Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Riding Arena, Yes!

All my life I have had to relearn this more patient. Now that I am older, I just sit back, shake my head and wonder why....why can't something simple go smoothly? Had I been in my twenties, I would be verbally venting. Had I been in my thirties, I would have verbally vented with some venom. Now I pretend there must be a good reason for everything and I tell myself be glad that the process has begun; the project will be finished soon enough and to be thankful that we have the means to even work on such a project.
I am writing about the riding arena. Last May I began the arena thinking it would be finished within a couple of weeks...wrong! The topsoil was removed, the crush and run was added and rolled, then it was allowed to settle, only it wasn't supposed to be for a year! I didn't push it, I was grieving over Dad, I wanted to put a roof over it but finally gave up with the economy being so poor, and the excavator kept me at arms length with excuses (he left a large spot that held water and didn't want to correct it). When I finally was ready last November, the excavator developed breast cancer. He is now cancer free, didn't have to go through radiation and is back to work. So, this May I pushed hard, he promised to come (he was the one that fixed the pond) and then did a no-show which was not nice since we have given him a lot of business. The bottom line was that he didn't want to add the middle layer of limestone dust. His main man hated the process when a horsey friend of mine used them last year and so her arena left them with a sour outlook...fine, just tell me up front! I am a big girl, I won't cry!
So, I called the gravel company and they recommended a couple of excavators (they never mentioned the old excavators name, hmmmm). My guy is young, has been driving large trucks since he was 16, and along with his brothers has taken over his dad's company. I like him a lot, he showed up and went to work! All was going well, the dust settled immediately. We had a total of three trucks the first day and thought that would be enough. It was a hot and humid day. The limestone was ordered locally but had to be picked up from a town about 18 miles away. (You can't store limestone dust outside or it will get wet and clump up). That took a lot of time and I couldn't get the trucks in the morning so everything began around 1:00 in the afternoon.
The final truck presented some problems. The limestone was a little damp so they had to beat the door and loosen it up. It was funny to watch. They eventually had to get an iron bar and work the limestone by poking in between the door and the truck. Remember, we slowly let it out so it is relatively even which cuts out a lot of work for the excavator and saves me money!

They tried pushing on the door a little with the tractor but that didn't do much good.

It finally came out and the last truck left.
Still having problems with the middle...not sure why, but I know the limestone is difficult to spread since it is so light and they can't 'feel' it while working with it. Need one more load but will have to wait until the next is supposed to rain tonight and that will be good. The rain will begin to compact the grains and it will soon harden. I layered about 2-3 inches which should keep any crush-n-run gravels from surfacing.

Today was delayed again since there was a lot of rain last night. The arena did not puddle anywhere so that is good. I wasn't sure if they could get a 25+ ton truck over my little road that connects the barn to the arena since it is just dirt. My guy bulldozed it down to dry dirt. This limestone dust cannot get soaking wet, so due to us ordering it late, we had to wait again until 1:00. The rain barely held out, the limestone dumped just fine but as soon as they began to work it, a storm popped up...our luck had run out for the day.

It is supposed to rain a lot tomorrow so they won't be here however, Friday should be clear. The arena doesn't look good anymore since there was no time to roll it after the truck drove through it....stupid storms!
After the limestone layer is complete, I have to order some special sand that is angular. Not all gravel companies carry it and I want to be sure I have the right stuff. I have to spread the sand myself with our tractor and TR3 as the heavy tracks of a bulldozer will ruin everything and dull the angular sand. A perimeter fence must be installed prior since I cannot find any railroad ties to keep the sand from blowing away. Still a lot of work to be done, but at least another step is being completed. Patience, Kritter Keeper, patience!


Paint Girl said...

Making an arena is such hard work! I was like you, started in May of 2007 though, and thought it would only take a couple weeks, boy, was I ever wrong! Weeks of bulldozer work, 10 dumptrucks of fill dirt later, finally! But still not done, I couldn't afford the footing, so I had to hand pick rocks, was able to buy the fence paneling, now I probably won't ever be able to afford footing. I am just happy I have a almost level, there are some dips, fenced place to ride. And this is 2009!
I totally feel your pain. All you want is for it to be done, so you can use it!
Good luck with the weather, and hope everything works out in the end! I am sure it will!!!

Kritter Keeper said...

thanks paint girl! it is comforting to know others share my experiences and frustrations.

dog trot farm said...

Good luck to you on this project. I too have learned to acquire patience. It is not always easy. I believe as women, we think our project through, visualize it and are ready to jump in. We want it done right and on time. Sometimes when we need to rely on others, it just does not go smoothly. Hang in there it will get completed and you will have a lovely riding rink.

Steph said...

Hey! Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

Spruce Hill said...

Ooooh A riding arena how exciting! I hope the reszt of the project goes smoothly :)

Totally Timmy said...

My sis lucked out. She got a cover-all arena and they had all the footing and the coverall up in no time. Looks like it is coming right along now.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Anything worth having is worth sweating over -smile-. Your riding arena will be fabulous, good for YOU!

Anne Marie said...

GOOD HEAVENS! Where do I begin?? First I see a a familiar 'face' (Thistle Cove Farm...Hi NDF Chick!) but the similarities we have! goodness!!
We had a Tibetan Mastiff...named Samson, then we had a dog named Cody! We ride our Percheron/Thoroughbred Jordan English style, and the country life....SO super glad we found eachother...this will be so great getting to know one another....SUPER! have a great day!!!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Hope things are moving along for you now. Think of all the fun and enjoyment you will get out of it when it's done!

Kris said...

I have something for you over on my blog!!