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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,591

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    Mine is tiny, about 55ft x 85ft, but it has a really good base and decent coarse sand footing. It was the only flat space on the farm within sight of the road...

    We graded it, left it through the winter to settle, put a road-base base on it, rolled it, rode on it a bit, left it through another winter, then put the proper footing in. You wouldn't want to fall off on it, it's quite firm, but the horses seem to like it. I'd love to enlarge it and I keep planning to rip out the scary bushes full of mysterious shining eyes around the edges, but it hasn't happened yet...



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,980

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    We (I) went all out
    https://plus.google.com/photos/10340...42747216237921

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1034060...?noredirect=1#

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1034060...?noredirect=1#

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1034060...?noredirect=1#

    Took about 6 months to get the grading as close to perfect as possible and $30K.

    It has 2 tons of GGT, purchased through AdAblur02

    I LOFF my arena
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,298

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    I would avoid dumping sand on your clay if youcan spring for more, OP, but if that is what you can afford it is liveable. that is what I have at my farm (previous owners installed it) and it is a little slippy when wet, and too deep often. The sand seems to glide over the clay and make it slippery. The small size (60 by 100ish) makes it difficult for jumping my green horses. Better than nothing and i am grateful to have it, but I am saving up to improve it when I can. It is hard to justify going all in for my private use, though. The sand does extend my riding time as I want to ride more than grass would let me. I do ride when it is wet, I just don't jump.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

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    I have a grass arena too. My major issue with it is that it was built on the lowest part of the property, next to the lake. If only they made mosquito net in arena size . The soggy end drives me nuts too.

    I'm going to eventually moe the arena to a high spot, but I've decided to keep it grass - I can't justify 10k for just me.



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,720

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    Mine will just be pasture grass for now. I'm not sure we will live here forever, and I have a ton of other stuff to do in the next two years. It will be located at the highest point of the property, which will help a lot. I am intrigued by the idea of amending the ground with sand though. How much and how do you spread it evenly over grass? By hand? Does it really do anything if the grass is already established? What are the best grass arenas planted with?
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2004
    Location
    Camden, De
    Posts
    3,611

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    I went all out as well. I have 11 acres and run a small training/sales business. When we first moved it we left it grass due to financial constraints but I realized this wasn't going to work. Delaware is low and flat so drainage is an issue. Although my riding ring is the highest spot it still stayed wet and was too slippery for jumping.

    We chose to build up so we used fill dirt and compacted to a 100x200 arena. Then 8" of stone dust compacted. We rode on that for 6 months or so and then later added 2" of concrete sand mixed with some wash stone dust. Love it!! It drains so well and even when wet you can ride in it. I have a grass strip around the whole ring to contain my sand and stack jumps when not in use.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,420

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    We couldn't afford to go all out. I have a small 80x100 arena, but it is fairly well-built. No choice around here, though - we have nothing but 10+ feet of boot-sucking clay. So no chance to ride on grass for most of the year (too soft, slippery, or rock hard in summer), and building an arena helps get the horses out of the wet in the mud season as well.

    I wish I made it 70x110 or found a way to convince my dh to spring for a little extra $ and go 20-30 feet longer. But I shouldn't complain. It was expensive because of the drainage needed. Lots of gravel underneath, or we would just lose it all into the never-ending pit of despair (aka my clay soil).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    1,455

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    I have a tiny arena that I only use for inclement weather or for stupid horses that might kill me in my open field. It's 60x100, we have clay-ish soil, graded it and dumped washed screenings on it - the same material that the local track uses. Doesn't pack, will get slightly dusty if dry for a while. It is sufficient for me. There are a few spots that may get boggy if it rains a lot, but I can avoid those areas easily.



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,298

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    Mine will just be pasture grass for now. I'm not sure we will live here forever, and I have a ton of other stuff to do in the next two years. It will be located at the highest point of the property, which will help a lot. I am intrigued by the idea of amending the ground with sand though. How much and how do you spread it evenly over grass? By hand? Does it really do anything if the grass is already established? What are the best grass arenas planted with?
    On the sand...previous owners put about 4 inches of sand down. Spread by tractor.

    Weeds will always be a problem if you don't maintain it, even if you spend a million bucks...the seeds spread onto the footing. With mine, I address by dragging once a week at least with a harrow. If it gets bad, I spray with roundup and drag the crap out of it. Rake up and remove the dead weeds as piles develop in the harrow. We went through that this year as i had a baby in April so wasnt able to drag regularly this spring. It took half a day and I still have some weeds I am working on. I pull stragglers whenever I have time and keep up the dragging -- it is improving by the week. Ring maintenance is a constant effort.



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2004
    Posts
    2,626

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    So far I don't have one. I trailer out to a beautiful covered arena 2x/week (3 miles away, but not hackable) and trail the rest of the time. I really want one, but I don't have an inexpensive site (nothing flat) so I'm not sure if I will be able to justify the cost.



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2007
    Posts
    523

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    I simply fenced off a small portion on of my pasture. It works really well... For the most part it is very flat and even, there is one corner that is higher than the rest, but I really don't mind the terrain change, and I can easily avoid it.
    I agree with the poster that said do not ride in it when it is wet, I made the mistake of lunging a horse in there when it was wet, you can still see the circle.
    I would like to grade it and smooth out the few rough parts, but DH freaks out at the thought of having to replant all the grass.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2004
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    782

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    We (I) went all out
    https://plus.google.com/photos/10340...42747216237921

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1034060...?noredirect=1#

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1034060...?noredirect=1#

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1034060...?noredirect=1#

    Took about 6 months to get the grading as close to perfect as possible and $30K.

    It has 2 tons of GGT, purchased through AdAblur02

    I LOFF my arena

    What a beautiful ring...the footing must feel amazing to ride on too..love GGT


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,980

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    Quote Originally Posted by eks View Post
    What a beautiful ring...the footing must feel amazing to ride on too..love GGT
    Thank you. Going from grass to GGT was quite eye opening. I can sit the trot....who knew?
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    1,800

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    We are in very dry California and we just ride in our pasture. We had a very naturally level area the top of the pasture - that naturally drains away and down into neighbors' pond. The flat area is over 100 x 200 and we just leveled it, ripped it and drag it once/week.

    I'd love to do a real arena though, but my horses "live" in the pasture and arena area 24/7, so I'll never do anything fancy. It's basically a dirt arena and we don't ride in it if it has rained alot (we don't get much rain at all though)

    It'd cost me $20K to put a real arena in, at LEAST....probably more. This one was free
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
    www.elainehickman.com
    **Morgans Do It All**



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2009
    Location
    a little north of Columbus GA
    Posts
    1,911

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    I was determined to fit a full size dressage arena, so I had 100x200-ish cleared.

    I'm currently pondering how to kill the sweet gum before I do anything resembling a base, because those things will just grow up through it and ruin it.

    So it sits. The ground up there is a decent sand-clay mix that [crosses fingers] is going to pack down nicely without too much extra work. And the spot we picked is already crowned so drainage shouldn't be an issue. One day!

    Great thread, I'm glad to see there's a mix between all-out arena construction and 'level it and dump some sand'.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,420

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    Took about 6 months to get the grading as close to perfect as possible and $30K.
    Wow...for that price I couldn't get half that arena. It's all related to the subsoil/natural base, isn't it?

    I rode at a lesson barn that literally threw sand down and rode on it...and not more than 20 miles away. But if I did that here, it would be gone in about 3 rides or two rainstorms.

    On the upside - we have no rocks. Not a single one, anywhere.



  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,720

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    Some of the prices people are mentioning are quite large. When you get into that 50k-60k plus range, aren't you just tempted to put up an indoor? I think I would be... but maybe weather isn't an issue for you either. Here we have snow and rain and heavy summer wind to contend with.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2009
    Location
    Four Corners
    Posts
    853

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    I had a 100' X 200' area flattened. I've got red clay, so no riding when it's at all wet. Someday I'll get it compacted with proper footing, but it works for now.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    147

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    We are struggling with this decision right now. I moved the horses home on April 30th. Between all of our paddocks, we have around 3.5 acres of grass (the property is 7.5 acres, but with a pond & some wetlands). We still need to put in the barn, and a sacrifice area, so we will lose some grass to that. I'd like to put in a sand/crumb rubber ring, but DH is cranky over losing even more grass to that.

    I have an area that is relatively flat, and I could easily fence off a 70' x 140' spot for a ring. We have clay here, so I'm not sure I'd be happy with a grass ring. It has basically rained this entire spring. So far I wouldn't have been able to ride in the grass without really tearing it up. If we put in a sand ring, DH is in construction, so he'd be able to do quite a bit of the work himself to keep costs down.

    I think I need to figure out a good way of justifying the loss of another .25 acres of grass, so I can do the "real" ring.



  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    245

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    Reading these makes me feel very lucky.
    When we were having a pond dug (which doesn't hold much water - darn), we had the bulldozer operator level a spot behind the barn - sorta. It is about 100 x 200, and has a slope down the short side. In hindsight, about an hour more work would have made it better.
    Anyway, 8 loads of quarter-down have made it pretty good.
    The slope makes both of us rebalance up and down as needed. When the 1/4 down packs I just re-drag with tractor and scraper blade. I sometimes need to drag about 4 times a year when we have had torrential rains which make small gulleys due to the lack of level.
    I also, horrors, lightly spread stall cleanings with no poop in them over heavier packed areas during very dry times. I know that will decompose, but it lightens/softens the area. The shavings work in as I ride.
    Two spots, about 2 feet in diameter, have come through with soft red clay. I just tamp the 1/4 down into those areas. One of the areas is about resolved. The other still needs some work. I just avoid those areas when it is wet.
    I have had this working fine for a little over 10 years.


    2 members found this post helpful.

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