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CyndiD

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Hubby is making us a driving ring after last cutting of hay comes out. He has "his" ideas on how to make it and I am not sure about them....

SO...I am asking all you folks that have one to share how you made them..how the ground was worked and what you used on top...or did you just work the ground and pack it down...

Thanks in advance for any and ALL suggestions...
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Ginia

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I "think" we're going to do the same thing with our existing 2-acre hayfield next year, provided the weather and other external forces (work load, time available, etc.), allow us to get another hay field started. We plan to disc up a track wide enough for 2 carts around the whole patch, with smaller circles in at least 2 of the corners and a diagonal across from the other 2 corners. It will be disced, then worked with a field cultivator several times over to smooth it, then gone over with a culti-mulcher, which is a tool that is normally used to prepare seedbeds for alfalfa or clover fields. Hoping that will make a reasonably "bump-free" track. No gravel, sand, or other footing materials added, as it may eventually be worked up and returned to crop-land (possibly not during MY lifetime if it works out like we plan LOL). Then, when the new hayfield is established, we hope to gradually work up sections between the driving tracks and plant wildflowers, (maybe blueberries or raspberries, etc.,), a few fast-growing trees like Austrees, etc. I'd love to have a water crossing, but on a hillside in central Illinois half a mile from the river that's going to be an impossibility, so will settle for just maybe a wood bridge or two. Going to watch this post closely for additional ideas, (can you tell I'm excited??? this is one project hubby has discussed with me that I'm not going to let him forget!)
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mondak

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I just have a grass ring to drive in, but when we hack out the event horses we made a path with manure and covered it with wood chips. That is nice enough footing to do gallop sets on so I guess it would be lovely ground to drive on...

Courtney
 

Sue_C.

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My ring is on a pretty level piece of ground, so it wasn't as costly as it could have been...but $$ enough, at around $3500. when we built it 15 years ago.

It is 90 X 130, the posts are 5 X 5, with three 2 X 4 boards all around. It took 19 loads of the fine gravel/sand mixture. We opted to just put it on top of the grass as it was, but were I to do it over again, I would go with the extra cost, and put something down to prevent the grass from coming up through it. It took 10 years, but the grass is coming in quite badly now...I will have to get it disced, harrowed, and sprayed soon.
 

CyndiD

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Courtney, someone suggested hauling manure out there all winter that would help with footing and also keep the weeds from coming back so quickly in the spring. I don`t think hubby will let me do the gravel thing, but he can keep it "dragged" as we do have a tractor.

Wood chips over the manure....never thought of that!!

What about spraying it with weed killer..would be costly..but more to the point..worth it?? Don`t want to damage the other growth as the horses will also be grazing it in the winter.
 

whitney

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I have a 60 x 120 arena made with round pen panels (horse size). I am starting a cross country driving trail this weekend, complete with water crossing, trees to dodge, and a dry ditch to drive in, if time permits a bridge, and obstacles (sections of split rail fence). Hopefully will have pictures to post this fall.
 

Connie Ballard

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We have a grassy pasture field behind our arena 150 x 700 which we mow a path 2 carts wide with 3 cut across areas to change directions and add variety. We let the sides and middle of the field growup and it looks so pretty to drive out there with the tall grasses waving in the wind. We mow it every other week. It isnt totally flat...but its a good place to work a horse. This field has regular farm fence around it.

I do spread manure/sawdust on the track during late spring, summer and fall. We mow the field before winter...then spread on the other areas and not on the track during the wet months. I use a Newer Spreader which spreads it like 1/2" thick so it disappears fast. We've done this for close to 10 yrs now and works for what we do.
 

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