Getting the Footing Right is Both a Science and an Art

Equestrian Sports


Your horses deserve the very best so we at Wood Bay take our opening text from an article on, one of the foremost online equine websites, staffed by horse owners and riders who are dedicated to offering the best information possible on horse care and training. The article is based on the importance of having the best footing for your horses and the subsequent maintenance required to sustain it over a longer period of time. We quote… “Poor arena footing can take the fun out of riding. Even worse, poor arena footing can create untold hardships for your horse, compromising performance, stealing confidence and putting your horse at risk for injury and degenerative problems such as osteoarthritis.”

Arena maintenance is where our equipment is proving successful. We manufacture the perfect tool to replenish your arena footing to help make it a safer and even surface, offering that degree of confidence a horse and rider needs. Our fds series of dethatchers are lightweight, flexible and versatile and can be towed by either tractor or quad. They are already in use at one of North America’s premier equestrian arenas, Spruce Meadows. The fds 9200 is the largest in our fds series and is much like a big rake. With a 92 inch width and 16 inch flexible tines it can cover the ground quicker than any other tool of its kind.


A track superintendent will try to achieve a consistent, safe, and fair racing surface. The type of climate, the weather, day-to-day traffic, soil composition and other incidentals can all affect track condition and ultimately the work that must be done to prepare a good racing surface. When done properly, track maintenance will extend the career of many horses. The primary objective is to provide the horse’s foot with a cushioned surface. This is accomplished by laying a series of small pads of semi-compacted materials below the surface. A horse’s foot force when traveling at full speed is around 5000 pounds per square inch. A properly maintained track allows a horse’s foot to come to a slow, gradual stop while providing lift as the foot extends forward. Track materials have a tendency to shift to the inside, which can create an uneven surface. Constant grading is necessary to control these materials and the ever-changing environmental conditions.

We don't profess to have the expertise required to construct an ideal track for racing. Rather, our expertise lies in the manufacture and provision of equipment to grade and help make track preparation easier, quicker and more consistent for the track superintendent and his employees to reach ideal racing conditions. The fds series dethatchers are perfect for bringing track materials back to the surface and to dethatch grass track racing areas. The fds 9200 has a 92 inch swath to cover the ground in one pass. Its spring-loaded 16 inch tines are both durable and flexible, much like piano wire. The fds sport can be towed by either tractor or quad and the operator can easily adjust its height control system from light to aggressive downward pressure.


From the professional arena, stadium or track to the local high school or community practice fields, Wood Bay’s fds series sport dethatchers have (according to our customers) become one of the most essential tools in a turf professional's fleet of maintenance equipment. The fds series Dethatchers save time and money in arena preparation. Not only do they promote healthier turf in race tracks, golf courses, sports stadiums but cover the ground quicker and more effectively than any other comparable machines in equine arenas. Check out our fds series product pages by clicking on the image to the left of this text and see how effective the fds series can work in helping to prepare your arena better than any other product out there. Also check out our new fds All Sports video at

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