Every choice we make at FootingFirst™ is done so based on years of experience and constant testing of the materials we use to build our arenas. Not all sand (or fiber, or rubber) is created equal. Just because companies use "the same" materials does not mean they are of the same quality. Understanding why we choose the materials we do will help you become a more informed buyer. And when you're more informed, you'll appreciate us even more.
Sand is the most important part of the footing and it needs to be the right shape and size for what your needs are. Sand will make or break the type of footing you are trying to achieve. If a sand is too course, the footing will move too much and will create a very shifty surface that your horse will not feel comfortable on.
When sand is too fine, it will compact very quickly and some form of additive needs to be introduced to help create more movement.
Sand can be very difficult to source as many quarries are not sure of what the sand is capable of and how it will perform. This is why we source from specific quarries and test our products regularly.
Fiber is an additive that can improve nearly all arenas. Fiber is used when a sand has too much movement. Fiber helps to stabilize a sand footing and create better traction as well as better cushion. Fiber will help hold moisture in the footing by locking the moisture into the sand.
Rubber creates voids in footing which then create cushion. Rubber is a super additive for an old arena that is very firm and needs some more life. Rubber can also be blended with fiber to create a good mixture again that can be added to old arena footing that is in need of some attention.