust control solutions.
Wood and Other Additives
It might seem too easy, but one outdoor riding arena dust control method is adding wood in the form of chips or shavings. Wood will serve to boost the retention of moisture in the ground; with this moisture, dust particles are so heavy that they are less likely to become airborne. The drawbacks are that wood can be slippery when the footing is too wet and it will break down with time and foot (hoof) traffic.
To maintain a dust-free arena, consider turning to products containing petroleum-like Vaseline, mineral oil, and other derivatives. These products are clean, will not damage hooves and boots, and make effective dust suppressants. There are a few disadvantages of using petroleum-based products, however. First, they can be more expensive, and second, they can break down and evaporate relatively quickly, meaning you will need to continuously purchase and apply more.
Another method of horse arena dust control is using various vegetable oil products, like canola, cottonseed, and soybean oil. Not only are these products safe, due to the fact that they are refined and we use them often, but they’re also completely biodegradable. The downside is that it will evaporate quickly and will need to be reapplied within a few months. Sand, not dirt, clay, or rubber, makes the best dust-free horse arena footing when you use oil.
Though your options for controlling dust in your arena are extensive, salt products like magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, and even traditional sodium chloride, are the easiest and most affordable dust control solutions. If you’re looking for high-quality horse arena dust control products, Ninja De-Icer has you covered. We’re a bulk salt supplier providing the Midwest and beyond with cost-effective dust management solutions. Get a quote today to discuss your dust control needs!