September 2021 - Olympia Footing LLC Offers Riders the Newest Technology in Arena Construction
Written by photos: Danielle Joy Photography
Wednesday, 01 September 2021 01:03
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Water control and groomer equipment are key to a well maintained arena.

photos: Danielle Joy Photography

Arena footing and arena maintenance are a couple of the most important components top trainers and riders focus on to give their horses the best opportunity to reach their highest potential.


Olympia Footing LLC has been a leader in building world class arenas for top riders in the US, including the Olympic silver medal dressage team riders. The newest product they are installing is the Otto sport perforated base mat, which is an arena base system that offers drainage, stability, provides cushion and adds to the longevity of your arena. The Otto sport base mat is used in arenas underneath the footing to provide the maximum drainage possible, water conservation, and stability for the horse and rider.

The Otto Sport Perforated Base Mat is ideally used in conjunction with the Ebb and Flow system of Premier Equestrian’s Arion Smart Arena system. Olympia Footing LLC, based in Northern California is the leading installer for both systems. Tony Judge of Olympia Footing states that, “control is the Ebb and Flow systems main advantage.” Modeled on rising and lowering tides in nature, the system delivers water to the arena from bottom to top and gives owners control over how much water is released into the arena and how much is drained out. They also control where that excess water is let out through drainage pipes that can empty a considerable distance from the arena if that best suits the property’s needs.

Thinking of these underground water systems as automated watering/drainage solution is critical to understanding how it works. “You have full control over how much water you want to add to it.” That quantity of water starts with replacing water lost to evaporation, which is minimal. Beyond that, the quantity varies based on what type of footing additive and sand is used and how they are blended, plus the type of riding the arena is used for and the owner’s preferences. Whatever that amount is, it is going to be small, which is great for water conservation and ease of maintenance of the arena. The system has been known to use about 60% less water than a standard system.

Some of the most important parts of maintaining your footing are the groomer and having the right amount of water.

Choosing a groomer is key to maintaining the consistency of the footing. What you should look for in a groomer is something that can be adjusted easily but will also allow you to control the under footing from becoming overly impacted. This allows you more time in between having your footing professionally flipped and re-laser leveled. We choose a combination of chisel tips for the mixing and plowing of the footing with a selected amount of coal tines to knit the footing back together all in one swoop. It is also important to have depth control over each type of groomer. Being able to go from low to high and adjust the coil tines as needed is key.

Check out the new technologies that serious horse people are putting into their arenas.

Ebb and Flow system:

Otto Sport Perforated Base Mat:

Key to keeping the footing together is having the right combination of moisture. This will give you the correct density and keep the fibers and textiles connected to each other. Over 85% of the issues we see once we arrive on site have to do with not having the correct amount of moisture on the arena. It is important to stay consistent even if that means running a water cycle at night to keep the moisture content in the arena correct at all times.

Olympia Footing was one of the first companies back in 2015 to begin introducing a larger particle size sand in their blend of sands to allow for more consistent side to side and forward sheer. This allows the hoof to connect and have the ability to move forward to reduce the hoof from stopping too soon without losing stability.

Olympia Footing LLC, started in 2014, is owned by Tony and Tiffany Judge, based out of Northern California and servicing all 50 states. Visit us at www.OlympiaFooting.com.

“We have been so impressed with the amazing arena Olympia Footing installed for us! Not only was the installation done to 100% perfection but the follow up and maintenance have been second to none. They helped us to choose the right materials and their crew were absolute professionals from start to finish!”
~ Steffen and Shannon Peters • Arroyo Del Mar

“Olympia Footing LLC will always be my first choice when it comes to arena installation companies. Their prompt service, their seamless installation of arenas and their footing are just the beginning. Local to the West Coast and close to home, the team at Olympia Footing are knowledgeable, supportive and they don’t just install a project and leave. They are diligent in the care of their arenas and are always willing to offer customer support and service when needed. For me, choosing Olympia Footing LLC is a no brainer. It’s no wonder why top professionals trust Olympia Footing, they are world class and the most reliable arena installation company out there.”
~ Sabine Schut-Kery • Toyon Farms, Napa

“A proper, safe and well-maintained surface is crucial for any top athlete to train on. Tony Judge and his team at Olympia Footing take the need for high performance footing to heart. They used their knowledge to work seamlessly with Premier Equestrian to pick the perfect blend of textile and sand that created the ideal high performance riding surface for our facility, TYL Dressage. The team sticks to the schedule they set, communicates clearly and are very pleasant and professional to work with. The end result was a perfect surface for our high-performance dressage horses from 3 yrs old to Grand Prix to train on daily! Thank you Olympia Footing for creating the perfect surface at TYL Dressage with fabulous customer service! There is no one out there that we would trust more!”
~ Adrienne Lyle and Katie Johnson

“I ride my Olympic horse, Don John on Olympia Footing. Of all the arenas I ride on, it’s by far my favorite. After discussing our needs with the team at Olympia Footing, they were able to create just the right footing to make my training surface ideal.”
~ Nick Wagman

Olympia Footing LLC would like to mention that the above clients are on the US Olympic Team. They brought home silver medals from the Olympics held this summer in Tokyo, and they are riding on our arenas at home.