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Outdoor Arena DIY - Footing for Windy Areas

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  • Outdoor Arena DIY - Footing for Windy Areas

    I hope it's OK to do a cross-post. I originally posted this under Around the Farm. While I got some replies over there (thanks!), I am looking for some more ideas, especially since this would be used for jumping...

    Originally posted by JumpingForJoy View Post
    Sorry everybody for another arena thread... I have been toying with the idea of putting in an outdoor arena. Since money is tight I would be doing the work myself. At first I looked into an indoor and I got some affordable quotes that was doable with my budget but with the economy the way it is, banks aren't lending like they used to so that was shot down.

    So I bought a trailer and I have been hauling my horses to an indoor in the cold/bad weather and during nice days I was using a large flat open space nearby that had excellent soft level footing in the field. Now I am getting kicked out of the open space option because of new owners I can't go to the indoor every day so I need to figure something out - putting in my own outdoor arena seems like the only good long term option.

    The good news is that I have one piece of my property that would be suitable for an outdoor - it is relatively flat (although bumpy but no trees or rocks) and more than large enough (so I could use for jumping). Bad news is that I live in No. Colorado where winds can be downright merciless (think 30-50 mph gusts on bad days). Maybe I am wishing here, but is there any type of footing that I can put down that won't blow away and is on the cheaper side (i.e. won't break the bank)?

    Also, is there any DIY people who have installed outdoor arenas in CO that would be willing to share some tips? Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I must be blind because I didn't see any evidence of your post in ATF.

    I'm in SoCo, and I can sympathize with the winds. They seem to only stop for Christmas! For the footing? Most everyone I know with home rings around here have course sand that sits heavy. It'll still need watering in the summer, but it doesn't seem to blow away as much as the fine sand or highly filtered sand.

    Some of them have a bluestone (or similar) base, some of them don't. All I know is that the course sand arenas I've used in Penrose have stayed put during the heavy winds with little to no maintenance. Mainly just dragging and weed pulling (ahh, yes...the land of goat heads, tumble weeds, and sagebrush!)

    I just wish there were other H/J folks down here...I'm a lone duck!
    "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


    • Original Poster

      Anyone else?


      • #4
        I have coarse washed sand in my arena and it's great. But I have a different climate......exceedingly WET, not as windy as where you are. And windy days are typically preceded by (or accompanied by) rain, meaning that it's rare to have my arena get hit by major wind while dry, though we do get winds howling through here pretty good when it is windy. I've never had an issue with my footing moving anywhere. Not sure if that's because the coarse washed sand is a little heavier and not as prone to being dusty, or because of the fact that I have a solid kickboard in place as well as a 4 board fence AND a barn blocking part of the arena from the wind, or if there's some other component to the equation that I haven't identified.
        Flying F Sport Horses
        Horses in the NW


        • #5
          I'm north of Co. Springs, along the Palmer Divide (7400' elevation) so I understand your problems with wind too.

          My arena guy put "squeegee" in for my footing. It is bigger than coarse sand, but smaller than pea gravel. Not certain if that is the "official" name for it, but it works pretty well. It was a little "loose" for the first year, but now a little of the road base underneath has worked up and it is perfect. And there is almost NO dust, even without watering (I'm the only one that rides in it, so it might be dusty if I had a bunch of horses going at once.) When I drag it, I do get a tiny amount of dust coming up, but nothing like most sand arenas. I will say, I have only jumped up to about 4' in it, and I don't think I would want to do really big stuff or tight/fast turns on it. I just think it doesn't support them as well for that. But for "hunter" type stuff or lower level jumpers, it's great.
          "Ponies are a socially acceptable form of child abuse." - said by a friend when asked if she was going to find a pony for her 5 year old daughter.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the replies so far - this definitely gives me some good ideas! Any other suggestions, keep them coming please!