Advancing the Evolution of Soil means ensuring safe and consistent surfaces for the horse and rider. This can be done by unlocking the relationship between water and soil particles.
The first patented natural soil binder formulation. Stabilizer maintains your surface damp soil consistency longer in wet or dry conditions. Derived from rapidly renewable organic materials.
Integration - Blends into pore space of soil (Absorbent Sand Products Do Not)
Absorption - Absorbs 12 X its weight in water
Cohesion - Forms a cohesive gel that binds soil particles, keeping stability between soil particles during periods of excessive moisture
Balance - Maintains damp soil consistency longer when wet, and slowly releases moisture back into the soil in dry conditions
Stability - All of this equals a more stable footing for horses
Flexible polypropylene fibers that mimic grass roots in size and flexibility, providing three dimensional strength and stability to sand and soil by spreading a point load across a larger area in the rootzone.
On running tracks, proper stiffness matched with the runner’s leg produces 3% faster running times and reduced injuries. On an equestrian surface, the proper stiffness, or load bearing strength required by the horse is determined by the moisture content in the soil, ideally 4%-12% moisture content. StaLok Waterless Technology replaces needed moisture content with patented polymer technology. The coating works on the soil particle level. It coats soil particles with a hydrophobic polymer blend, while still allowing the soil particles to act like soil particles. The addition of StaLok® Fiber technology provides a shield like structure to the sand giving immense three dimensional strength and stability.
Related Product: StaLok All Weather Arena Mix
Dirt track, turf track and arena surfaces vary in soil compositions. Horses require increased support from the surface depending on the movement. An equestrian surface must be designed to provide (in engineering terms) the correct amount of load bearing and shear strength to support horse movements without causing injury from slide or grip. This is determined by the soil particle structure of the surface. Generally higher clay content is needed to increase the load bearing and shear strength of the surface. While a surface too high in shear strength, may prevent horses from gripping the surface.
The choice to support the horse and rider with higher clay content must be weighed by the amount of downtime you are willing to sacrifice. A higher clay content surface is usually more difficult to maintain after the clay becomes destabilized as the moisture level rises. The ideal moisture content for an equestrian surface is between 4-12% depending on the clay content.
Just like a broken clock is right twice a day, many materials can be used at the perfect moisture content. This can be illustrated by a vehicle driving on a beach. It is much easier for the vehicle to drive over the wet sand than the dry sand. How much watering and maintenance time will it take to achieve that perfect moisture content in your surface? Do you have the resources to achieve this every day?
Soil particles are like the DNA of the surface. They decide how your surface will perform. Soil structure is the composition and arrangement of particles and pores, the open voids that occur between and within soil particles.
Clay is the only soil particle that has cohesion without water, a critical component. We need clay particles to give us load bearing and shear strength, but when the concentration of clay particles becomes too high, it can cause compaction and traction problems. This can limit the horse’s ability to grip the surface. We must balance clay content with the correct percentages of silt and varying sizes of sand particles. The wrong percentages of these other particles can cause additional problems.
It is easier to drive a vehicle across wet sand on a beach, than dry sand. This happens when gravity forces water molecules downward into the soil. Water molecules are attracted to soil particles. While being held by the soil particles, water molecules are also attracted to other water molecules, giving us cohesion. To take advantage of natural moisture binding from the surface tension forces of attraction, in our surface we need to achieve the ideal moisture content between 4%-12%, or a damp soil consistency. Having surface stability from this moisture range can significantly reduce injuries.
In a very wet soil, above our ideal 12% moisture content, most of the water is retained in large pores or thick films around soil particles. Water molecules are not very close to a soil particle surface, therefore are not held very tightly by the soil solids. In this scenario, water has freedom to go where it wants. The water molecules separate clay particle bonds, destabilizing the surface and making it muddy. The more water added, the more it becomes like soup.
In a drier soil, below our ideal 4% content, the water molecules are held more tightly in small micropores. In a low clay soil, the surface will be loose. We will not receive the benefit of the natural cohesion from the surface tension forces of attraction. In a high clay soil, the clay particles will pack closer to each other, creating a hard brick like surface that has too much shear strength.
Our goal is to build a surface with a soil structure that provides the horse and rider with the proper amount of load bearing and shear strength across a variety of moisture contents. Stabilizer Water Binding Technology and StaLok Fiber Reinforcement essentially broadens the ideal moisture content window time frame by stabilizing soil particles during wet and dry conditions, and increasing load bearing and shear strength, while StaLok Waterless Technology eliminates the need for moisture altogether. Not only increasing surface usage, but also conserving water resources. Ultimately, these technologies also help to reduce maintenance.