Traditional Environmental Techniques: An Antique Auto

Equestrian Dust Control

Porsche is a legendary brand. The company traces its roots to the 1940’s when an aging Ferdinand Porsche developed his namesake car. A talented automotive engineer, and founder of the Porsche car company – he is best known for creating the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle the Lohner-Porsche, developed in 1894 and marketed from 1900 – 1905 – the Volkswagen Beetle, the Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK, and several other important developments in addition to his famous Porsche automobiles. Porsche also designed the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen, which was the first racing car with a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. In short, he stayed busy, and as far as the automative industry is concerned, he was an outstanding revolutionary

As they say the rest is history.

As a kid, I was a car nut. Initially American muscle cars. Then having seen the cute (as well as fast and nimble) little Porsche 356’s on TV shows such as the original Mission Impossible series and in movies such as Harper, starring the great actor Paul Newman and several movies with another great actor, Steve McQueen, I became enamored with, and then addicted to these tiny, but amazingly fast, great handling cars. So much so that I joined Porsche Club of America and raced for a time when I was able to afford such luxury and had less concern for my own wellbeing. Eventually Porsches evolved and I graduated from the 356 Porsches to its descendent, the mighty Porsche 911, and then, to its successor, the ultimate Porsche, the 911/930 Turbo. Porsche was one of the first car companies to offer turbos in cars for the general public [albeit only a few with deep pockets as those 930’s were made in extremely limited numbers… we’re talking 1,300 cars on average per year – offered under the “Sonderwunschprogramm” (special order program)].

I’ve followed those vintage 356 Porsches and the actors who drove them over the years. The cars are now very valuable classics and those actors are dead. You can’t hide from Father Time – age catches up with everyone and everything.

Time too has long since caught up with most traditional environmental techniques. They don’t work well enough in many cases and they’re inefficient or relatively ineffective in other cases.

Now, much like Porsche with their new modern, ultra-fast, better, handling, better braking, better fuel economy, modern 911 automotive derivatives for the modern era, here comes Global Environmental Solutions with its DirtGlue Enterprises line of products to provide new modern approaches to environmental products and application techniques.

GES/DGE offers:

  • Extremely long-term dust control without water
  • Paving without asphalt or concrete
  • Hydroseeding/hydromulching without washouts
  • Permanent waterproofing for masonry
  • Chemical roadbase stabilization that is permanent
  • Erosion control that lasts and lasts
  • Dust control that stands up to any and all climate conditions
  • Sediment control at the source instead of silt fence after the fact
  • And, just like Porsche – much, much more…

GES is not just another soil stabilization and dust control company, just as Porsche is not just another car company.

The two of us are entirely different entities serving entirely different markets, but are both highly focused on research, development, and customer service. The goal has always been to provide the best possible results in an industry where ‘good’ just isn’t good enough.

At GES, we strive for technical and ecological superiority with every product we offer, in every project our products are introduced to, 100% of the time. The road we travel on (and may even have had a hand in stabilizing) is that of a joint effort – where success and creativity abound. Ride with us. We’ll get you to where you need to go, and we may even have some fun in the process.

Like Porsche, with GES products there “is no substitute”…

Understanding Dust Control on Equestrian Arena Footing

ArenaKleen® works very well with all types of riding arena footing such as sand, stone dust, fine processed screened gravel, and all of the various blends that include the previous as well as many of the fiber products such as rubber, leather, wood, and blends.

The following is a bit of “dust education” to help make an informed decision:

When all things are considered, proper dust control in riding arenas is not expensive – it is cost effective.

Most importantly one needs to understand that the DUST is only the SYMPTOM of the PROBLEM.

People say that you cannot buy health at any price but silicosis is not a joke and ArenaKleen® will absolutely eliminate the dust, which has a very high potential for silicosis in the volumes created in an indoor hall, or outdoor riding ring with several horses moving around.

Using (chlorides) salt on the footing actually deteriorates the footing faster. Water also has negative effects on footing.

First one must understand what is creating the dust to better understand what is happening and why ArenaKleen® actually saves money in the long run.

  • Properly formulated new footing is not just dirt or sand; it is actually processed, coarse sand, (traction), stone dust (for strength, stability, firmness), and sometimes different types of fiber (wood, leather, rubber, etc. – to minimize compaction).
  • Properly formulated footing costs a lot of money. Actually even non-formulated footing costs a fair amount of money.
  • As the horses move over the surface, they pound the individual particles that make up the footing. They pound them together and churn them up. This causes the individual particles to wear, fracture, chafe and break.
  • This wearing of the particles produces additional “fines.”
  • The fines act as sandpaper and wear the footing even faster. It is an ever-increasing vicious cycle.
  • While salt initially attracts moisture giving temporary dust control and a false sense of accomplishment, the salt over time is actually drying the soil particles and causes the cycle of particle breakup/wear even faster plus the dried particles of salt are themselves unhealthy to breath in.
  • If water is used for dust control the water floats the soil particles, oftentimes this creates soft spots and in some cases even mud or slippery spots and it does not last very long before drying out requiring reapplication. Thus the footing when watered does not maintain any consistency but is constantly changing.ArenaKleen® special formulation allows it to:
    • Absorb into the particles rather than just coating the outside like the water.
    • Lubricate the particles so that they chafe less and thus wear more slowly helping topreserve footing longer all the while eliminating the symptom, the dust.
    • Stay with the particle for many, many months.

ArenaKleen® inherent long life means that:

  • Each retreatment will come at intervals further and further apart.
  • The amount needed will be less and less because all of the soil particles gradually become treated.

The footing material last longer before replacement or partial replacement is needed. This in itself is a huge savings what with the cost of quality footing and the cost of trucking and equipment to put it in place.Think about the health of your horse – they breathe in 300 times the air that humans breathe; imagine the amount of dust that they inhale! Besides the health issues to you and your horse, you may also want to consider aesthetics. If your stable looks clean, neat, and dust free people notice. It can generate more business because people enjoy riding where it looks and is cleaner. The tack stays cleaner, clothing stays cleaner; even the horse stays cleaner.

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To conclude, it may be possible with some footing materials (particularly when new or freshly installed) to use less than the recommended amount of ArenaKleen® An educated consumer will understand that the dust is just the symptom of the underlying issues that creates the dust in the first place. They will realize where the problem comes from. They will realize that different footing combinations, depths, and age affect how a dust abatement product or dust abatement program will perform. ArenaKleen® will always perform much better and for much longer than the alternatives. Typically, it will last 8 – 15 months for an initial application. Subsequent applications build up in the footing material and gradually less ArenaKleen® will be required to renew the dust controlling effect. Subsequent applications should last as long or longer and as explained above will use less and less product each time a renewal application is applied. If a proper treatment program is instituted, the treated riding area should never have dust, the footing should be very consistent, the footing should never compact, should never freeze, and the life span of the material that makes up the footing in the arena should be good for as long as possible. Absorbent fibers (if incorporated into the footing material) will necessitate higher initial application rates to meet the fiber’s absorbance factor.

Dust is Done For

Environmentally sound product leaves an arena expert happily surprised. 

By Brian McNeil, E=MC Equestrian Arenas, Inc.

To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, “Out, out, damn dust!”

California equestrians see, breathe and endure dust, and our horses continue to pay the price.

Working throughout North America with equestrian owners, trainers and facility managers, I am constantly asked to make sure-fire recommendations for dust control for arenas, showgrounds, barn aisles and round-pens/turn-outs. Until recently, the solutions were short-term and less than environmentally sound and economically practical. Even with high-end sprinkler systems, water wheels, magnesium chloride, misting systems, water tanks or careful manure-removal management, dust would win out in the end.

A few years ago, I got into a heated telephone conversation with a manufacturer who claimed that his product could control all dust present in an arena for up to nine months. I doubted that. He said his product worked without chlorides (salts). Without water. And without any environmental risks or impact on horse and rider.

Having previously installed thousands of gallons of liquid magnesium chloride over the years, with adequate but short-term effectiveness, I finally asked one of my best clients to try this organic witches’ brew, this mysterious non-toxic liquid formula. It worked! And kept working. And it did not alter the feel of the footing, get crusty or, most remarkably, wash out of the footing when it rained.

My irritation with Dirt Glue Enterprises, the environmental products manufacturer of this product, ArenaKleen® grew out of my own disbelief that their claims were valid. I was proved wrong. Trainers working in dust-bowl arenas now tell me that it works. Owners in Carmel, in Pleasanton, in Orangevale, tell me that it works. No more dust on arena mirrors, on horizontal surfaces, on cars parked near the arena and, most especially, no more dust entering the respiratory systems of their horses and riders.

I have never been so pleased to be wrong in my assumptions.

How It Works

Unlike other liquids that suppress dust by coating the sand/dust particles, ArenaKleen® is absorbed into the sand/dust particles at a molecular level. Both non-corrosive and non- exothermic (it does not generate heat like calcium chloride does), the material does not wash off of the footing, even with heavy rains or waterings used to maintain footing density. It does not freeze – a plus for our northern riders. Of greatest significance to riders, it does not alter the feel of the existing footing. It just gets rid of the “damn dust!” As California continues to grow, two realties are emerging: we are running short of water; and equestrian facilities once set in isolated and private locales are now trying, and failing, to co-exist with suburban neighbors who don’t want their air-conditioner’s filters clogged with arena dust.

DirtGlue Enterprises/ ArenaKleen® now distributes throughout North and Central America, and is available world-wide. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto has used ArenaKleen® for the past two years to control arena dust, while promoting the Fair as a “green” environment for its international equestrian events. Vendors love it: no dust on the $4,000 saddles. The facility loves it: no water trucks! Lady Macbeth would have loved it, too.

Author Brian McNeil is the owner of E=MC Equestrian Arenas, Inc., which designs, installs and consults for equestrian clients throughout North America. Recently completed installations include arenas in Los Gatos, Pleasanton and Orangevale, CA. With over 150 installations since 1997, E=MC Equestrian Arenas approaches all projects with this single criterion: It’s All About the Horse!

http://ridingmagazine.com/oldsite/riding_onlinemag/articles/2008_12/emc.htm

For more information, visit www.equestrian-arenas.com, call (561) 723-4538 or email Brian at dirtforhorse@gmail.com