Building an Arena/Putting in a Barn
 
 

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Building an Arena/Putting in a Barn

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        05-28-2014, 02:27 AM
      #1
    Started
    Building an Arena/Putting in a Barn

    There is a pretty good chance I am moving up to Oregon, come 6 months or go. Should know by this Thursday! Anyways, some of the properties I am looking at don't have arenas or barns (of course). I have my two horses at home currently, built the tiny barn (basically run in with stalls) and fencing ourselves, no place for an arena.

    For building the arena, what is your ideal footing? The area where I would be moving is dry (about 15" of rain a year) and gets a few inches of snow in winter. I am an eventer- so I would be doing dressage and jumper stuff in the arena. It wouldn't be ridden in for more than an hour or two a day. I am thinking 3-4 inches of compacted rocks (suggested sizes?), with sand/rubber mix on top, ideally. I don't live in that area, don't know what is available, but I am thinking of 1.5 inches of concrete sand (or washed sand if they don't have that) with an 1 of shredded rubber on top. I can always add more rubber later. I don't have a very large budget for this footing, would like to stay under 8k or so for a 200x80 arena. What do you guys use for harrowing/dragging arenas? We have an ATV and a tractor so that is not an issue. Because of the little rain we get, ideally the footing would be fairly dust free without watering to not waste water. This footing does not have to last forever, we are getting a re-sale property to build/fix up.

    For the barn, what do you guys really want or enjoy in your barn? It would be a simple two stall (24x36 - two stalls on one side, an aisle, then a 12x24 space to play with) barn, but much nicer than what I currently have! Ideally, I would like a separate barn for hay, so assuming that's elsewhere, what should be put in the 12x24 space across from the stalls? Obviously, a tack room has to be in that space. I am debating a 12x16 tack room with an 8x12 feed room for grain and a couple days worth of hay, as well as stall cleaning equipment, OR I could have a 12x14 tack room with a 10x12 heated washrack... I am leaning toward the wash rack idea, I can always store feed in the hay shed or possibly with tack, and just bring hay in every feeding (or store a couple bales in the aisle- a little messy though). What about the aisle way floor? I like the idea of concrete, cheaper and easy to keep clean, although I know the grooved stuff (forget what it is called- you brush it with a broom right after the concrete is layed down) can be a pain to sweep. Mats are probably to expensive, and I want something that is sweepable.

    For the stalls, I am thinking swinging doors going in to the aisle with open tops, then have the welded no-climb along the top of the stall, and for 4 feet between the two stalls, if that makes sense. I like this stuff better because I have heard lots of stories about horses getting a hoof stuck in the bars, and I really don't want to experiment with different types of bars to find the strongest! The horses would have dutch doors going outside to a sacrifice area. I am also thinking a little bit about getting some cheaper stall fronts....

    Anything that you guys would have done for building your own arena/barn or that you wish you had at your barn? Thanks! Sorry for the novel, it is all quite exciting!
         
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        05-28-2014, 05:05 PM
      #2
    Weanling
    Congrats on your possible move, I hope it goes well.

    I'm in FL, so sand is the typical footing down here, readily available and decent price. If you go with sand, it should be about 4 inches deep, any deeper and it's hard to move in, any less and it might not provide enough cushion. Down here lots of people are tearing out their footing with rubber in it as it gets too hot and has to be replaced frequently as it 'migrates' away from the arena. As a note to the sand make sure it is angular sand, not round, round sand will cause the horse to slip and slide.

    You'll need a good base, That will be determined by the type of soil you have and how well it drains. You will need someone with heavy machinery to level, grade and compact the base for you. After this is done you could DIY the footing yourself, but it'll take a bit of work and time. The base should be about 6 inches down from the surface, you may need crushed stone or rock no more than 1/4 to 3/4 inches in size, and have that compacted as well. Make sure you allow for a drain, and have the arena sloped a tiny bit, crowned in the center to help the water drain.

    As for watering, sand doesn't take to much to keep it going, but too little will make it dusty. You could consider a watering tank that hooks up to your ATV and then dump the unused water from the horses water buckets or troughs into the tank (strain it first though to prevent clogs) and use that to water with, it conserves water which is always a good thing.

    As for dragging the arena, this will vary a bit, some people just drag chain link behind their ATV's, some spend a couple of thousand dollars on a arena machine. Then there are those who will hand rake an arena of that size to level out any deep or shallow spots.

    For the barn I like having runs off the stalls and plenty of light and ventilation. For the aisle I like rubber pavers, but concrete is okay too. On the side opposite the stalls I'd have a tack/feed room combo, and maybe an indoor wash rack/ farrier bay. If the area you're in is dry I'd assume it's hot also, your farrier would appreciate a place to get out of the sun for a while. You can add lights for the winter if you run electricity.

    For the hay, a hay barn is best, someone I know has a smaller shed near their barn where they put a few days to weeks worth of hay to keep it closer but out of the barn. I like that idea. I've also seen people buy multiple hay nets and fill those up for a whole weeks worth of feedings and hang them in their tack/feed room, and pull one down for morning/evening feeds.

    One thing I really like in a barn is overhead fans to keep things cool in the summer. You can even use solar panels to run them if you know how to set them up.
    caseymyhorserocks and Frieda like this.
         
        05-28-2014, 08:33 PM
      #3
    Started
    Thank you for the information! The concrete sand is about the most angular you can get, I have done some research and that sounds best, I am going to email some rock places up there and see what they have- although they probably going to have different names for everything.

    The area is "hot" for me (coming from year round 60 F weather), the summer averages at about 80. The rubber getting hot has been something that I have been considering, so I have been looking at a couple other additives. And you are right, 2.5 inches would not be enough footing!

    I am liking this stuff right now
    Dressage Arenas and Horse Jumps by Premier Equestrian
    It is a mix of rubber and textiles, and is light in color so it wouldn't absorb as much heat. For 1/2" (which is what they recommended for me with the sand) in the new arena it would be $4500, which is very reasonable compared to some other things I am looking at. It's shredded tennis shoes, basically. I have been talking to the owner of that site, and he says that the textiles (so the cloth stuff) by far outperforms the rubber shreds for cushion and the like, but that it requires more frequent dragging and watering.

    I think I might just go with adding 4" of sand and this stuff to hold in the water
    Dressage Arenas and Horse Jumps by Premier Equestrian
    This area is a very drought prone, so I really don't want to use much water.
    Horseychick87 likes this.
         
        05-28-2014, 09:42 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    You're welcome.
    Down here we get all kinds of sand, finding something for the base of the arenas becomes the problem here, LOL. I like the Hydro-Keep, it sounds like a good product for drought prone areas. We get a 'rainy-season' down here, no need to worry about too dry most of the time

    I've seen the textile stuff, but never ridden on it, I know some of the racetracks that installed stuff like Polytrack are tearing it out and going back to sand again as is didn't do well. But that probably has to do with the high traffic on the racetracks and cost of maintenance.

    I wish it stayed 80 here, it hit 92 today and had severe storms blow through. Once summer hits you pretty much have to have a cooled indoor arena here to ride for the next 4 or 5 months.
    caseymyhorserocks likes this.
         
        05-29-2014, 02:46 AM
      #5
    Started
    For the base, I found some of this stuff up in Oregon at a landscaping place... it is 3/4" minus (not sure what the minus means? Some less than 3/4"?). It doesn't look like it would compact too well though. Thoughts?



    Then there is this, which is 3/4 to 1/2 and "clean"



    They have-
    Decomposed Granite "Screened" 3/8" minus (gold)
    Crushed Screened Granite 3/8" minus (silver)

    Is 3/8" too big for arena footing?
         
        05-29-2014, 10:20 AM
      #6
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks    
    For the base, I found some of this stuff up in Oregon at a landscaping place... it is 3/4" minus (not sure what the minus means? Some less than 3/4"?).
    Yes, 3/4" and smaller.
         
        05-29-2014, 11:38 AM
      #7
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks    
    There is a pretty good chance I am moving up to Oregon, come 6 months or go. Should know by this Thursday! Anyways, some of the properties I am looking at don't have arenas or barns (of course). I have my two horses at home currently, built the tiny barn (basically run in with stalls) and fencing ourselves, no place for an arena.

    For building the arena, what is your ideal footing? The area where I would be moving is dry (about 15" of rain a year) and gets a few inches of snow in winter. I am an eventer- so I would be doing dressage and jumper stuff in the arena. It wouldn't be ridden in for more than an hour or two a day. I am thinking 3-4 inches of compacted rocks (suggested sizes?), with sand/rubber mix on top, ideally. I don't live in that area, don't know what is available, but I am thinking of 1.5 inches of concrete sand (or washed sand if they don't have that) with an 1 of shredded rubber on top. I can always add more rubber later. I don't have a very large budget for this footing, would like to stay under 8k or so for a 200x80 arena. What do you guys use for harrowing/dragging arenas? We have an ATV and a tractor so that is not an issue. Because of the little rain we get, ideally the footing would be fairly dust free without watering to not waste water. This footing does not have to last forever, we are getting a re-sale property to build/fix up.

    For the barn, what do you guys really want or enjoy in your barn? It would be a simple two stall (24x36 - two stalls on one side, an aisle, then a 12x24 space to play with) barn, but much nicer than what I currently have! Ideally, I would like a separate barn for hay, so assuming that's elsewhere, what should be put in the 12x24 space across from the stalls? Obviously, a tack room has to be in that space. I am debating a 12x16 tack room with an 8x12 feed room for grain and a couple days worth of hay, as well as stall cleaning equipment, OR I could have a 12x14 tack room with a 10x12 heated washrack... I am leaning toward the wash rack idea, I can always store feed in the hay shed or possibly with tack, and just bring hay in every feeding (or store a couple bales in the aisle- a little messy though). What about the aisle way floor? I like the idea of concrete, cheaper and easy to keep clean, although I know the grooved stuff (forget what it is called- you brush it with a broom right after the concrete is layed down) can be a pain to sweep. Mats are probably to expensive, and I want something that is sweepable.

    For the stalls, I am thinking swinging doors going in to the aisle with open tops, then have the welded no-climb along the top of the stall, and for 4 feet between the two stalls, if that makes sense. I like this stuff better because I have heard lots of stories about horses getting a hoof stuck in the bars, and I really don't want to experiment with different types of bars to find the strongest! The horses would have dutch doors going outside to a sacrifice area. I am also thinking a little bit about getting some cheaper stall fronts....

    Anything that you guys would have done for building your own arena/barn or that you wish you had at your barn? Thanks! Sorry for the novel, it is all quite exciting!
    Definitely talk to a builder in the area and have him look at the specific land you want to use. There are so so many variables and many can cause things to to chaotically wrong that you don't want to get a fixed idea of what's best when your terrain may need something else.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        05-29-2014, 01:16 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    Minus means it has a high percentage of 'fines' which simply means a bit of dirt/sand. Like the fines in the bottom of a bag of feed.
    I agree that the first stone in that picture would compact very well at all.
    I like the smaller stuff with stone dust mixed in for bases. Either of the last two choices should work well.

    Maybe you can look around at other farms and see about their outdoor arenas, if they work well you could inquire about their bases and what they like/ dislike about them. I've found that to be one of the best ways to build things like arenas. Boarding and training operations would be your best bet for getting a peek at other peoples arenas.
         
        05-29-2014, 01:18 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    I'd definitely advise talking to an experienced builder from the area. It gets very, very wet here and even materials that drain well will get flooded regularly. Honestly, I don't really see how people here get by without a covered arena, and that's probably the expense that scares me the most when thinking of getting my own horse property
    Wallaby likes this.
         
        05-29-2014, 01:59 PM
      #10
    Weanling
    I know what you mean Verona.
    We have a pain in the rear rainy season from about spring until late summer here, then head into hurricane season! Top that off with temps regularly in the 90's and humidity level in the double digits and riding without an indoor or at the least covered arena becomes impossible. Even a slow walk down the trail becomes a problem, that's when you realize FL may be horse country, but only when the weathers not trying to kill you, LOL.
         

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