While preparing this post, I did a search of the different options available to horse owners for maintaining the footing in riding arenas. There are many different types of footing materials available, some that do not require as much water as others. But, what I also discovered in that research was that those types of footing materials most always needed to be replaced or replenished yearly averaging the same cost YEARLY as a one-time investment of a Kifco Water-Reel. And it was only enough material to cover a single, average sized arena.
Out of all of the options available a majority of experts tend to point out that a high traffic horse arena, especially in arid weather conditions, needs to be dragged and watered daily to maintain it properly. Furthermore, top base material such as sand that is properly groomed and watered seems to be the healthiest alternative and chosen footing for horses safety, as compared to rubber or chemicals and minerals out there.
So, water is a must. Now I wanted to compare some of the choices to accomplish it and see how those methods compared to using a Kifco Water-Reel (portable irrigation system). Let’s review a couple.
Method 1 - Watering your arenas by hand with a garden hose. This method is cumbersome and time consuming! It also appears that achieving uniformity isn’t the easiest thing to pull off watering your arena by hand. With a Kifco® Water-Reel®, uniformity isn’t an issue and it is accomplished effortlessly. The rotating sprinkler head retracts at the speed & settings you have chosen for the amount of precipitation you want to spread evenly across your entire arena. Once the sprinkler is fully retracted back to the reel of the unit, it shuts down automatically. And is ready to be moved to the next arena our out to the pasture for irrigation. Water-Reel is the clear winner over the garden hose method!
Method 2 - Fixed sprinkler sets or over-head sprinkler systems. The portability of the Water-Reel is the main advantage over these types of sprinkler systems. If you have multiple training rings and arenas that are both indoors and outdoors, maintaining and installing multiple systems seems to be a waste compared to the one time investment of a Water-Reel. You also have the advantage of moving it to your lawn, garden or pastures for irrigation. I also wanted to see what winterization instructions and steps were needed for over-head or in-ground sprinkler systems. I’ll take the Water-Reels winterization steps over everything I found in that research! It appears there are multiple ways to winterize sprinkler systems, including manual, automatic or blow out draining. More than once it was recommended to call a professional. You also have to take special care of sprinkler system controllers and programming dials during freezing temperatures. If you do not have continuous back-up power to the dials your watering program will not remain intact and condensation could build up and harm the circuit board. On the Kifco Model E110, a popular model for horse arenas, there are literally three metal parts that you have to open and drain for winterization. It’s that simple. Water that is left inside the polyethylene tube can freeze and not cause any harm to the Water-Reel®.
Let’s take a look at The Kifco Model E110 - a popular choice for watering arenas. The E110 can run on most any residential or rural water supply, operating as low as 23 psi and 3 gpm. The E110 uses a DC electric retraction motor which operates up to 40 hours on a single charge. An optional solar panel charging kit is available on the E110 for a no hassle continuous charge during outdoor daytime use.
Move your Water-Reel into position and pull out the sprinkler cart. Many use their horse to pull out the sprinkler rather than compacting the ground with tires.
After several simple steps you are ready to irrigate. The Water-Reel operates unattended and shuts down automatically at the end of its run leaving your entire arena evenly watered when you return.
Why choose a Water-Reel®? Water-Reels are often copied, but never duplicated. Kifco Water-Reels for horse arena applications are proudly made in the USA and the quality and service provided is unmatched. But don’t take my word for it. Check out this short clip of Professional Dressage Trainer, Matt McLaughlin as he explains why he chose a Kifco Water-Reel for his dressage arenas.
With a variety of models to choose and the largest network of Authorized Kifco Dealers, you can easily find the perfect Water-Reel for your application. Visit www.kifco.com to find a dealer near you and take the hassle out of watering your horse arena.