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How to remove foliage from your surface during Autumn
As the nights grow longer and the weather takes a turn for the worse, you’ll likely find your surface met with unwanted leaves, foliage and debris. While regular surface maintenance is essential throughout the year, the changing weather conditions encountered in Autumn require additional maintenance measures that you may want to consider…
Firstly, do you need to remove foliage from your surface?
Yes. During Autumn, we advise you to remove all foliage and debris from your surfaces on a daily basis.
If not removed, the foliage will contaminate both waxed and non-waxed surfaces, interfere with drainage systems, and reduce the longevity of your surface. For waxed surfaces, in particular, debris will dry out the surface and reduce its quality and lifespan.
Regular maintenance of your surfaces will allow you to train your horses throughout the year, while simultaneously providing them with the best footing possible. This reduces the likelihood of accidents or injuries to your horse and encourages them to perform at their best.
At what stage of your surface maintenance should you be removing foliage?
It is essential to remove all foliage, including organic matters such as droppings and other natural debris, from your surface before using a grader to maintain your surfaces.
If foliage and organic matter are not removed before grading, they will break down and contaminate the surface components. This drastically reduces the quality and lifespan of your surface and can be costly to fix! We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to surface maintenance that you can download for free here.
How do we recommend removing foliage from your surfaces?
How you remove debris and foliage from your equestrian surfaces will vary depending on your specific circumstances. There is no perfect solution to surface maintenance during the Autumn months, but let’s take a look at some of the most popular methods of removing foliage from equestrian surfaces…
For clients with smaller paddocks or arenas, it may be manageable to collect and remove the foliage by hand manually. Whilst this may be the most accurate method of effectively collecting all of the debris from your surfaces, this can be increasingly time-consuming and physically demanding, particularly for larger paddocks and arenas.
Many clients, particularly those with several paddocks or mid-size arenas, find leaf-blowers are useful for removing foliage from their surfaces. It is often easier to blow the leaves into a corner of the surface and then collect them from there, as opposed to manually picking up each leaf. However, if you do choose a leaf blower for assistance, it is crucial that you find one that doesn’t disrupt and displace your surface, too. Additionally, care should be taken to keep the surfaces ‘level’ to prevent leaves from gathering in divots.
Netting / Mesh
An alternative method for those with larger arenas or without the time for daily, manual leaf removal, is to invest into netting and mesh protection. The netting works by collecting leaves as they fall from nearby trees, preventing them from gathering on your surfaces in the first place. For overhanging trees, we recommended placing netting just underneath the trees instead of all over your arena. However, for surfaces without overhanging trees, where leaves and debris are simply carried by the wind, it may suffice to have netting just at the side of the arena.
How can Equestrian Surfaces Ltd. help with surface maintenance during Autumn?
Here at Equestrian Surfaces Ltd. we strive to ensure your surfaces remain in excellent condition for as long as possible, not just because your money will go further but for the well-being and safety of your horse, too.
Did you know? Our in-house team of experienced technicians have designed and manufactured our own specialist Trackmaster graders to keep your surface in top condition, regardless of weather conditions. When your surface has been cleaned of leaves and debris, they are an ideal solution to keep it groomed. All of our Trackmasters can be custom-built to bespoke sizes, and we also offer a colour-matching service to complement your existing maintenance equipment.
To find out more about our equestrian surface maintenance solutions, get in touch here or give us a call on 01282 834970.