Building a riding arena

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by CarlisleChipper, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    816
    I thought y'all might be interested in following the process of me building a riding arena on my farm. I bought this farm a year ago. It's 7.5 acres of horse property, with most of it being used to grow and cut coastal hay which we've continued to do.
    I found a suitable place to put the arena that doesn't sacrifice our private hay cutting operation. Here is a Google satellite image.
    FB_IMG_1535741321095.jpg

    There is perimeter fencing (that could use an update for safety and aesthetic reasons) but there was also a lot of cross fencing which made it into 4 different paddocks. The previous owner bred dogs so she used these areas and therefore each one had a big dog house in it as well as hot wire ran along the bottom.
    FB_IMG_1535741101026.jpg FB_IMG_1535653484409.jpg

    This is one paddock. You can see the cross fencing.

    FB_IMG_1535741097586.jpg
    FB_IMG_1535655591505.jpg

    The 2nd paddock, also in this corner is a light pole from the power company. So I'll have to round out this corner to not put the light pole in the arena. I have the light turned off, but it's a pretty bright street lamp which would be excellent for a lighted arena at night.

    FB_IMG_1535741093475.jpg
    20180830_181818.jpg
    The 3rd paddock.

    I've been working on it here and there late in the evening when it isn't very hot, for several weeks now.
    So far I've removed 90% of the cross fencing on my own utilizing a t post puller and wire cutters from tractor supply. The t posts have been easy to remove, the small wood posts are TERRIBLE to remove... the giant thick wood posts came out very easily but I struggle to move them once they're out.
    YES I am doing this on my own without the help of husband or his strength.
    I had gotten some estimates to have this work done for me and it was approximately $4,000 for fence removal and leveling. So to save money I am doing as much as I can by myself.
    The fences are out, but the fence panels still need to be moved out of the arena and put away, same for the wire fencing that's rolled up.
    I have people coming today to pick up the dog houses and larger building. I am letting it go for free as they are bringing their own equipment to move it, Doing us both a service. Since the fencing is down and I'll have these houses gone I will have to bring my herbicide guy in to treat the arena with chemicals to kill the grass and weeds. My plan is to kill everything growing (except the large shade trees I envisioning myself taking a break underneath during the warm months) and then take everything up as best as I can. Then I will have someone with a skid steer level it out for me and take it down a few inches to get to just the dirt to remove the dead roots and weeds. Then finally drag the clean slate and hopefully have a suitable riding arena. As some of you might know, coastal grows in loamy sand places. The footing of my entire property is likened to beach sand. I am hoping to get away with not having to amend my footing at all. But I do appreciate the need for safe ground for jumping so I absolutely will amend if needed and have already priced it out. The person with the skid steer is estimating about $750 worth of work, and my herbicide guy charges $50 an acre.
    We will also be installing a privacy fence on one wall of the arena because some unsightly trailers decided to encroach my property line and cause an eye sore. Future projects include replacing the perimeter fence, amending the footing, more lighting, etc. As it is now I do not have a place to ride on my property so this is exciting for me. My barn I ride at is 15 minutes down the highway and we trailer out.
    I will post updates of the progress and maybe tonight take more photos showing the fences are down and those buildings are gone.

    Any tips are welcomed but please keep it positive and encouraging!
     
    ChestersMomma and GONE ROPING like this.
  2. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    816
    These are my beautiful children "helping" me. They are thrilled to keep me company and help in any way they can. Such as handing me the nippers, bringing me water, watching me take Facebook breaks . 20180830_191137.jpg
    20180830_191545.jpg

    Madison (6) helped me carry 7 wood posts to the storage area and Caleb (5) brought in all the t posts!
     
  3. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,540
    Likes Received:
    8,030
    Good luck! We're in the middle of construction too although much larger (a barn).
    You might have to harrow the ground several times. We farm beach sand and it tends to get very uneven and hard in a short time. I don't have many photos but my arena has been invaded by grass and weeds. The footing is a mess.
     
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  4. Fire Chik

    Fire Chik Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    884
    I love your post puller, Ive wanted to build something like that. I'm often tearing out and putting up fence myself, we go have a metal plate we cut that slips over the tposts to pull them out with the backhoe or handiman jack, but something more portable for me to use would be nice,
    Where did you get it?
     
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  5. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    816
    I got it at tractor supply for 30 bucks or so. You can put a steel pipe in the end for more leverage. Something I found out pulling up the last post. Hah!
     
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  6. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    10,908
    Likes Received:
    16,855
    I suddenly imagined growing and harvesting beach sand :rofl:

    I envy the ease in which you can create an arena! I have about a million trees in my way :bawling:

    17361827_10212593923671853_3909244294004855891_n.jpg
     
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  7. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    16,215
    Likes Received:
    14,930
    I think you're going to find that you need a compacted base, then sub base, and then footing (beach sand.) You'll also need a way to work and water the arena.

    As for weeds, there are several long term herbicides that would work: Piper, Mojave, Vanquish...stay away from Pramitol; it will move and kill trees. Piper is very stable. Applied with Oust you'll get an 18 month weed free area. I would put in on with glyphosate for a burndown.

    The easiest way to pull wood posts is with a loader and chain. Do you have access to a tractor with a loader? Also sometimes throwing a block under your puller along with a cheater bar will help if you're determined to pull them manually.
     
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  8. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    816
    No we don't have a tractor yet. It's on the list though. We bought the farm, an expedition, my new horse, and a trailer. We need a new ride on lawn mower and a tractor still. Some people here have found that if you scrape to the clay base and put the sand back on it, it blends to create a decent footing. I have lots of railroad ties to reinforce the area to prevent erosion. I plan on dragging the arena for maintenance.
     
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  9. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    816
    Got the 3 structures out tonight! I was a big ball of stress. We all bonded over this near death experience
    20180831_200303.jpg

    20180831_205022.jpg
     
  10. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,540
    Likes Received:
    8,030
    Ooh that's a good image! Ha, no, our soil is very sandy for almost 6.5ft down. I would have to look but they did put a different kind of sand in the arena. There is for sure a base under it. I live in paradise... we have a woodlot at the back with old trails, hayfields and grass paddocks to the front and the place came with the arena.
     
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.

Share This Page