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tallygirl
Dec. 6, 2009, 11:27 PM
close the arenas when it rains? i live in california and its going to rain off and on all week... Ive never been to a barn that "closes" the arenas? is this normal?

dghunter
Dec. 6, 2009, 11:41 PM
No we never close the arena. I could imagine closing them if they get to slick for whatever reason or if it's grass.

SkipChange
Dec. 6, 2009, 11:53 PM
Our trainer doesn't close the arenas (we have 4) but no kids come out on rainy days, only people with enough judgement to look out for their horses. If it rains really hard I go for a light ride or walk out in the back fields.

The only reason (besides safety) i can think of for closing the arenas is, by riding in the yucky, gooey, slop you might churn it up and mess up the arena footing somehow. Some arena experts might prove or disprove that claim but if its really sloppy it might mess up the base layer? I haven't got a clue.

Best of luck.

KateKat
Dec. 6, 2009, 11:57 PM
My trainer does close the arena. It just gets really sloppy and wet, and a little slick. Also, it does mess up the footing so after a heavy rain we usually have to wait 1-2 days for it to adequately dry so it can be rolled and raked. I'm in CA also so not many indoors around here. Riding in the winter when its a wet one suuuuuucks :)

JazCreekInc.
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:02 AM
I'm in N. CA and I close my ring when it is storming because if you seal it prior to rain and keep off of it during the rain it generally dries up with in a day. I haul to an indoor or do hill work when it is too wet to use the ring. If you use a ring in the rain it takes much longer to dry and can affect your base creating further problems with drying in the future. Good Luck!

tallygirl
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:05 AM
we are only supposed to have light showers this week and she is closing the arenas. to cose an arena for a week seems a little out of control esp when you spend a lot of money in board to ride. i know riding in the slop is a pain but i think its unfair to have the horses cooped up for a week because of "showers". what do the east coasters do, not ride all winter long? sounds odd to me. never been at any barn that closes the arena for a week. i could see if it was pouring down rain to cancel lessons, that i totally understand.

Platinum Equestrian
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:10 AM
Sounds odd to me too... I'm with you, especially if it's only going to be light rain.

joiedevie99
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:13 AM
Yup! If you don't trash it when its wet- it will be usable much faster afterwards. Ultimately, they have to maintain the footing as best they can- and sometimes that means not using it. The indoor gets super crowded- but everyone survives.

dghunter
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:14 AM
what do the east coasters do, not ride all winter long?

Use the indoor :winkgrin: I can't think of one training barn in the area that doesn't have an indoor ring. I don't I would ride nearly as often in the winter if I didn't have access to an indoor ring :no:

Void
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:20 AM
I live in California and our outdoor arenas will probably be closed this week too, but we have an indoor

sptraining
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:21 AM
If you're somewhere near Los Angeles, it's supposed to rain pretty hard off and on all week. The footing here is meant to hold water because most of the year it's dry and we have to water the rings to keep them from getting dusty. I can see why a barn manager would want to close the arenas - footing is expensive and riding in it when it's that sloppy can really ruin it (turns it into valleys, hard and deep spots). Also, this kind of footing tends to be a bit on the slick side so you don't want a horse to hurt himself.

Facilities close the arenas after they seal them to make sure the rings dry out as quickly as possible. Flattening them (sealing) cuts down on the dry out period by about a day. But if it rains Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there won't be enough time for the rings to dry out before the rain hits again.

And you think this is bad? You should have been in Los Angeles a few years back when half of the mountains were sliding down. We didn't ride for almost two months because of the wet weather patterns. The horses were bonkers. But it doesn't happen that frequently. I do a lot of walk work with the horses on dirt roads when it rains (laterals, extension, compression, turning, halting, etc). Or if they've worked especially hard, they get some much earned time off.

As far as east-coasters, a friend of mine lived/boarded in Pennsylvania where there wasn't an indoor. She basically didn't ride the whole winter because it was too cold or the snow was too slick. We have it pretty easy in CA!

Peggy
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:27 AM
Common practice to "seal" the rings so the water runs off better and then close them until after it rains and they are dry enough. So, if you get into a weather pattern where it rains, then stops for two days, then rains for one, then stops and rains for two, you can lose a week or more. The first rain, or one where it hasn't rained for awhile, is the worst.

Generally more than half an inch or so will close things down--once you get much past that, the difference in when you'll be able to ride with an inch vs five inches, is pretty negligible.

The dirt here is often adobe which doesn't percolate well and gets slippery. So, a common practice is to put a base of something like DG (decomposed granite) with the other footing on top. Especially, the first rain it will tend to go down to the adobe and sit so it looks OK on the top until you try to walk in it. Whereupon you sink, turn what looks like dry sand into mush, or go down to the base and slide. The base is soft so hooves can punch thru that down to the adobe, which then comes up in clumps. Forevermore.

AndNirina
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:37 AM
yes, I'm in SoCal and our main arena is sealed and closed when we're expecting rain. We do have access to another arena, and quite a few paddocks, but they generally get pretty sloppy. Every barn that I've ridden at in the LA area has done the same (only one had an indoor, which was nice.)

PonyPenny
Dec. 7, 2009, 01:00 AM
I know of one barn in So. Cal. that had tarps made for the arenas so that down time was minimized. This is the first winter with the tarps, so it will be interesting to see how they do. The problem with some barns is that they close the arenas way before the rain comes. They do this to accomodate the maintenance staff. It is frustrating to come down to ride and find out that the arenas are closed and rain is a good 12 hours out. It does however save the footing to have the rings sealed before the rain. How do the arenas do in areas where it rains year round? Do you all go indoors or do you just ride outside in the rain? If you ride outside, what kind of footing do you use? Us in So. Cal. do not deal with the rain much and we have been in a drought for the last few years. Covered arenas are a very rare comodity.

mypaintwattie
Dec. 7, 2009, 01:44 AM
I live in SoCal, and our barn does "seal" and lock the arenas prior to a 30% or greater chance of rain. This really helps the water to run off the surface and preserve the footing so that we can ride after it has dried somewhat. The last barn I was at waited until after it was raining to close and drag the arenas, and the footing was never as nice, and it would take a long time to dry. Yes, we have to work around the schedule of the maintenance crews, which today meant the rings were locked by 4pm for tonight's showers, but it is worth it. They usually leave the round pens and turnouts unlocked, so they can be used, but they get really sloppy.

cgray0983
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:01 AM
I haven't ridden at a barn in NorCal yet that doesn't close the arenas outdoors when it rains excessively. The place I am now may be okay if there is a break, but I have a lame horse so I can't use it anyway >.<

Sealing is very common in this area for places that only have outdoor arenas - the facilities with covered arenas usually just close the outdoors.

zbella
Dec. 7, 2009, 03:01 AM
i live in socal, yea i think its normal. our barn always seals the arena and well use the indoor arena to ride in until the rain is done. So that way when the rain is done it will drain quickly and dry up alot faster. and the footing will be less slippery.

lauraware
Dec. 7, 2009, 03:07 AM
I know of one barn in So. Cal. that had tarps made for the arenas so that down time was minimized. This is the first winter with the tarps, so it will be interesting to see how they do. The problem with some barns is that they close the arenas way before the rain comes. They do this to accomodate the maintenance staff. It is frustrating to come down to ride and find out that the arenas are closed and rain is a good 12 hours out. It does however save the footing to have the rings sealed before the rain. How do the arenas do in areas where it rains year round? Do you all go indoors or do you just ride outside in the rain? If you ride outside, what kind of footing do you use? Us in So. Cal. do not deal with the rain much and we have been in a drought for the last few years. Covered arenas are a very rare comodity.

those tarps sound awesome!!

i don't really mind the rain. sure, riding the horses after they've been cooped up in their stalls for a few days is usually no fun (hahaha last year my friend and i thought it would be fun to tack walk one horse while we ponied our other...bad idea!!), but, hey, at least the horses get a nice little break.

oh, yeah. and we seal too. and trust me, the difference between dry time in a sealed vs. unsealed arena is quite dramatic. those (rare) rains that come without warning (where we don't have time to seal) are always the worst.

JrHunterRider
Dec. 7, 2009, 08:49 AM
we are only supposed to have light showers this week and she is closing the arenas. to cose an arena for a week seems a little out of control esp when you spend a lot of money in board to ride. i know riding in the slop is a pain but i think its unfair to have the horses cooped up for a week because of "showers". what do the east coasters do, not ride all winter long? sounds odd to me. never been at any barn that closes the arena for a week. i could see if it was pouring down rain to cancel lessons, that i totally understand.

The "east coasters" have indoor arenas for the most part. Even a large amount of southern farms have enclosed or covered rings.

BayRuth
Dec. 7, 2009, 08:58 AM
And this is the very reason that I am so thankful for my indoor arena. :] I actually stop riding in the outdoor in mid August or earlier. Then I continue on with the indoor. My number one reason for that is it being too dark when I ride, but there's also that it's really, REALLY cold outside. :P

imnotclever
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:38 AM
My barn uses the tarps! They seem to work really well. They were used prior to a one day storm we had a month or so ago (really the only rain we've had before this storm) and after they were pulled up the footing was perfect underneath. So exciting!

Ozone
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:42 AM
We have an indoor + outdoors but nope, nothing is ever closed at the barn and we ride in the rain alot ... regardless of having an indoor!

PonyPenny
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:12 PM
In regards to the tarps, the barn that has them is W Farms in Chino Hills. David Wilson is the trainer and Sarah Lockman is his assistant. The farm website is www.Wfarms.net and they are also on Facebook. They could give you information on the price and where they had them made. The jumps have to be removed from the jumping arena first and I am not sure where they store them when not in use. This might be a viable solution during the winter in So. Cal. when building a covered arena would be cost prohibitive.

showmom858
Dec. 7, 2009, 12:43 PM
We are in SoCal and our arenas are also sealed and closed, especially this week with all the rain that is expected. If they didn't do this it would be much longer before everyone could ride again. The horse will get lots of hand walking this week and hopefully DD will be riding again by next week.

S1969
Dec. 7, 2009, 01:15 PM
I'm in NY and have an outdoor at my house; it's pretty much closed from November-March.

But I'm curious about "sealing" before rain. What tool do you use for this? Do you "pack" it and flatten it, or just smooth it down? I'd like to figure out how to minimize down time from rain; obviously once it is really wet, cold, and the sun is low it really won't dry until spring...

Mimi La Rue
Dec. 7, 2009, 01:56 PM
I am in Southern California and our barn closes all of the outside arenas when the rain is coming. They bring out the tractor and flatten the footing and then lock the arenas. It definitely helps the footing dry faster. Usually 1-2 days after the rain has stopped we can ride in the arenas again. It used to take way longer to dry back in the day when they just kept the arenas open during the rain. The barn I ride at has 3 covered arenas so it's not that big of a deal that the outside arenas are closed.

RugBug
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:17 PM
close the arenas when it rains? i live in california and its going to rain off and on all week... Ive never been to a barn that "closes" the arenas? is this normal?

Not the trainer's decision, but the barn owner does close the arena when it's going to rain. They seal it and then close it.

It's really for the benefit of everyone. If the arena has been sealed and closed, it dries about SOOOO much quicker than it does if it's just left open and people ride right up to the rain. I suppose people who weren't boarding at our barn before they bought the roller wouldn't know that...but it really is better. One rain could keep us out of the arena for as much as two/three weeks (if there were no subsequent storms). Now we can be back in within a week or so.

Chef Jade
Dec. 7, 2009, 04:45 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if we are locked out for 1.5-2 weeks based on the weather forecast. We do have an indoor but it gets packed to the point of being dangerous. Foertunately we have a lot of hard packed dirt roads around the barns and arenas, so I usually just spend time walking around the farm, wokring on bending, flexing, yielding, etc.

RugBug
Dec. 7, 2009, 05:32 PM
Foertunately we have a lot of hard packed dirt roads around the barns and arenas, so I usually just spend time walking around the farm, wokring on bending, flexing, yielding, etc.

Is that why Scarlett (Society Girl's new barn name) does so well walking our pathetic excuses for "trails?" She's such a sweet girl.

carrie_girl
Dec. 7, 2009, 05:51 PM
Yep, every barn I've borded at closes them when it rains. And BTW, at least here in SD, we aren't talking about sprinkles with this storm! I trail ride when the arena is closed. I am lucky to be surrounded by hills full of well maintained fire roads that are fine to ride on the day after a rain.

enjoytheride
Dec. 7, 2009, 06:05 PM
Never heard of that before, must be a California thing. Here in Indiana we can get 1- 3 inches of rain in 24 - 48 hours.

The only rings that close that I know of were improperly installed and riding in it when wet ruins the base.

I've been to several private barns that run lessons all day long when the ring is under water and the footing is never slick or deep and the ring holds up fine.

A few of those barns even host shows and the footing holds up great even with the extra traffic and stays good after the people showing are gone.

indygirl2560
Dec. 7, 2009, 06:21 PM
The arena doesn't get officially closed, but anyone with common sense knows to stay out after it's been raining, and use the indoor instead. At my old barn, they would put up caution tape to close off the arena entrances and encourage everyone to use the indoor. Luckily, most barns in the area(or at least the show ones) have some sort of an indoor arena. At my current barn, even a half a day of rain shuts the outdoor arena down for a day or two. I'm sure the snow and rain towards the end of the week definitely kill my chances of being able to ride in the outdoor this week. :(

onthebit
Dec. 7, 2009, 08:24 PM
I am curious about 'sealing' the rings as well. What equipment is used and what needs to happen to seal the ring? Someone mentioned the footing is designed to hold water due to the frequent lack of rain, so I take that to mean that when it does rain the arenas out west get really flooded or something?

I have an outdoor arena with a drainage system underneath and all weather footing. If I wanted to I could ride in pounding rain as the footing would be fine (obviously I don't want to!).

goeslikestink
Dec. 7, 2009, 08:56 PM
close the arenas when it rains? i live in california and its going to rain off and on all week... Ive never been to a barn that "closes" the arenas? is this normal?

if outdoor ans the surface isnt all weather proof or designed as all weather surface
then yes most schools would also if they have got enough drianage or if its not built correctly then they would

if however its an indoor school no they wouldnt
and they wouldnt if they had all weather out door school or all weather gallops

enjoytheride
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:17 PM
Adding to my previous post I have only seen outdoors close when the footing freezes.

blackcat95
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:43 PM
We have an indoor for exactly this reason. Our outdoor REFUSES to drain so for a little sprinkle starting in the fall it won't be dry for a week or more... let alone when it pours. Lakes, anyone? It's literally impossible to ride in it during most of the fall/ winter/ rain.

Peggy
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:29 PM
Update on the barn with the tarps (the one PonyPenny and possibly imnotclever are talking about).

The tarp was placed in one ring some time between Saturday afternoon and early Sunday. But, the trainer that uses that ring doesn't teach on Sundays and any clients intrepid enough to ride outside a lesson could have used the other ring, which was not tarped.

It rained yesterday.

As of today, the tarped ring is still tarped. The ring that was untarped has not changed its status. So, those people were leading horses up and down the road today just like everyone else. They also tried to tarp a lunging area but those tarps got displaced by the wind.

After the series of storms ends and they can remove their tarps and ride immediately, the rest of us will be jealous. For now, it's probably not worth un-tarping for the day or two of non-wet weather we are going to have.

kellyb
Dec. 8, 2009, 08:38 PM
Yes the b/o closes ours when it rains a decent amount. It does not drain well and we only tear it up if we ride on it.

PonyPenny
Dec. 8, 2009, 10:50 PM
I agree with Peggy. Tarps can work if someone is willing to put them on and then remove them. It may be too labor intensive, so the barn staff may be reluctant to remove them if there is only a couple of days between storms. This brings to mind watching baseball games when they game is called due to rain and this large group of people comes out and puts a tarp over the infield. After the rain, they remove the tarp. They have the payroll to support such a a large staff. During football the players just play in the mud.

two sticks
Dec. 9, 2009, 12:35 AM
yes. both the barn my horse is at and the barn I'm working at in SB seal and close the arenas. A lot of the arenas in the area unless they are brand new have a clay base, if you ride on it in the mud it causes divots and makes the footing worse. The only place I was at that didn't close the ring was spirit, and they closed all the rings except the one they just re-did which has a a different kind of base (grave or DG or something?) solidly packed and then a layer of all-weather and rubber footing so it is designed to be ok to ride in in the rain.

faluut42
Dec. 9, 2009, 01:38 AM
close the arenas when it rains? i live in california and its going to rain off and on all week... Ive never been to a barn that "closes" the arenas? is this normal?

its pretty normal. i live in ca also but in nor cal most barns have covers.

JumpingBug
Dec. 9, 2009, 02:15 AM
To seal a ring we use a roller attached to tractor it works great. The deal is it does not seal per-say (like glad wrap) it provides a more consistent surface for water to drain better rather then when you have a ring that has been ridden in all day and you have foot prints that hold the water. So even when we seal we still have to wait, it is just less time than when not sealed

As for never closing rings. Lived on both coasts and been at barns that close rings on both coasts and NOT as another poster suggested for improperly installed rings but to preserve very expensive well done jump or dressage courts. The rings were close long enough for them to drain or for the drainage systems to work. Depending on the footing the time varies.

We have several rings and they re-open at different intervals as some drain faster and better than others.

Some barns have crappy footing as they cave to clients or trainers and allow them to ride on soft foot. Punching holes or making depressions in the base that in turn hold more water and provide treacherous conditions for tendon injuries should a horse land right in the holes.

The difference when I rode in the east is many of the places had footing that (grass) that just absorbed the water and you could safely ride hours after a huge dumping. IN nor-cal we have so much clay and red clay that many rings without proper bases become very slick and field, pastures and paddocks become sink pits. The same deep muddy clay us terribly hard in the dry season.

TheBrownHorse
Dec. 9, 2009, 09:50 PM
I live in the Bay Area (when not in school) and our arenas are generally closed when it rains.

I go to school in So Cal, and here, too, we close the arenas.

I'm fortunate in Nor Cal we have a nice indoor, but here in So Cal we don't! Just have to wait for the footing to dry out.

Starda01
Dec. 9, 2009, 10:02 PM
Haha! Here's what happens at our barn in Miami, Fl, during the summer when we often get several inches of rain!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y5olFmbUbg

Wanderluster
Dec. 9, 2009, 10:13 PM
Wow, wow, wow...
It takes skill to do that, on both ends.
I have good drains so nothing like that lake but in a downpour it does look ski able :cool:

Peggy
Dec. 20, 2009, 09:23 PM
Tarp Report - Part II
We rode TuWTh between storms (week that started Dec 7). The tarped ring at the barn next door stayed tarped. Then it rained some more (thru Sunday??). There was a puddle under the tarp when they pulled it up at the beginning of the week (or so I heard). It got windy during the rain so maybe the tarp blew up at some point? Tuesday (15th?) they were riding in their lower ring that hadn't been tarped as the formerly-tarped one had the remains of the puddle. We also rode in ours starting Tuesday.

Beau Cheval
Dec. 20, 2009, 10:32 PM
My old barn would padlock arenas for different reasons, but usually only the grass one. That had a padlock on it when it was frozen or too hard or too soft so that you wouldn't damage it. You weren't supposed to flat out there either, just jump, which I found moderately weird.

My new barn hosts shows so one of the rings (the one that is really only used for shows and very very rare lessons) will occasionally be roped off the day before a show after it has been dragged and the jumps have been set. Other than that, no, not closed. I can see closing rings as a reasonable safety and preventative facility maintenance measure, and while it may be initially annoying, I think it is understandable after further thought. I think it's rare to have a BO/BM who actually thinks about it and puts it into effect, however.

kashmere
Dec. 21, 2009, 12:06 AM
Unfortunately, it's been our indoor arena that we've had to close, three years running, because of flooding issues :no:.

We're very fortunate with our outdoor ring, though. It is rideable directly following heavy rains (heck, it's rideable during heavy rains, should one care to be out there) partly due to its location with good drainage down a hill, but also, I think, because our soil in N.S. tends to be quite rocky and drain very well naturally.

suze
Dec. 21, 2009, 01:00 AM
All of ours stay open - the jump arena & another drain pretty well; it's unusual to not be able to use the jump arena the day after a storm. It's very seldom slick, either. The front show arena turns into a lake; it doesn't drain at all, so it gets pumped out. So does the cow pen and the arena the Pony Club uses. Most lunging is then done in an area that does drain (it's a hill) & the lunging pen eventually gets pumped. The arenas are sand, so that helps, I think. As the one stuck doing the harrowing the only thing that drives me nuts is a boarder who turns their horses out in the arenas when there are puddles - the horses roll in the water & make "pig wallows." We have a bunch of dirt driveways and most everybody hacks on the driveways when it's really wet. Sometimes people hack in the rain - I tell folks that I grew up in Ohio - rain means you put on a raincoat outside & keep going & if it's a show they only postpone classes if the judge can't see to the far side of the arena . . . that was 40-some years ago, but the rain never really bothered me then.