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Help - I need to create a "ring" asap

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  • Help - I need to create a "ring" asap

    I'm not talking about building a finished ring in a short period of time. I'm talking about building some sort of usable area where I can ride one pleasure horse (who is coming back from soft-tissue injuries) and longe two minis (to keep them in shape). I've been using my neighbor's ring for the last couple of years but she just added new footing and put WAY too much sand in (it's almost five inches deep) and is unwilling to scrape off any of the sand. She's fairly inexperienced with horses and doesn't accept that deep footing is a bad thing. I've worked so hard at bringing my horse back into shape that it kills me to think of "retiring" him at age 9.

    I have my horses turned out into a two-acre field (the minis have their own field within a field) so I have room to put something in. The boyfriend of the barn manager where I keep another horse is a heavy equipment operator who is experienced in building "real" rings and he's offered his services at a discounted rate.

    I'm trying to figure out what would be the most inexpensive route to go because money is quite tight and my husband is not happy with any of this!

    Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated. I'm working my way through old threads about rings and getting slightly overwhelmed.

    Oh, I'm in Southern CA. The field is a typical California field; it grows what looks like grass but is really weeds in winter and then is dead for summer/fall. My neighbor simply graded and put sand down and that held up surprisingly well.

    Thanks.
    R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

    Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.

  • #2
    I would search out local resources - we have a company that recycles highway regrading offal - we used that as a base (after having the barn yard graded) and put stone dust on top. The recycled materials are cheap and can make a good draining base. I just had to put a lot of stone dust on top to keep the base from coming through. It is now a year old and I am getting ready to add sand.

    Having said all this, I am in MD and I'm sure my substrate is much different than yours!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't know if this will help, but--- In an old issue of Dressage Today ( aPRIL 1996 if you can find it) there was a plan to utilize a 1/2 acre pasture space as a riding area. It had grazing. A 6' wide area was rototilled around the perimeter( made a long side). Another connecting line was done and a 20 meter circle with ( 2 10 meter circles) figure eight inside. There was a 10 meter 3 loop serpentine, a quarter line width as well. All these areas connected so all movements and directions could be done. After rototilling a layer of sand was applied and voila!, a riding area. This area was suitable to train up to fourth level, with area for pirouettes, lateral work, etc. Check out what you have for space and diagram it out and see what you come up with . The writer of teh article said they were very happy with their results which gave them grazing as well as a work area for riding.

      Comment


      • #4
        Low low budget>>>

        I grew up riding in mowed fields and have fared just fine! Mark out and mow yourself an arena. Don't mow the grass outside the arena, except perhaps the path to the arena. Presto! Instant arena.
        Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.

        Comment


        • #5
          My el-cheapo solution was to take one corner of the pasture that is flat, add fencing inside to make a "ring", and put in two gates, one in each corner, that stay open unless I am riding in the ring, or using it as a restricted turnout area.

          When the gates are open, the horses can graze in there (along with the other 9 acres) and with two gates, no one can trap anyone else in there.

          I did nothing with the footing, I just ride on the grass.
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

          Comment


          • #6
            If you can't afford to truck any sand in my old trainer dumped all the used shavings into the indoor to try to lighten the footing some. That facility was in a floodplain and all adobe underneath.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible

            Comment


            • #7
              Be careful with bedding as footing. We had a plain old ring that we used, just grass, but the edges were worn down to dirt and some ruts. Each spring we added used bedding .It made it softer, but was slippery until it got broken down.

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess the question is-
                What is wrong with just riding on the existing ground?

                Too hard?
                Too soft?
                Too slippery?
                Drainage?
                Erosion?

                While I have access to a ring now, and very much appreciate it, for more than half of my riding life I had no regular access to an actual prepared ring, and just rode on whatever ground was there.
                Janet

                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Janet View Post
                  I guess the question is-
                  What is wrong with just riding on the existing ground?

                  Too hard?
                  Too soft?
                  Too slippery?
                  Drainage?
                  Erosion?

                  While I have access to a ring now, and very much appreciate it, for more than half of my riding life I had no regular access to an actual prepared ring, and just rode on whatever ground was there.
                  The field is filled with gopher holes and is hard as a rock in summer after the horses have pounded on it. In winter/spring when the grass is there, it's softer but stays wet so I wouldn't want to ride on it. Whatever I do means grading/leveling something first.

                  Many of my neighbors (who have similar fields) have simply done the grading and then put sand down, without putting a base, and they all seem to hold up surprisingly well (maybe because few people use them).

                  I'm wondering if maybe the most inexpensive solution (using the term loosely) would be to put up a very, very large round pen so I can longe the minis and do basic walking I'm still doing with my laid up horse. I can also walk him around the entire field, although given gopher holes and such, would be uneasy doing much more than that.

                  I don't know, I'm still tossing ideas around. Round pen vs basic, not huge ring.

                  Appreciate all the ideas.
                  R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

                  Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ljc View Post
                    I'm not talking about building a finished ring in a short period of time. I'm talking about building some sort of usable area where I can ride one pleasure horse (who is coming back from soft-tissue injuries) and longe two minis (to keep them in shape). I've been using my neighbor's ring for the last couple of years but she just added new footing and put WAY too much sand in (it's almost five inches deep) and is unwilling to scrape off any of the sand. She's fairly inexperienced with horses and doesn't accept that deep footing is a bad thing. I've worked so hard at bringing my horse back into shape that it kills me to think of "retiring" him at age 9.

                    I have my horses turned out into a two-acre field (the minis have their own field within a field) so I have room to put something in. The boyfriend of the barn manager where I keep another horse is a heavy equipment operator who is experienced in building "real" rings and he's offered his services at a discounted rate.

                    I'm trying to figure out what would be the most inexpensive route to go because money is quite tight and my husband is not happy with any of this!

                    Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated. I'm working my way through old threads about rings and getting slightly overwhelmed.

                    Oh, I'm in Southern CA. The field is a typical California field; it grows what looks like grass but is really weeds in winter and then is dead for summer/fall. My neighbor simply graded and put sand down and that held up surprisingly well.

                    Thanks.

                    i school my horses out in the middle of a field sometimes with m others in the same field
                    some times i use the school and sometimes i go out well in fact i am out more than in
                    its better for the horse if it was a square areana rather than a ring as then he will use himself better so mark out corner with a tyre a drum or cone or even a brick or buy ahuge bag of flour and mark it out properly 40x60 then you can use the width and the lenghten to shorten and lengthen his strides starting with the wlak - from free walk to medium to extended 10 mins or so and build it up from there bag of flour isnt dear and its a chepa and very effective marking on the ground

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When my daughter was in school in southwest VA, she converted the circular driveway at her her house to a ring. The driveway was stone dust. She added a couple of inches of sand on top. It wasn't perfect, but she enjoyed having it. Since it was right next to the house, the lights from the house and barn allowed her to ride at night.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CB/TB View Post
                        Don't know if this will help, but--- In an old issue of Dressage Today ( aPRIL 1996 if you can find it) there was a plan to utilize a 1/2 acre pasture space as a riding area. It had grazing. A 6' wide area was rototilled around the perimeter( made a long side). Another connecting line was done and a 20 meter circle with ( 2 10 meter circles) figure eight inside. There was a 10 meter 3 loop serpentine, a quarter line width as well. All these areas connected so all movements and directions could be done. After rototilling a layer of sand was applied and voila!, a riding area. This area was suitable to train up to fourth level, with area for pirouettes, lateral work, etc. Check out what you have for space and diagram it out and see what you come up with . The writer of teh article said they were very happy with their results which gave them grazing as well as a work area for riding.
                        That is very similar to what my grandfather did for me when I was a kid and got my first horse. He had six big trees in an acre pasture. He dragged a big oval around the outside of the trees, looped once around each tree, and up the center line. The paths were one tractor drag width wide, so it left plenty of grass area. It was perfect for me and my pals for riding a couple of times a week, and the horse happily lived in it the rest of the time. Very rarely needed maintenance. Worked great.

                        This was in in Chino, CA and the naturally sandy soil is probably like the soil in Ojai.
                        --o0o--

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The barn I'm at just got about a dozen telephone poles delivered from the phone company when they replaced them. They plan on putting them in one of the pastures and filling with a layer of sand. (We have another really nice ring- but it can get crowded at a few times and some people wanted a 20 X 40M dressage arena.) Call the phone company and see what they do with their poles. It is really windy where we are - so the poles will limit the sand blowing away. You would want to dig a mini ditch to put them in and probably revett them.

                          Comment

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