Beka from The Owls Approve asks: Let’s continue pretending that horse poop magically transforms into money instead of the other way. So money doesn’t matter. If you could buy anything for your horse, what would you buy?
Assuming I’d already bought professional fitted, gorgeously snobbish British saddles for everybody, I think the thing they would enjoy most would be a better arena. They don’t much care what they wear as long as it doesn’t hurt them, and they’re already up to their eyeballs in grass, so the one thing that does seem to bother them is the arena.
Mine has served me extremely well, don’t get me wrong, and we’ve achieved a lot there that we couldn’t have if it didn’t exist. Whenever we do some work on it and render it temporarily unusable, I sorely miss it. But it is on a bit of a slope and it doesn’t have any footing – theoretically it’s grass, but I’ve worn so many different tracks in it, on so many different places, that most if it is just rock hard. This is unkind to their joints and makes life very hard when trying to teach a baby horse to canter round and round without falling on his nose. And something has dug a rather large hole right on the centreline (I presume it was Magic, who can get a bit overexcited when preparing a spot to roll in).
So I would build the most magnificent arena you had ever seen; 100m x 100m with one of those unbearably fancy surfaces that look like golden sand and are nice to fall on (always a plus). With one section of it marked out in a full-size dressage arena complete with judges’ box so that at least you’re prepared for it when they spook at C at shows. It should have a beautiful high roof on it, so high that it allows the breeze through in summer, and walls that can be pulled down kind of like garage doors in winter (I’m not restricting myself to the realms of possibility, okay?). And a huge selection of jumps of all colours and shapes, including a water tray and a liverpool and a wall…
Go big or go home, eh?
4 thoughts on “TOABH: Buy all the Things!”
Ooh I wish I’d thought to write about an absurdly large arena with professional excellent footing and absolutely zero scary corners for my ponies… haha
This post sounds just like me! The only additional things I might add is insulation and heat because I am in northern Montana and winter time means less riding time! I keep telling myself each year, maybe I can build a building to ride in this year….I always disappoint myself! I did build an Arena in a DAY http://equineenthusiasm.com/arena-day/ finally last year because I couldn’t stand not having a place to ride any longer! This summer I added a couple of truckloads of that nice sand you are talking about, but now my arena needs some repairs and TLC so I have my work cut out for me this spring! I really really loved your article and I love your blog!
I’m amazed by your arena – it looks wonderful! We also have tons (literally, as in, a giant Mount Everest) of manure lying around so maybe that’s something I could try in the absence of fancypants all-weather Clopf surfaces…
It really worked pretty well! If you can add some shavings (I just added stall shavings, shavings out of the horse trailer, etc) into it it also helps your footing become better with time! Make sure that the manure you use is pretty well composted so that it is nice and fluffy and will be less likely to get sloppy when it gets wet!