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SmallHerd
Mar. 22, 2012, 04:03 PM
Hi all. Now that we have settled into the house, pasture gates have been replaced, horses have their routine, fencing has been repaired, gotten through our first winter (although it was extremely mild), dealt with our first skunking (poor dog), got rid of the mice living in our basement, etc., etc., I am working on a riding area. I have a rather flat area in my field that doesn't grow much grass and have been using that like a riding arena. I think the overall size is around 70' x 100' (+/-). I have even put a few jumps out there. The plan is to eventually fence it in and work on the footing, but not until we win the lottery. :) In the meantime, I am looking for a harrow of some type just to drag the top layer of dirt for a little cushion. I plan to use my ATV to pull the implement around. I found a couple harrows on Craigslist, one being 4 feet wide and with solid spikes, that will hook up to my ATV. Any thoughts on this? Other recommendations?

TIA!

jimc
Mar. 27, 2012, 05:05 PM
As I have posted in other threads, I highly recommend the Arena Rascal Pro from ABI. You will find many people here have great things to say about it, if you search some of the older posts. Look into "Profile Blade Technology."

Website:http://www.abiequine.com/products/arena_drags/arena_rascal_pro.php
Flyer: http://www.abiabsolute.com/_assets/_pdfs/catalog/Arena_Rascal_Pro_Web.pdf
Video: http://youtu.be/LtMtwrTr6us
Reviews: http://www.abiequine.com/trust/reviews/arena_rascal_pro.html

I would really encourage you to consider that the equipment you use to prepare the ground or footing is vital to creating a safe riding environment. Usually chain harrows and the like do a great job of smoothing out the top surface but actually cover over hidden dangers under the surface. Keep in mind the horses hoof goes below the surface. If the ground below the surface is not consistently level, yet the horse thinks it is due to the smooth top surface, it can give the horse a false sense of security and cause injury.

Here is a helpful article: http://www.abiequine.com/_assets/_pdfs/Arena%20Footing%20and%20Design.pdf

Here is an image illustration of what I am talking about: http://www.abiabsolute.com/_assets/_pdfs/holesandclumps.JPG

Hope this is helpful...

SmallHerd
Mar. 27, 2012, 06:11 PM
jimc, thank you for all of the information. It was very helpful and educational. I ended up purchasing a used spring harrow, that can dig up to 8 inches deep. I did that first, then went back over it about 4 inches deep to break up any surface clumps. So far all seems good.