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Trees for shade in ring...

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  • Trees for shade in ring...

    This might more appropriately be posted in the Farm section of the forums, but since I am a hunter jumper rider wanted to get the opinion of those from similar disciplines. I live in the southeast, have a nice, good footed oval ring in which to ride at home. However, it gets terribly hot very quickly in the summertime without shade. I would love to cover at least half the ring to have shade but forget the money coming for that anytime soon. So, I began to think just maybe I could plant up to 3 fast growing southern shade trees that in a few years could provide some shade. The ring is relatively large and think 3 would do nicely.

    I know clean up would be more difficult and you have to worry about roots, but was wondering if the benefits would out way the cons. Sometimes my horses just have to be ridden, worked in the ring before we go out to the more shady parts of the property.

    Has anyone every done this and what were your experiences with it? And, if you did and like it, what type of trees did you use?


  • #2
    I would first find out what trees/leaves can be toxic - like red maple; rule out those. A friend of mine planted a bunch of leeland cypress around her farm and gosh those things grow fast - but they don't really provide much of a canopy for shade


    • #3
      My trainer in Texas had several trees in the middle of her ring. They were great. Fun to put a jump between them and definitely useful for 100+ degree days. This photo is big so the trees look smaller than they are, but you can see them: http://www.windsweptfarmtx.com/wp-co...napanorama.jpg


      • #4
        The Dragon Trees are GREAT fast growing trees, are beautiful and the leaves can be used as fodder for horses and the like.

        Chambermaid to....


        • #5
          I was just thinking about this here as I was cooking in my ring at home this week (yes, I am in the PNW, so 80 degrees is "hot" here ). I just don't think it would work that well as the hottest times of the year, the sun is right above, so trees would not cast that big of a shadow. In the fall, when the sun gets lower on the southern horizon, I do get shade from trees to the south. Don't need it then! Of course, you're much further to the south of me, so the sun relative to you will be different, but think about where the sun is vs. where you could put trees.

          I also would not discount the clean up necessary too much. Since you are in a drier climate, it might not be as bad, but getting the leaves out or off of my arena in the fall was a battle. We have trees to the east and the prevailing winds here are from the east...I had maple and alder leaves covering my new footing! When dry, the wind and SO with a blower could keep it pretty clear, but when wet...I had a heckuva time getting the leaves out. Didn't want to leave (no pun intended!) them as over time, they become muck.

          But, it is a lot hotter where you are than here, so the trade off will be a lot different. I do find myself doing my arena ride in the sun pretty quick on the hot (here) days and then wander around the neighborhood on the shady road and trails.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
            My trainer in Texas had several trees in the middle of her ring. They were great. Fun to put a jump between them and definitely useful for 100+ degree days. This photo is big so the trees look smaller than they are, but you can see them: http://www.windsweptfarmtx.com/wp-co...napanorama.jpg
            My barn has trees in the ring similar to this one. It's very nice during those hot days if you can't ride under the trees in the yard for whatever reason.


            • #7
              The arena at the barn I grew up at was built in a pecan grove. The shade was awesome!
              Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
              My equine soulmate
              Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


              • #8
                Do Sycamores thrive in your area? They grow quickly, are non-toxic and the leaves are big and easy to clean up off your footing.

                Listen to what horsepoor says - don't discount the mess. I didn't plant them myself, but I have Ash trees around my ring - the shade is fabulous in the Summer, but they are a nightmare in the Fall when the leaves and seeds drop, and again in the Spring with sprouting seedlings. I'd love to take them out but the spouse says no.


                • #9
                  I would not put then in the ring, I might plant some along the fence to the southwest side to deflect the worst of the PM sun. If you put them in the ring it's hard to drag around them and they complicate redoing the footing if you do it right and not just dump sand on it.

                  I rode in South Texas for almost 10 years and some folks had various types of cypress and other evergreens. Tho there is no big shade canopy, you are not going to ride at high noon and they did a good job once the sun slid behind them mid afternoon and they threw a big shadow later in the afternoon/early evening. It was nice to have a shady spot to rest a bit and no leaves or mess in the fall. But they do take some watering.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                  • #10
                    Make sure whatever you pick doesn't drop leaves constantly!
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                    • #11
                      Seriously, the mess can be significant. Lots of raking involved--you can't use a blower or a lawn vac on an arena. You don't want leaf debris mixing with your expensive footing. Plus, the leaves can be an annoyance--ever try to school a sensitive horse with leaves swirling across the arena?

                      I'd recommend no trees right up against the arena and definitely none IN the arena, but plan several shady spots right near the arena (downwind, preferably). Then you can step out of the arena and have a little shade while you chat with your instructor, watch someone else ride, etc.