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Need Advise: Rocks are appearing in my riding ring!

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  • Need Advise: Rocks are appearing in my riding ring!

    My riding ring has rocks that are appearing at the surface.....and today I went to ride my horse and she was most definitely sore on one side.....last time this happened (6 wks. ago) she had a stone bruise....rode her last evening and she was great....not today! I have a tractor that has a drag that I use to smooth out ring.....however, there are quite a LOT of rocks that are coming to surface....is there a way to get rid of them or can someone tell me what I am doing wrong?

  • #2
    Not sure where you are located, but I have seen them "float" upward through sand footing to the surface when there is a lot of rain and the footing gets saturated. Especially if there are "holes' in the base or no base. This experience is based on Southern California where we get essentially no rain from about April through October (ish).
    The Evil Chem Prof


    • #3
      Where are you located?

      In some areas rocks pop out of the ground constantly. It's a never ending battle to keep them picked up.

      In areas like those, ring prep is a little more intensive to avoid this from happening. Such as digging out all the topsoil, levelling, packing and then adding a lot deeper and better packed base (like stonedust) to help keep the pop-up rocks contained.

      Or you can get a fine tined rock picker or rock rake attachment for your tractor and use that in yoour ring once a week or so to get up all the new rocks that popped up. Those get the ones in the footing that you might not be able to see yet too.

      And yep, it can be a royal pain in the butt.
      You jump in the saddle,
      Hold onto the bridle!
      Jump in the line!


      • Original Poster

        thanks to both replies....I'm in Northern VA....the base of the ring is rock with sand overtop.....does anyone know who deep the sand should be? Perhaps there isn't enough and that is how the rock base is appearing? So confusing......I'm going to head over and just use a garden rake to gently rake up any rocks I see...of course this will take a long time, but I cannot allow my horse to be continuously sore b/c of this......thanks!


        • Original Poster

          that should have been "how deep" not "who deep"!


          • #6
            Rock picking is a constant battle. We keep a bucket handy for the egg sized ones. If you have a whole lot, and have a tractor, you could rent or buy a "rockhound" attachment which will sift up the rocks and collect them.


            • #7
              My nine year old kid is available for rock-picking. Five cents a rock. Ten if they're heavy.
              Click here before you buy.


              • #8
                There are only two reason for rock showing up in your footing one is they were there in the footing to begin with or the base was not sealed properly.

                My ring has now been in for 6 years and I have not had one rock in my footing......I did 4" of 1" screenings, water and compacted with big paving roller......then I sealed it with 4" of crusher fines, watered and compacted again......then I put 3" of hydro sand on top as my footing.

                The trick is to seal the base properly......or you will be picking rocks for the life of your ring regardless of how deep your footing is.



                • #9
                  One other way rocks can show up is what I have seen at several arenas -- the road area outside the arena is rock. Tractor picks up rocks in tires driving in and they drop out later in arena. Just a thought, and may not apply to you, but wanted to mention it.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by briddygirl@cox.net View Post
                    thanks to both replies....I'm in Northern VA....the base of the ring is rock with sand overtop.....does anyone know who deep the sand should be? Perhaps there isn't enough and that is how the rock base is appearing? So confusing......I'm going to head over and just use a garden rake to gently rake up any rocks I see...of course this will take a long time, but I cannot allow my horse to be continuously sore b/c of this......thanks!
                    You say it's rock with sand over top. Are you talking 21A gravel rock, with then bluestone over top of it, that has been rolled? Or just regular 21A with sand? Or ??? "Rock" has a whole lot of meanings...

                    My neighbors, who very nicely let us use their ring, built a HUGE ring themselves. However, it was only done by grading/leveling, 21A base, with (too much) sand on top. Needless to say, after about a year, there were a LOT of "floaters" coming up. Now, most people think it is a sand/rubber ring until they get up close and see that what they think is rubber is really rock.

                    The only way to fix it in that situation is to strip off all the sand and redo the base properly, then screen the sand to get out all the rocks, and replace the sand. A very $$$$ situation.

                    Oh, ideally there should be 2-3" of sand on top of a proper base.
                    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles