Val is living in our current workspace - our "arena". A modest electric fenced paddock with an irregular shape and increasing amounts of ever deepening sand. He has lived there for over a year. His day to day movements have churned the sand to a depth of maybe eight inches in some places - especially in his wallow holes. He generally has three of these going at any given time.
Now I know I shouldn't complain about having to deal with sand because the pros
- The ground really never freezes hard. It's a yielding surface for Val's shelly feet even in the dead of winter.
- Digging holes and scooping poop is sinfully easy.
- And no mud. Yep - I said no mud. Probably the best aspect of sand. My grey horse who loves to sleep totally laid out stays exceptionally clean.
- Feeding over mats (heavy) from hay bags (not eating with head down to clear passages).
- Sand clear is expensive.
- Here's the kicker - when it doesn't rain enough no amount of dragging will restore a firm, safe footing.
A while back I created a small temporary "arena" for my boarder to work in - hunter / jumper style. She can set up a jump or two in there, but it's not level and she tends to rut it up endlessly circling. I mostly use it to desensitize Val to the extra scary back of the property, where my "real arena" will reside.
I have room for a 160 x 80 dressage arena. This project will require five tandems of sand (give or take) to make the whole back of the property level and create the actual arena with proper drainage + a number to be determined of crush and run gravel loads, many hours of grading and rolling, and some sort of fencing. I hope to accomplish the project over the winter / asap. Check back for updates :)