Outdoor Riding Arena DIY - Footing for Windy Areas
Sorry everybody for another arena thread... I have been toying with the idea of putting in an outdoor arena. Since money is tight I would be doing the work myself. At first I looked into an indoor and I got some affordable quotes that was doable with my budget but with the economy the way it is, banks aren't lending like they used to so that was shot down.
So I bought a trailer and I have been hauling my horses to an indoor in the cold/bad weather and during nice days I was using a large flat open space nearby that had excellent soft level footing in the field. Now I am getting kicked out of the open space option because of new owners I can't go to the indoor every day so I need to figure something out - putting in my own outdoor arena seems like the only good long term option.
The good news is that I have one piece of my property that would be suitable for an outdoor - it is relatively flat (although bumpy but no trees or rocks) and more than large enough (so I could use for jumping). Bad news is that I live in No. Colorado where winds can be downright merciless. Maybe I am wishing here, but is there any type of footing that I can put down that won't blow away and is on the cheaper side (i.e. won't break the bank)?
Also, is there any DIY people who have installed outdoor arenas in CO that would be willing to share some tips? Thanks in advance!
No personal experience where you are, but in very windy SW Michigan the arrangements that I've seen that work best have little to do with the footing and everything to do with having a low windbreak around the arena to keep the footing where it belongs. This usually takes the place of a very low curb or wall, sometimes (often, actually) nothing more than a tier of railroad ties. The footing can (and does) still blow to the downwind side of the arena, but it doesn't blow AWAY and is easily harrowed back where it belongs.
If you can find old fashioned wood lathe snow fencing it makes an excellent arena fence anyway. The farmer/rancher my dad worked for in ND build his arena with snow fencing. You could also do shallow serpentines etc down the road until the arena can be built if you are rural enough. I find thawing snow in winter and spring tend to make the roads be pretty good footing quite a few days here in weld county, CO although they bake hard in the summer. I do trail ride by preference but the snow softened roads work fine for light hacking my barefoot for the winter horses.