The Society for Engineering in Agricultural, Food and Biological Systems (ASAE) presented a well-research paper, Temperature and Humidity in Indoor Riding Arenas during Cold Weather. Researchers studied six arenas in Pennsylvania with the purpose of understanding indoor environmental conditions and how they affected horse health.
Indoor arenas have humid environments due to arena workers “wetting the riding arena surface, or footing material, for dust control.” This practice not only increases humidity — which causes discomfort to horses and people — it also allows the growth of pathogens. Horses and people then breath in microbes, molds and fungi, causing respiratory ailments in both.
In addition, the report authors go on to state that “ventilation might be one of the most over-looked requirements of horse facilities.” Although much has been written on stable ventilation, not much exists on indoor horse arena ventilation.
The researchers concluded that of the six arenas they studied, “moisture from the large quantities of water used to dampen dust in the arena footing materials was thought to be a main contributor to the high indoor humidity rather than horse activity alone.”
This is an excellent white paper and a good read for anyone who owns or manages horses for show or other competitive purposes.
If you’re an arena owner or manager, you can reduce humidity and keep your horses and people cool (or warm in winter) and healthy by supplementing your natural ventilation system with HVLS fans. We’ve posted a number of articles about the benefits of HVLS fans and horse health:
In addition, we’re currently installing 24′ HVLS fans at an indoor horse arena in Texas in order to help lower humidity. Installation is scheduled for completion at the end of June, so we’ll be sure to post pictures.
If you’d like more information about how HVLS fans can help you lower humidity and help keep your horses respiratory illness free, give us a call. We’re happy to show you how HVLS fan technology offers multiple benefits — including lower energy costs!