Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Sunday, August 1, 2010

At the barn #18 - And a good time was had by all

Despite the closing on my farmette being delayed until next Tuesday, I'm moving ahead with improvements, namely a new full sized arena. I envision 100 x 250-ish, comparable to what I work in at my trainer's place. I have cleared and mowed the area in preparation for the tons (literally) of sand that will be needed to bring it up to grade. It was a pond at some point in the past, and has been a marsh more recently, but is thankfully very dry at the moment. This will have to be done bit by bit as finances allow.

In the meantime I'm researching arena footing and have set up a temporary area to work in... especially for Cowboy and Lorraine to do some jumping. It will be a good project for Val and I to transition to working outside of our paddock as well. We also used up a stack of leftover lumber for the boundaries. Gotta love free materials and recycling :)

Val and I had a nice cool morning ride yesterday. We worked on transitions, not avoiding the suddenly scary corner (that was fine on Wednesday?!) and did our share of turns on the forehand. After evening feeding there was a cookout at the barn celebrating our new situation. There were burgers, dogs, marinated portabellos, some adult beverages (!) and plenty of carrots. FYI -  neither Val nor Cowboy care for potato chips. We hung out until the mosquitos tried to carry us away.


  1. Congratulations on your new place! It looks like things are moving along really well and you'll be enjoying your own place for years to come. Glad you got to ride too.

    I don't know if you're looking for any kind of advice on footing, but I'll tell you what I know and what we used. In the end I guess you'll decide what's right for you.

    In the indoor we put down a fabric first(to keep any rocks from coming up) it's almost like a plastic tarp. I don't think this would work for you outside because it won't allow the rain/wet to drain, but if there is a rock problem you might want to look into a mesh material.

    Next we put down stone dust, rolled it and watered it to make a firm base. Then we topped it off with 3 inches of washed masonry sand. We didn't want to set up watering equipment so we went with magnesium flakes. This stuff absorbs moisture in the air and one pallet of these flakes(in bags) was spread and mixed in with the sand. It now has a consistency of damp beach sand. I also think this was the cheapest way to go. We checked out every imaginable footing and this was the best scenario for us.

    We also have an outdoor arena that came with the farm with rubber footing. The base is sand and the rubber footing is nice and springy. We have problems there too, lots of weeds come up and when it rains the footing sort of floats on the top. I'd like to scrape it all up and use it in the arena by the barn with some mesh to keep the rocks from coming up and really mix the rubber in with the footing. We were considering doing this and making the former rubber footing arena a really nice manicured grass ring.

    Sorry this was so long. Enjoy your new farm.

  2. Oh yes I do want advice - thanks Arlene. I was going to ask for your input as your facilities look like a lot of thought was put into them.

    Our soil is nearly 100% sand here... rocks aren't a problem although there may be submerged junk that was dumped in the area.

    I'm picturing once we bring it up to grade, then we would go with the stone dust layer + more sand. Thankfully, sand is plentiful here. I'll have to check into the magnesium flakes.

    Thanks so much for giving me the benefit of your experience!

  3. Okay well as long as I'm not being a know-it-all here's the site where you can check out more info on the
    Magnesium Chloride we used (it was dry flakes), they seem to be easier to spread. We applied it with a seed spreader hooked up to the back of the Kubota. The company is they are based in Massachucetts but I'm sure there are places by you that would also deliver. This place might even do it. I don't know. They hire a trucking co. and delivered it to us. Nice people too. I really was surprised at how well this stuff works, by the end of the day the indoor arena sand was dust free. I have no idea how it would work outside if it rained, you'd have to ask them about that. It might make it like soup? Good luck.

  4. Thanks so much for the info Arlene - I'll check it out :)


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