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Are You Ready For a Winter Freeze?
08/01/2016 10:57:19

Caring for your riding arena surface this Winter – Dos and Don’ts

Don’t let the unseasonally warm weather so far this winter lull you into a false sense of security.  It is always  important  to keep an eye on the weather forecast,  because if snow or frost is expected, then your surface will require slightly different care and maintenance.

To help guide you through the winter months, world leaders in equestrian surfaces, Martin Collins have put together this handy list of do’s and don’ts to ensure optimum care and maximum use of your riding arena this Winter:

WINTER ARENA MAINTENANCE DOs:

  • maintain the surface with the tines of the maintenance machine ¼-½ inch deeper than usual to ensure that the surface is not too compacted.  A slightly over compacted surface will prevent any surplus water drain through the material as easily, causing a ‘backlog’ of moisture in the surface, which can then freeze. This will apply to wax coated surfaces as well as dry materials. 
  • Carry out this additional maintenance ideally before, or when, the frost is catching.
  • Check the surface the following morning . It may well be ready for a gentle maintenance pass to ease any ice crystals that may be in the surface.
  • If you get snow, do allow it to melt (ideally) before using.  However if you have to use the arena when snow is present, common sense should prevail. If it is a light 'dusting' then work very carefully, taking care not to use the Arena Master, thereby working the snow deeper into the surface.  It would then be prudent to contact your surface provider when the weather has improved to get your arena checked over.

WINTER ARENA MAINTENANCE DON’Ts

  • Use an arena leveller or maintenance equipment to break up any snow or ice,  in or on, the surface.  This will cause your surface to become uneven in depth and compaction as well as increasing the likelihood of future freezing. It may also be detrimental to the components in the surface.
  • If there is a heavy cover of snow, do not leave it but remove as much as you can carefully with a shovel.
  • We do not recommend using the school as a winter turn out area. Should this occur, all forage must be fed off the ground and all debris collected at least daily.

Contact the Martin Collins team now for further advice and information on riding arena maintenance or click on the links to view the full range of Martin Collins equestrian surfaces for all disciplines and their range of arena maintenance equipment.

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