Our family has humble roots, beginning our journey on Bob Kiser’s Illinois farm. We became involved in the reining horse industry around 1978, and we bred and showed reining horses heavily until 1986. That year, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity moved from the Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio to Oklahoma City. The footing that first year was less than desirable for an event of that magnitude. In 1987, the NRHA Futurity returned to Oklahoma City and the footing conditions were even worse. The NRHA enlisted the help of Bob Kiser (due to his extensive background in farming) to help manage the situation. He accepted the challenge and has been in charge of the footing for the NRHA Derby and Futurity ever since.
One of Bob’s biggest challenges in managing the footing at the Futurity was the lack of proper equipment to use. After the Futurity in 1987, he returned home and built a drag to use for the show the next year. He continued to modify the concept for the next 10 years, constantly improving upon the previous iteration. As the drag designs were perfected, demand for the equipment increased. Still farming for much of the year, Bob could only work on producing drags in his machine shop during the winter, having to tend to the harvest come fall.
As Bob continued to farm and produce his drags when he could, his son, Jim Kiser, was making a living as a successful reining horse trainer. Combining Bob’s technical expertise with footing equipment and Jim’s love of reining horses, the father-son duo decided to make their passion into a business in the year 2000. It didn’t take long for the business to grow to the point that both Bob and Jim made career changes and devoted all their professional time to Kiser Arena Specialists.
To date, Kiser Arena Specialists has consulted on or been directly involved in the building of horse arenas in 44 states and 12 countries while continuing to manage the footing for the National Reining Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association, and National Cutting Horse Association. Our team has managed the footing for the reining events at the FEI World Equestrian Games four times, and we continue to be the leading designers of arena drags.
In 2011, Bob Kiser was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame for his contributions to the reining industry. We continue to expand our lines of equipment and footing blends, always focused on improving the environments for our customers’ horses. With more than four decades in the horse industry, we consider our clients friends, sharing a passion for horses and competition that will propel us into the next decade and beyond.Since the beginning, our equipment and products were designed to be trusted. Experience the difference—set up a consultation today and let us know how we can help improve the arena experience for both your horses and your riders.