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(Moderately) Rehabbing Indoor Footing

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    (Moderately) Rehabbing Indoor Footing

    Hi, all--
    I purchased a property with an indoor last summer and have used it not much this year (because winter/spring/fall in New England is colder than I remembered and summers are nicer!). Before I bought the property, it had been vacant for a while and the owner had used the indoor for storing heavy equipment, RVs, and airplane parts. I am now ready to start using the indoor and have some boarders coming onto the property next month. I'm not yet interested in replacing the footing (too much fencing and painting to be done first), but would like to improve the footing and even it out a bit. There seem to be hills and valleys (though I hardly notice, others do). We've dragged the ring several times with a regular chain drag, but I don't think that's really addressing the hills/valleys issue. Any advice for me? Footing is dirt-like but not dusty (FWIW). TIA!

    Buy a roll of mason twine from Home Depot or a hardware store.

    Get three people.

    Have two people unroll the twine, and hold it taught and level between them while standing at various places around the edge of the arena. Hold the taught twine level and close to the ground until it just touches the high areas.

    Have the third person use a measuring tape to determine the depth between the hills and the valleys of the footing.

    If it's only a few inches, you may be able to level it out using some mental stone rakes. Otherwise you may need to have it done using a tractor with a york rake and/or a bucket loader, or rent a bobcat loader, or hire someone to do it.

    You might also have some sand, fine bank run, or stone dust delivered, that you can spread out to give the ring some extra material to work with.


      Try attaching, as heavy a railroad tie whatever you are pulling with can handle, on both ends with chains and drag it around and around so it will slowly be knocking the hills down and filling the valleys.

      Some very heavy pipe or post may work the same, but the railroad tie being squarish, not round, will have more bite to level the ground.

      Ideally see if you could borrow some kind of arena drag from a local arena, or a small plow, the kind used by landscapers and work the ground properly, so you have around 3" of good, soft footing and see how that works to ride in.

      With arena footing, always go light and shallow.
      You can add more depth to your plowing or material later easier than having to pack it if you get too much loose and so too deep and/or need to take some away.


        This is not to hijack OP's post, but I also have a few questions (I'm also going to make a separate post, but want to jump on the posters' ideas here--captive audiences). I'm at a barn where the indoor has not been used for a year or so. The current owners bought the farm and have been fixing the farm up and have used the indoor as a staging area for farm equipment and general "stuff" needed to making the repairs. We're now at a point where we want to rehab the indoor footing. Right now, it's compacted down and also has several hills and valleys like OP's indoor. We haven't done anything to it yet. While we're waiting to enlist professional help, what's the best way to go about starting this project? Where do you start? Is it best to drag it first, disc it up, or level it first and then drag it? Since the farm sat for awhile we know there are a few critter holes along the edge of the exterior wall that need filled (You can clearly see how far they go and where they end--no real concern about holes deep under the ring). Do you fill those first before doing anything or fluff it up and see if there are any more? Thanks!


          I would first run a big magnet back and forth until I was not getting any more hits.

          With them using that for a shop and working on machinery, you never know how many nails, screws, bolts and assorted metal pieces you will have there.


            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
            I would first run a big magnet back and forth until I was not getting any more hits.

            With them using that for a shop and working on machinery, you never know how many nails, screws, bolts and assorted metal pieces you will have there.
            Yes, we've already started this and have about done the whole arena. We plan to do it again once we start the process of rehabbing it. I'm thinking we need to run the magnet over it again after we drag it in case anything else has come to the surface. What's good is that they were consistent where they did the work and the nails/bolts I did find were confined to that area, but I'm running it over the whole arena to be sure.


              You need to use an arena implement that will fix the hills (Kiser dragmaster, etc.). First, is it from your base or just the sand? If it is from the base, then you need to remove the sand and fix the base. If it is from the sand then you need an implement designed to address depth pulled with a three point hitch so you can truly maintain depth. If you are just pulling a chain drag, it is going to follow the hills.

              If you don't want to invest in an arena implement to fix it, hire someone who has one. My arena guy (I'm building an arena right now) will go around and fix arenas with his fancy arena conditioner when they have this exact problem. He'll fix the fairgrounds, etc.too. Ask around and you may find someone similar.
              DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette:


                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                I would first run a big magnet back and forth until I was not getting any more hits.

                With them using that for a shop and working on machinery, you never know how many nails, screws, bolts and assorted metal pieces you will have there.
                good idea but also look for stuff as most airplane parts are nonmetallic