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laurenlewis24 12-28-2012 01:01 PM

Arena Footing? On a budget!
 
I have had an arena/large roundpen for about 2 years now. We hit a budget block right after we put it up and have not pen able to put any type of sand in it. To best explain the footing that is in it now, it is a very rocky (in some places sandy) area that does not have the normal topsoil you would think. It drains very well except for in one little area where it is a mild low spot and a hill drains off in to that spot. I have also noticed that the spot that collects the water is more of a normal topsoil, not rocky/sandy.

We are limited (now that the fencing is put up) with how much sloping/leveling we can do, and we have to be careful because the round pen is right in between a hill and the barn. The barn gets a lot of the drainage inside and starts to mold but it is a very old barn and there is nothing we can do about it right now.

I will be using the arena to work my horses at walk trot and canter, some flying lead changes will be practiced, and some jumping. The footing only needs to last 3 years because after two years (when I go to college) my dad will be either selling the horses, or just trail riding them. Please tell me the least expensive way you can think of to fix the drainage problem, and what type of footing we should get. My dad was thinking about just grinding up the soil we have now and using that but there are just so many rocks I am afraid the horses would get hurt. Also, could we get buy without putting a base layer of something down? The ground gets VERY hard and is packed down nicely so I was thinking about just putting 3 inches of sand on it and being done. I know I will have to keep it maintained and everything, we are working on getting some type of drag to go behind the lawn mower or the jeep. lol

TIPS ARE NEEDED!!

Dreamcatcher Arabians 12-28-2012 01:15 PM

Hate to say it but the best way to fix that footing, on a tight budget, is to have your dad till it up and then you go around picking out the rocks and tossing them out. If you can afford a couple of dump trucks of sand to go on top and be tilled in, it would help soften the footing as well. But in any new arena, rock picking is an on going project for quite a while.

laurenlewis24 12-28-2012 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians (Post 1817682)
Hate to say it but the best way to fix that footing, on a tight budget, is to have your dad till it up and then you go around picking out the rocks and tossing them out. If you can afford a couple of dump trucks of sand to go on top and be tilled in, it would help soften the footing as well. But in any new arena, rock picking is an on going project for quite a while.

Thats what I was afraid of. And there are literally THOUSANDS of rocks. How small would you say, of a rock, is okay to leave? Because when I do pick rocks I usually pick ones about and inch in diameter and up. I figure the little ones won't do as much harm.

And I dont know if this matters but my horses have been trimmed naturally barefoot for a while now. So no shoes and very tough hooves.
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waresbear 12-28-2012 01:29 PM

No getting around it, picking rocks must be done. I did this chore in the spring for years in my arena as the frost heaves more rocks up when the ground thaws. I still have to check it over every spring even with many loads of sand & peat put in there through the years, but this is a really rocky area, you might get away with only doing it once.
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SlideStop 12-28-2012 04:14 PM

Hire a bunch of kids to pull them out! There's always some teenagers out there ready to make some extra cash. You can also make a sifter with some of that mesh fencing with the tiny square holes (forgot what's its called!). Shovel it in and shake it out!
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