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those with their own outdoor arenas: who did the footing

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  • those with their own outdoor arenas: who did the footing

    anyone have some ring builders/footing engineers to recommend?
  • Original Poster

    anyone have some ring builders/footing engineers to recommend?


    • #3
      i have a large outdoor i did "myself". i hired an indep. contractor and he leveled with a 1 % grade and used 2 rollers to pack it (clay base). i started with 600 yds of quarried sand ( 0 silt-on the coarse side) that i bought from the quarry and had delivered by a private trucker. i have since added different footings in the mix. the grade is very important. and if you see a lot of rain as i do-i always drag before the heavy wet so the water runs off and doesnt pool or i'm stuck with heavy slop. i like to think i saved about 20k doing it piece by piece as opposed to the companies that came out and quoted me for the same work/product. enjoy your arena-i am still smitten with mine years later-


      • #4
        Dean Rheinheimer He'll consult, design, build, or repair (If he can fit it in his busy schedule). He takes care of WEF all winter long.
        Positive Step Farm


        • #5
          My dad did mine. He's a contractor and does land work such as foundations for buildings, roads, driveways, and arenas. He's very good, done everyone's in the area, except for the occasional people who like to use that riversand junk. Blows away like Talc powder.


          • #6
            I did mine. Subbed out the labor and ordered all the materials myself. Put down 4" of compacted crushed limestone, then 2-3" of concrete sand, which bears a striking resemblance to beach sand. About a 4" slope from one side of the arena to the other, and a swale dug on the low side to carry away the water that sheets off the hard base after filtering quickly through the coarse footing. And after 15" of rain here in the last ten days, mine is the only arena around that is dry. Gotta love it.
            In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
            A life lived by example, done too soon.


            • #7
              I hired someone who understood dirt and machinery (and owned a gravel pit - kept the cost lower), explained to him the physics of what I needed - drainage, firm base, sand on top. Also gave him the article that Practical Horseman had which was very good. He totally got it and did a great job.

              We put it in late fall, which meant it had the winter to settle - as is suggested - and it really did make a difference. He didn't believe I wanted so little sand on top, and it's a little deep, but the horses like it, and I just make sure I do a lot of road work along with working in the deeper footing to be sure everyone's legs are ready for anything.

              I think I saved a lot by doing it this way, rather than hiring someone who was in the riding ring business, but it was a bit of a risk. He said he'd be happy to do more, but you're too far!


              • #8
                Hilary, do you mind me asking how much it cost, and how big is the arena? We've got 6 acres of land we are going to start building on next year, and part of the plans include a barn and arena--of course! My husband is bugging me for numbers on how much the barn and arena will cost so we can figure it into our house budget. My house is probably going to shrink.... but I'm just glad he's taking my barn and arena into account at all!!


                • #9
                  Not at all -

                  It's 20mx55m. I think I couldn't quite squeak out 60m in length without doing even more build-up of the slope.

                  Cost will depend a lot on your sitework. I'm not sure what your soil is like in Ohio, but where I am we have thin topsoil, and lots of bedrock and something we call "hardpack", which is basically a very very hard substance that is mostly rocks and clay. The topsoil sits on it.

                  We started with a hayfield that was relatively flat, but would need to be built up on one end. My quote was $7500 for work (his rate per day of the equipment), base & sand.

                  When he stripped off the topsoil, instead of finding hardpack, he found a large piece of bedrock in the center, and had to raise the base of the ring to that height, rather than strip off the grass and build the base right on the hardpack. We needed another $2500 worth of fill. Although now that I have the ring, the drainage is probably a lot better b/c it had to be built up so much.

                  My advice is to no be home when they bring truck after truck after truck to your property. I was actually sick to my stomach wondering how much extra it was going to cost.


                  • #10
                    I graded my arena in an area that was sloped. So the top of the sloped area was cut (about 6 feet) and the bottom of the slope was compacted. The arena has a 1% diagonal grade. After they scraped away the first 18 inches they hit decomposed granite (perfect for the base). I did this in the fall and let it settle out for the winter. We have a tractor with a roller and a rake. I rolled it quite a bit at first to get it compacted after the rains. In the spring, I raked it so it was loose enough to ride in. For the first year that was all I did. It was just me using the ring, so it didn't get too much wear and tear. Grading cost $2000.

                    After the first year I added roadbase (compacted about 2 inches) and a mixture of sand and shredded tennis shoes (about 2 and a half inches). This cost about $3000.

                    I have had to do some additional work to make sure the tennis shoe material didn't wash away after the rain and I have added a little more over time, but it has held up well for 12 years. I can usually ride within 3 hours of a really heavy rain.
                    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                    • #11
                      We hired the excavating work out and it was done with a 23 ton machine so no compactor was necessary. Have a 20m X 60m ring with 12 inches of fall across the short side, cant even tell it's sloped. Compacted in-situ clay soils, put down 3-4 inches of stone dust. Have the perimeter outlined by 4X4 ties. Cost was around $4000.


                      • #12
                        Well phew, that's not as bad as I thought it would be. We have mostly brown dirt here mixed with clay in some areas. I don't know what our plot of land is like, I should dig down and check it out. If it was ever farmed in the past it may be more dirt than clay. Right now it's a bunch of timothy and red clover, cows used to live there. The red clover is going to have to go though because I hear it can harbor a fungus that gives horses the slobbers.

                        So I'm guessing we will need to put crushed rock as a base so it will drain properly if there's a lot of clay, then sand. Thanks all!