Monday, March 9, 2009

Outdoor Arena Idea

Mt. Spokane a few days ago.

Possibly Mountain Bluebirds returning home.

Canadian Geese on a fly by to the farm fields which have become ponds.

Same Picture with a white out.

Today I had coffee with Lea at Lea and Her Mustangs and we exchanged books. The one she gave me is Hope Rising by Kim Meeder. I'm looking forward to reading it. We also had a nice talk about our horses. She reminded me that in May, Beautiful will be signed over to me by the BLM. That's an exciting prospect. And, the family that we have coming in town is considering amending their trip from June to May--so I will be able to participate in Mustang Days! Very exciting.

My mom and dad came to town today and took me to lunch, too--VERY FUN DAY!!

As for Beautiful, she was full of it last weekend. She gave me a little grief on the end of her lead rope. At some point she didn't want to lead anymore and just balked. When I circled her around she crow hopped and struck the ground with her front feet--warning me. So, it made my day with her a little longer and a little harder. And, I realized how out of shape I've gotten this winter. It's HARD to keep up with her. I'm lucky she's as nice as she is and she comes around quick--or she'd win by tiring me out.
She's really good about being groomed and, like everyone else, I was out there trying to keep up with her shedding--hair all over the clothes, in the mouth, eyes, etc. I worked on the chunks of mud that had cemented themselves onto her coat, and she was real patient with it.

We have an Arctic Blast blowing through--it brought 4 or 5 inches of snow so far--2 inches from the all time snowiest winter record! But when this blows by, they're predicting we will see our first signs of SPRING!!! I'm excited! That will change everything around here--we can start our fencing and landscaping projects--start riding the horses out on the trails--set the roundpen back up--maybe even build an outdoor arena this year.

Though, I was surprised that lumber prices have not gone down. My husband and I went out to price them last night--we've heard so much about how lumber has dropped---but it wasn't the case. If anything, it has gone up. So, I'm trying to come up with an outdoor arena design that is economical--and I think I have an idea.

Basically, treated 4x4x8 posts set in the ground--8 feet apart--100'x200' arena--a brown nylon hot wire on the inside where a bottom board would be--one treated 2x6 rail running above that with a hot smoothe wire running on the inside--and all of this charged by our extra solar charger we have lying around. I figured it would be about $20.00 for an 8' section. Which would bring the grand total to $1,000.

I'll try to sketch and scan it so you can get an idea of what I'm thinking--but basically, one single board running the entire perimeter--with a 2" brown hot tape running underneath where another board could, eventually, be. I think it would work, and if I had to put them out in it, the hotwire would keep them from breaking through the boards trying to get grass.


  1. Spring is being very fickle in making its way here too ... 50 degrees this weekend, and snow showers today! And interesting about the lumber prices - for all the bad news in the economy, I haven't really noticed any lower prices in my travels. Our house needs maintenance work this year, and we're holding out for awhile to just observe what's going to happen with contractors/prices, what have you.

    P.S. Sounds like Beautiful's keeping you on your toes!

  2. Will she back softly with her head down? I watched the groundwork portion of natural horsemanship clinic on Saturday and one thing he said (Steve Rother) was that you can't really flex your horse too much and you can't really back them too much. So, when I got home, of course I had to work with Cody. It took a few tries for his head to be down, sort of tucked and collected looking, but once he got it, he really seems to have it. We'll go forward, move the front or hind end, back some, go forward again, etc. And if he is at all pushy, or disrespectful, back we go, and when I ask him to stop, he does and stands their and chews for a moment before we move on. I think the backing has really helped the level of respect he gives me. Have you tried this with Miss Beautiful?

    And I think I am going to bring at least myself, if not find a way to bring Cody too to the Mustang days in June :)

    That sounds nice on the arena. Have you ever checked into the horseguard fencing? They have a nice wide (inch and a half I think) tape that comes in white, green or brown. How much would it change the price if you did two strands of the hot fence and the board across the top? It might look more solid that way?

    Good luck that spring decides to stay soon, the snow is getting old.

  3. Joanne--Sounds like you're finding the same thing out as we are! It would be nice if prices really do come down on construction materials--and HaY!

    Froglander--Great advice. Beautiful could always use more time backing up. She's pretty good, but I haven't been picky about her head being down and collected, like you just mentioned--which is a good idea--otherwise they're not really being soft about it! I'll tune in more to that.

    That would be GREAT if you came for Mustang Days. It'd be fun to see Cody and you.

    The fencing we're using is the Horse Guard--brown tape--1.5 inches. My husband and I were just discussing the prospect of putting in all the fence posts this year and keeping the brown tape--so we can do more of the acreage--then all we'd have to do is come in next year and add rails. And, we bought the post hold digger (auger) attachment for our tracor--so my husband LOVES digging post holes. That part's easy.

    I don't think it would change the price much at all to do two strands of the hot wire--I can't remember what we paid for it, but it was reasonable. I think that's a good idea. I agree it would make it look more solid--an eye barrier for the horses. I'll try to sketch it out tomorrow.

  4. Linda I'm drooling over that second goose shot...faboooo!

    That'd be great if you could make it to Mustang Days. Guess I'd better break it to City Boy that I'll be out of town that weekend, eh? I'm anxious to see Beautiful again!

  5. Tracey--I look forward to meeting you at Mustang Days. I have a lot of work to do with my girl, but she's pretty sweet.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.