Horse riding arenas, equestrian centres and ménages both indoor and outdoor require water to suppress dust when in use. Airborne dust in the arena can cause both health and performance hazards to horse and rider. Because of this, dust suppression is an absolute priority for equestrian centre owners.
Continue reading If you’re struggling with excessive dust in your equestrian centre, riding school or ménage.
Causes Of Dust In Equestrian Centres
The main cause of dust in equestrian centres is a dry surface, whilst it may look fine – dust particles can become airborne as soon as a horse or rider begins riding on the surface or the wind blows over it; whilst larger particles of this dust will settle back down, the granular particles will stay airborne.
In order to suppress dust, you must ensure that dust particles are made heavy enough to fall back down again once they are made airborne without making them so heavy that the quality of the riding surface is compromised.
Suppressing Dust On An Equestrian Centre
There are several dust suppression methods used at equestrian centres, some of the most common dust suppressant methods are:
Salts are used to draw moisture from the air and into the base, salt is very effective however it will eventually wash away, for this reason, it is better used in an indoor arena. Additionally, constant use of salt can have a drying effect on tack and the horse’s hooves.
Waxes work by sticking particles together whilst still retaining a high-quality riding surface, they won’t cause problems to hooves and tack like salt will but a good quality wax is likely to cost you upwards of £5,000 per year.
Wood and fibre
Many riding arenas use small chipping of rubber and wood to weigh down the smaller particles and prevent dust. These work, but will need to be watered regularly in order to slow down the breakdown process of the wood chippings turning into more dust.
Whilst these all work, the most commonly used and cost-effective solution is water.
Our LRI 25 & 50 portable long reach irrigation systems are our recommended solution for dust control at equestrian centres and riding schools, the fine nozzle spray of this LRI system suppresses dust by adding weight to the dust particles and ensuring they cannot become airborne.
These rain guns run on a standard water mains supply and have been used effectively in a number of different environments to serve the same purpose, from football pitches and rugby world cups, all the way to industrial environments such as quarries and mining sites.
Temporary Solutions For Dust Control
The portable long reach irrigation system can also be useful for temporary events such as farm shows, races and event riding arenas. Due to the 12V battery operated system it can be used to efficiently water areas of up to a 100m radius quickly – even on a low water pressure.
The wheels enable it to be moved quickly and efficiently to target the areas that need it most without over watering other areas.
Other Methods Of Suppressing Dust
In addition to implementing a dust suppression measure like this one, there are a few other simple changes you can make to significantly reduce the amount of airborne dust on your riding surface:
- Ensure that the base is properly compacted, loose material means more dust.
- If you use sand on your riding surface it will eventually break down into dust, you can use buffering materials such as rubber and wood chips to slow down this process.
- If you have an outdoor arena, consider putting up a wind guard around the perimeter to stop strong breezes blowing up dust.
- Be sure to clean up any manure at the end of the day – this will quickly break down into particles that can become airborne.
Talk to the Experts
If you want to find out more about the dust suppression systems we have available for your equestrian centre, ménage or riding arena, we can help. Give us a call on 0117 954 8030 to discuss your individual requirements and find a solution that suits your needs.