Building my arena - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-02-2011, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Building my arena

I am going to be making my outdoor this summer and I am on a very limited budget. It is in my front pasture and for the last two years I have been riding in the area just mowing the grass. I am going to have it leveled and put sand in. It is pretty much all clay. I know it will not be that great since I am not putting in a base, but I don't have the funds to do a base.

A guy is coming out tomorrow to give me an estimate on the leveling. Just curious, what do you think a reasonable cost for having leveled would be. It is not that off level, maybe just 5 or so feet off level on the short side and less on the long side with some lumps and bumps. It may not sound like much but it seems like a lot when I am trying to practice my dressage tests. It is difficult to get my horses to be even and rhythmic when the footing is rough and hard as a rock or slick as snot.

For the fencing I just want a visual barrier. I don't like solid fencing like board or pipe. I saw a paddock done with metal posts with 2" pvc pipe slipped over with a cap on top. It looked pretty good and safe. I was going to use the strap fencing (not the electric kind) that they sell in the Farmtek catalog. I figure if I fall and hit it; it will bounce me off like a boxing ring.

I am open to opinions or suggestions.
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-04-2011, 02:47 PM
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I have an arena and am going to put sand in it this summer; what are you going to put under the sand? Limestone? How deep, and what do you do to the grass/dirt before you put it down? I'm not entirely sure what kind of sand to use, either.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-04-2011, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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I am not putting anything under the sand. I would love to be able to put a crushed limestone base down, but it would triple the cost of the whole thing. I am having it leveled which is going to cost about $700. My neighbor who used to own our land does excavation and he already knows my land really well. He built our house, dug our well, and even did the septic. I went over to his house to talk to him about it and his estimates on the amount of slope the land has where within inches of what he measured.

Their is about 1 foot of topsoil and under that it is just clay, so my sand will go right on top of the clay. He is going to cut out draining ditches and
berms, so that the only water that gets onto the arena is the rain that falls from the sky. Before I put the sand down I am going to rake out as many of the rocks as I can and compact it down. This is how my trainer did her large dressage arena and it has worked out pretty well. It is in no way an all weather arena, but the footing is consistent and is ride-able sooner after a rain then the field is.

I have seen the results of just putting the footing down on an "already pretty flat bit" the sand gets washed away and your back to where you started.

As for the type of sand, get sand that is angular. Depending on your region and who you talk to they will call this many different things. I am going to start with putting in 2 inches of sand. You can easily add to it, but it is much harder to take it away. I hate working in really deep footing. IMO, if your horses' hooves disappear in the footing just walking them in it, it is way to deep.

I have been toying with the idea of mixing in sawdust into the sand. One, it is much cheaper, two it would act like the fiber footing mixes that they sell, and three it makes the footing have more grab to it. I only hesitate because I have never seen it in use in an outdoor. I rode in a mix like this in an indoor and loved it.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-12-2011, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Bump...

Does no one have any opinion on this?
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-12-2011, 10:36 AM
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No opinion, sorry, but I LOVED When they added shavings to the indoor I once rode at.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-12-2011, 11:04 AM
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I added lime to my sand. I wiould think in the weather sawdust would just rot away. The lime will make it firmer.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-15-2011, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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I had read of someone using lime before, but never in my area. How much did you add? Where did you get it from?
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-15-2011, 08:06 PM
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I can't tell you enough that doing it right the first time will SAVE you more money in the long run.

My outdoor arena isn't level.. the short side 160' is actually 5' lower on one end. It doesn't look like a whole lot but IT IS. Training wise, its a pain especially if you ride any green horses. All the sand ends up at the bottom or out of the arena so you go through more faster.

We are redoing our outdoor this winter more than likely and one of the biggest issues will be ripping down the pipe fencing around the arena. If we were just to start building up the other end the dirt would be higher than the existing fencing by almost a foot!

Footing is by far the most important aspect (IMO), spend your money there first then focus on fencing it in. To save some money, you could rent a bobcat and do the dirt work yourself. They are very easy to learn.

~ Starline Stables ~
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-15-2011, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back in the crosby again View Post
I had read of someone using lime before, but never in my area. How much did you add? Where did you get it from?
You get it from a rock quarry and it is fairly inexpensive. Mt arena is 80x165 and I probably had 3 tandem load brought in and I spread it around. That is a guess as this was 10 years ago but my arena has really good footing. I don't have alot of sand (maybe 10 loads) and it runs off after a rain. I think I put in a few loads of lime and then added another load when I felt it was needed
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-15-2011, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starlinestables View Post
I can't tell you enough that doing it right the first time will SAVE you more money in the long run.

My outdoor arena isn't level.. the short side 160' is actually 5' lower on one end. It doesn't look like a whole lot but IT IS. Training wise, its a pain especially if you ride any green horses. All the sand ends up at the bottom or out of the arena so you go through more faster.

We are redoing our outdoor this winter more than likely and one of the biggest issues will be ripping down the pipe fencing around the arena. If we were just to start building up the other end the dirt would be higher than the existing fencing by almost a foot!

Footing is by far the most important aspect (IMO), spend your money there first then focus on fencing it in. To save some money, you could rent a bobcat and do the dirt work yourself. They are very easy to learn.
I do work with green horses and I do want to do it right the first time. That is why I am paying to have it leveled correctly, so that it will drain and not lose the footing. I am going to have it leveled and then have the footing put in. I know that it will not be an all weather arena footing, but I priced out a base and it was way out of my price range. It will probably be a few months before I can have the fence put up, but I can work with that as I don't have a fence now either.
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