One of my resolutions is to build an arena. I’ve been working on this for a while, since I moved in over two years ago.
When I first bought this farm, I was so thrilled that I was going to own my very own farm, that I neglected to realize something very simple. I had just bought a hillside, with zero flat land anywhere. On the day we closed, I flung open the back door to admire the view, and then realized I had a view of the valley because I lived on the top of a steep hill.
I needed flat land. The first winter I was there, I rented a bobcat and dug into the hill. There was a learning curve of figuring out how to use the bobcat, and then there was a few drama filled days while the bobcat was stuck at the bottom of my hill, but eventually I figured out how to work it somewhat. I had to return the bobcat to the rental company after only getting to work on it for a week. I managed to dig a bit, but it was not satisfactory for a riding arena.
This was just not big enough. Over the next year, I spent more time digging, this time with my little tractor. My little tractor doesn’t have nearly the manpower of a bobcat, and progress was slow. It’s big enough now for two twenty meter circles!
I did dig it out enough to get this instagram picture though.
My list of complains are, a. too small, b. too rocky, c. poor footing, d. poor drainage. I need to fix all these things so I have a nice place to ride. I’m now debating my options. And an option I’ve thrown out the window entirely, I’m not digging more with my tractor. I’ve already dug for 50 hours on that thing, and the progress is too slow to keep doing that.
I could pay someone to come in and do everything. Definitely the easiest, but very expensive. I could renovate my main floor for the price of that. Probably a better investment to do that too.
I could rent a bobcat again, alternative, buy a used bobcat, as the price is (surprisingly) almost the same. And then I will have to figure out drainage, and put down footing, too. I don’t really have the background knowledge to do this, and I’d have to put so much time into it. I’ve have to figure it out, obtain my own materials, put in a drain.
I’d really just like to say “someone else do it!” and then sit back and relax while it happens around me. But… so much money.
I do like the idea of owning my own skid loader. It’s an amazing feeling to move the earth around me. You think you’re so tough earth!? Let’s see how you feel when I move you to a different spot! (I had to entertain myself somehow while digging…)