13 Hours in: The Arena Saga

It is time.

I decided to build my riding arena in July due to work obligations in June. On July 1st, my skid steer was delivered.

It just wants to feel included!

Step one, which was by far the most annoying step because I hadn’t considered it prior, and it took the most physical labor, was removing all the random objects that accumulated in the arena over the past two years, things like jump standards, poles and a mounting block. It must have taken me at least 15 minutes to move it!

But it ended up working out, because since one of the horses had destroyed a portion of fencing months ago, I needed a way to lock the horses out of the work area.

My highly technical debris fence.
My highly technical debris fence. Pony mournfully watches me. Until now, I never knew how much they wanted to be in this pasture, as indicated by their constant staring at me over the fence.

I wasn’t able to start on July 1, because the skid steer had a password that they I didn’t get until later. July 2 and 3, I worked a total of 13 hours. It’s hard to work continuously on it, as the jerking motions and vibration of the handles make my body ache.

After one of my breaks, I headed back down and swarmed by chickens.

The chicken swarm

Maybe you’ve been thinking to yourself, “I wonder what has happened to the teenage chickens that Courtney has?” Well, wonder no longer! I collectively call their group, The Khakis, even though two of the members aren’t khaki, but they don’t seem to mind. They are super sweet little things that run to me when they see me, and follow me around the yard.

Even to dangerous areas for chickens, like a construction site.

Khaki's investigate the arena.
The khaki’s investigate the arena.

The area above is where I spend nearly all of July 3, building a drain. The ground is especially hard to dig through there, but it’s so important to have proper drainage, so I suffered through.

And now…The Reveal!

The Before
The Before
13 hours in
13 hours in

To explain the picture fully, here’s a quick list of what changed:

  1. Scrapped down the left side hill to make a smoother, even edge
  2. Brought the far end of the arena back another 15 feet, put in a drain there
  3. Moved at least a ton of dirt to the right side of the arena, bring it out 15 feet on the far end, and 3 feet closer
  4. Scraped the grass off the top.

It doesn’t seem like a whole lot of progress, but to put it in perspective, I spent 50 hours (as measured by my tractor) building the arena in the first place. So we will see just how long it takes to build this.

Additionally, if you are thinking about doing this yourself, you should know that my terrain is terrible to work with. I literally cut into a hill to make this. If you are starting with flatter land, it really doesn’t take long. I’ll explain this further when I get to the stage where I’ll level out the arena.

Happy 4th everyone!!

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  1. That looks like fabulous progress! Thanks for the view. I’m jealous of your skid steer bravery and skills. Congrats on making this happen. Your arena will be a special place!

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