Arena & Footing

It’s now nearly 150 years since the Great Chicago Fire, which, according to popular legend, broke out after Catherine O’Leary’s infamous milking cow kicked over a lantern in the barn on the night of October 8, 1871. The resulting barn fire, aided by the wind, destroyed three square miles of the City of Chicago, killing approximately 300 people, destroying 18,000 buildings, and leaving 100,000 people – a third of the city’s population – homeless before it was finally brought under control the next day.

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Some farms are more susceptible to muddy conditions than others. Mud is a result of prolonged wet soil conditions, which is often dependent on soil type and topography. After a rainstorm or spring snowmelt, clay soils drain more slowly than sandy soils and are therefore more prone to muddy conditions. In addition, muddy conditions are more likely to occur in areas of low elevation because runoff water tends to accumulate in these areas.

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Time was, people dumped sand or hog fuel in a contained area, spread it out, and an arena was made. Today, the roll-out arena is long gone. Riding arenas are now construction projects based on sound engineering, state-of-the-art materials set down in critical layers, and building protocols, all with the horse’s safety and soundness uppermost in mind.

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When the time comes for a new building for grain or hay/straw storage, livestock care, equipment protection, vehicle housing, a machine shop, aircraft hangar or a riding arena, AFAB Industries in Rocanville, Saskatchewan offers quality construction to meet your needs.

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Sponsored Feature - Have you ever considered what’s really important for good barn health – bedding, mats, feed systems, biosecurity, staying dry, or arena dust control? The list is exhaustive, but there are key areas that improve horse and rider health and these areas are the focus of Strathcona Ventures.

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“The stable environment invariably presents challenges of dust, mould and proper ventilation,” says Susan Raymond, instructor of Equine Guelph’s Management of the Equine Environment online course. “Most horses are well equipped for living outdoors and thrive, provided certain provisions are met.” Dr. Raymond completed her PhD in investigating the effects of exposure of horses to mycotoxins. She has also been involved in air quality research, which provided practical recommendations to the horse industry on stable design and management.

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Owning and operating any kind of farm is a tough job. The last thing you need is a fire. Whether it’s a fully engulfed barn, an indoor arena inferno, or a tractor that got way too hot and decided to take the drive shed with it, a fire is usually considered the worst possible thing that can happen.

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