Archive for the ‘Arenas’ Category

What makes you guys such dirt experts?

Jim: A little background on us, we design and build arena equipment. That has progressed into that we take care of the ground for all three of the AQHA World shows, the NCHA at Fort Worth, all the major events for the NRCHA, both events for the NSHA and the reining arena at the World Equestrian Games.

By the time it is done, I’ll see about 270 days of horse show this year. My dad, Bob Kiser, is a third generation farmer, and we still farm about 14 hundred acres in Illinois. That’s where his beginning knowledge of dirt came from. My part in this, I trained horses for about 20 years and won several major events. That’s where my biggest asset came in – I knew what I wanted to ride on. If I could give him a good enough description of what it was, he could make it.

My dad, at this point, won’t do a horse show other than the Reining Futurity and the World Equestrian Games. He does private consultation for facilities, private individuals, basically selecting and selling materials for their arenas.

What is the best base for an arena – for cutting, reining, and cow horses?

Jim: Those are basically three different animals. I go through so much different stuff that I have to use across the country – it all varies a lot. For example, the ground I use at the World’s Greatest Horseman and NRCHA World Championships down in San Angelo, Texas is a sand and clay mix, and it’s probably as high as 65% sand and 35% clay, which is a little bit heavier than what a lot of people would consider to be ideal. The downside about the ground in San Angelo – with it being a little higher clay content than probably what is normal – is that it packs a lot faster during the show when they warm up. Which means it needs more maintenance during their warm up periods.

What I like about having that high of a clay content is that it holds really well for them to circle on. The ground that I select and use in Reno, the material I use as a base there is quite a bit coarser than like what we have in San Angelo. Then I have to mix some sand with it – it makes a good base for the herd work in Reno. I pack that down and put about 4 ½” of what they call a “play fan” or “mason sand” on top of that. That seems to work really well and would be good cutting ground wherever you are. With the base being a little bit heavier and everything, a little bit coarser, it has tendency to hold them better when they get down to the bottom of it.

So at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, do you change the ground for each event, the reining, herd, and fence?



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