The Riata Rake is an unbelievable piece of equipment! Over the past 35 years I have managed and trained hundreds of horses to National titles. One of the keys to my success is that I am a nut about great footing. Certainly the right material is important, however, without a quality implement to work the footing, any arena can become almost worthless in days. Riata Rake is absolutely the best arena drag I have owned. It conditions, levels, and compacts my footing perfectly and easily. In fact, the Riata Rake is so versatile it is the only implement I used to lay down and condition the material in my present arena from the inception.
Ray LaCroix | Equestrian Professional
Seth Doulton | Manager Of The Grand National Rodeo, Horse And Livestock Show
I have been involved at the Cow Palace and the Grand National since the early 70's and I must say that your attention to detail and your endless hours of dedication paid off and we had the best ground that I can remember. Grooming dirt can be tricky at best but when you only have about 11" of dirt on top of concrete it is a whole different ball game. Being indoors also provides challenges as if it gets too wet there is nothing that can be done. Great job and we are looking forward to next year.
Drew Olsen | Dressage Competitor & Trainer
I have recently bought a Riata Rake, and have to say that it is the best pull behind drag that I have seen. It just does a fabulous job! After using the Riata Rake just a few times the mounds where gone and my ring was much more level. But the amazing part is that it actually broke up all the hard spots and created a consistent depth in my footing. Along with the great job that the rake does, it is also extremely easy to operate. The customer service that I received was incredible. As a consumer, I cannot remember being treated so well. Bob Powell, my sales guy, was extremely helpful, and knowledgeable. I mean this really is a great company, that produces a top of the line drag, and to me, it was worth every penny. I pull mine with a two-wheel drive 300 cc Quad. It is as close to having a tractor implement as you can get.
Mike Kanzer, Landenberg, PA | Riata RA1084XL, Trailed Arena Drag
I am extremely pleased with the Riata Rake Arena Drag I purchased for my equestrian ring. We use the ring for English pleasure riding and dressage. The ring is constructed of a two-inch sand footing over a 10" layer of compacted stone dust. The drag does an excellent job of leveling the footing and getting rid of the "racetrack" depression around the rail. The dragging pattern on the website is the best way to condition the ring. After dragging, the footing is level, fluffy and uniform. It also is easy to hook up to my tractor. I use a 2" ball hitch attached to the tractor's drawbar. It is a great product
Mandy Lizama, Stevinson CA | Equestrian Competitor at an event using Riata
I am writing this note to share my recent experience with the Riata Rake. I have been competing at the Cow Palace Grand National Rodeo and stock show for about 15 years. This year when I rode into the arena I was pleasantly surprised to find the ground "fluffy". It was softer than ever before, the ground did not pack as it always has in years past. I commented about it thinking the improvement to the footing was the result of different or more dirt being brought in. To my surprise it was the same ground, the difference was the grooming tool! The Riata Rake and its operator Mr. Bob Powell had improved the ground so much! My horses usually have some minor swelling in their legs after the competition, due to the hard ground. This year there was no swelling or stiffness in my horses! That let me know my horses felt the difference the Riata Rake had made. I feel this is a great arena grooming tool. The Riata Rake improved the footing conditions at the GNR! Thank You for your time, and hard work at the show, and also for making a product that does its job successfully.
Jim Norred, Tallahassee, Florida |
My wife has decided to spend more time training her dressage horses and we have acquired a couple of more horses. We prepared an outdoor riding arena years ago in one of our pastures. Being in north Florida and just 10 miles from south Georgia - we have a lot of red clay. During dry times it is like brick and wet times it is mud. I have been using a large heavy chain drag for years and the results have been lacking. We would get a smooth looking surface but it was a thin sand and dust and a very hard under layer. It was also not close to level. If you put an inch or two of sand on a cement driveway you would get the idea. We also had a problem with weeds and vegetation in the arena. I researched a number of arena tools on the market and decided the Riata 1108 might do the job much better than what I had been doing for years. After assembly, I found the adjustments on the tool to be straightforward. I did get the ripper kit just in case I ever need to cut deeper in the clay. I could probably also use them if I ever need to clear and cut another area. I first time I used the tool I knew this was a totally new ball game. The first thing I noticed was it immediately removed the weeds. The arena surface was low in places from rain runoff and the 1108 began to fill in those low areas. The first few passes the clay base began to break up and chunks of clay appeared. These were quickly broken up and mixed with the sand. The foot also got smooth and an inch or two deeper. My wife rode on the arena a while later and was grinning and amazed at the soft footing on which her horses were able to work. I will add; of course, none of this helps when the weather is bad - it is what it is - an outdoor arena. But I have noticed that with some drying - I am able to work the arena and it seems to help it dry by being worked. We want to thank Mike and Kristen for your help in acquiring this great arena tool!
Brian Valentine, Angel's Nest Ranch Montana | Former Senior Vice President, Ecommerce Platform At Amazon.com
Great Rake! I bought this rake for use on my ranch in Montana. We have both an indoor and outdoor roping arena. As most of us know that have roped in different arenas, it's key to have great footing for your horse. This rake delivers! Both arenas have a 6" sand topcoat with a pit run base. In the case of the indoor arena, the sand was put down during the framing of the arena and thus became very compacted and hard during the rest of the construction. This resulted in a hardpan of sand that we tried to disc first but had no luck, as we didn't want to turn up the base coat into the sand (note: you don't want to do this else your top coat will get corrupted and will not rake as well). In talking with the Riata folks (BTW - they are great people that called us three times to make sure we were happy with the product), they said to use the rake with the rippers and go for it. I told them that if we broke it, they were getting it back... they said just make multiple passes, increasing the depth with each pass and we should be fine. They also said if we broke it, they would take it back, no questions asked. I was worried as the ground was as nearly as hard as concrete and I was convinced we were going to be sending a broken rake back. But to my surprise, the rake worked perfectly! I bought the 10' rake and the ripper, hydraulic and fence blade options. This rake weighs in at 1000lbs, but the extra weight is great for digging in. The smoothing plate on the rear of the rake does a great job of finishing the top coat. The tines are designed that if you have any holes to fill they will sweep sand into the depressions with the end result being a soft level landing (in my case crashing) area. You can manually adjust the rake, but the hydraulic kit is nice for making adjustments while in the cab. The rippers are a must if you need to start from where I started from or if you have seasonality in your arena and the topcoat gets compacted (i.e. my outdoor arena will get compacted over the winter). The fence blade works great for "sweeping" back in the excess sand that will build around the edges of the raked area. If you don't have this option, you will be using a shovel around the border of your arena and that can take a lot of time. The rake arrives mostly put together, it takes about an hour with 2 people to complete the installation and start raking. Comes with a basic installation manual that is easy to follow and usage instructions. I have not owned other rakes, but have seen many different types used in different arenas with mixed results. As you can tell, I am extremely pleased with this product. Sure you can find cheaper products out there, but in this case, it's true, you get what you pay for. In my experience, this rake will not disappoint.
Clay Harper | Clay Harper Horsemanship, Southern California
The Riata Rake you sent us worked wonders on the arena ground. It is a great product, and we were very glad to have it at the 3rd Annual Southern Arizona Horse Expo. You have a Winner on your hands!
Patte Zumbrun, Equestrian Coach | Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award. Former Goucher College Equestrian Coach
As the director of a collegiate riding program, I have been searching for the right equipment to maintain the footing in our riding rings. Within a few days of use, our new Riata Rake has leveled our footing and our arenas look professionally groomed. Because the rake is so easy to hitch to the tractor and operate, we are finding that it takes less time to get amazing results.
Adams County Fairgrounds, R. Hilton | Facilities Manager
We were amazed at how great our harrow works. We had a big horse show last Saturday and that morning used it for the first time. Our ground looked like it had been worked for days. Thanks again for helping us get this harrow, we couldn't be happier.