Monday, March 22, 2010

Demolition Begins

We're finally beginning the last renovation to make this property a real horse farm....the arena! When we bought the property it was a hay farm. The only structures were the house, garage and chicken run. We put up the barn and fences first, but the arena had to wait. We had a nice flat area behind the barn that was fine for riding, although a little small, so I was content to just use that for the time being. In order to put in a dressage arena, we needed to move the chickens. Which then became a real problem when Matilda had to start living in the chicken run. We had to move Matilda before we could move the chickens, we had to fix the fence before we could move Matilda, and then it snowed. And snowed and snowed and snowed. But now the snow has melted, the fence is fixed, Matilda is back living with the boys and we are starting The Final Project.

Stage 1: Demolition.
I am very impressed with how quickly a fence can be taken down, especially considering how long it takes to put a fence up. It only took about 20 minutes to take the fence down around the chicken run, then we had the job of dragging the coop (actually a large garden shed) to its new home behind the barn. We put some pretty good ruts in the old turf riding arena in the process, but considering it's going to be graded and re-surfaced anyway, the ruts don't really matter. I'm still not 100% sure what we're going to go with as the new surface. Once we've got the topsoil pulled off I'll have a better idea of what needs to get done. Hopefully, the soil back there is as sandy as the soil on the rest of the property and won't need to much work to make good footing. If that's the case, we'll probably just add some rubber and call it done. If not, then I guess we'll be ordering sand or stone dust. At least we shouldn't have to worry too much about the base: our entire property has a layer of packed gravel about 5 inches below the topsoil. It's what keeps the property so dry and should provide an excellent base for the arena. Here's a picture of the results of Stage 1:

I was going to draw in the plans for the arena and surrounding area on the picture. Then I discovered that I'm not that good with photo editing software. So I'll just describe it. The plan, as of now, is to put the arena on the far side and then a small patio and play area for the kids next to the arena, which would be the near side of the picture. That way, the kids can play in their area while Mommy plays in hers. As an added bonus, having kids playing next to the arena will pretty much guarantee that any show horse of mine will be bomb-proof.

The next stage will be Excavation, but that has to wait for this weather system to blow through. No hurry, it will be June before I really need an arena again. I can do ground work in the pastures for now.


  1. Exciting news! It can't get much better when you have a proper arena in your own back yard. You're going to love it! If I could afford rubber, I'd add it to my sand in a minute.

    Congratulations on the start!!

  2. OMG how exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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