horse arena footing maintenance

Additional Things to Consider

Additional Things to Consider

IndemnificationMSDS Sheets – Samples – Visit/Consulting

Indemnification (contractor has own insurance)

Anyone who is building an arena should be sure to have a signed indemnification agreement with the contractor. This can be a separate agreement or an indemnification clause in the signed agreement with your contractor. This agreement should always be prepared and reviewed by legal counsel and this guide in no way represents legal advice. It is the hope of this guide to illuminate the issues and encourage edification on these matters. That being said here is one understanding and interpretation of an indemnification agreement.

An indemnification agreement basically shifts responsibility and liability from one person to another. When an agreement with your contractor is signed in exchange for a payment, the contractor agrees to “stand in your shoes” in the event of a covered loss by paying for the damage. Let’s say that you are a horse barn with boarders and one of your boarders accidentally tripped over some of your contractors’ machinery and your boarder tried to sue you, if you have an indemnification signed with your contractor, the blame and lawsuit would be shifted to him. You need to be careful with the indemnification wording. There are two key phrases you should ensure are included in the indemnification provision. First and foremost is the word “negligence.” It is critical that any indemnification obligation you undertake applies only to damages caused by your negligence. You cannot control the actions of the general contractor; thus, you should not be held responsible for their negligence. Second, the clause “to the extent” ensures you are not caught in the trap illustrated above. If your negligence is only partially the cause of the loss, you should only be required to pay part of the damages. There is also the possibility of setting a maximum liability, this would also be laid out in the clause. Being sure that you have this agreement signed with your contractor is crucial before you start the building or renovating process on your property, always be sure to have one of these. Again, please refer to your local and trusted legal counsel on these matters. This guide only serves to draw attention to the potential issues.

MSDS Sheets

Wherever you purchase your footing or materials from should always have MSDS or Material Safety Data Sheets for each material that they use. These sheets have detailed information that is prepared by the manufacturer that describes the physical and chemical properties of each component and if there are possible physical or health hazards. The sheets explain everything you would possibly need to know about the material you are putting into your arena. Be sure that when you purchase footing you also asks for these sheets and keep them in a file so that you have them for the future of the footing.


In many instances today samples from companies are a thing of the past. However, when it comes to footing, get samples before making a decision and keep these samples to ensure that the material proposed is the material delivered. You should get a feel for the footing and what it looks, feels, and is made up of. Once you get the samples and like what you see, contact the company and see if they have any customers with the footing installed near your location. The company that is selling you the footing, should set up the appointment so that you can see the footing installed in a full arena. It is sometimes possible for a test ride to be arranged depending on the facility.


Every footing installation is going to be different. If you don’t know what to look for or what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to ask. If you’ve seen the footing that you like and want to have a consultation, ask the company to come out. Most companies will send someone out to take a look at your arena. They can tell you everything you need to know about how to get rid of your old footing, how to fix your base, how to install drainage, and how to install the new footing. If they cannot this should give you pause. An arena is the sum of its parts and most arena installers or footing manufacturers have a clear understanding of how these parts should be executed. Many times when they come out for a consultation they will also accompany you to a nearby arena where the footing is installed if there is one in close proximity. Having a consultation and your questions answered before beginning your installation of arena footing highly recommended.

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Thanks for the great information, it actually is useful.