As we move into 2014, have you created goals for your riding? Perhaps you want to try a new discipline or compete in a higher division. Regardless of your goals, remodeling your farm for better riding facilities will make meeting them easier. Here are some areas you might consider to improve your farm’s riding facilities.
Provide Drainage for Your Ring
Poor drainage can drastically reduce the amount of usage you can get from your riding ring, but it can also be remedied fairly easily. Evaluate your ring to make sure that it is even, and drag the ring regularly to prevent large ruts or tracks from forming.
If possible, slope the ground surrounding the ring downward, drawing water away from the ring’s surface. If you have particular areas that are low-lying and frequently wet, you can install lengths of PVC pipe just beneath the ground’s surface. Slant the pipes down and away from the ring to direct the water away.
Rebuild Your Riding Ring
Did you know that even the best riding ring needs regular maintenance and new footing? How long has it been since your ring was treated? Take a careful look at your riding ring – would it benefit from additional footing? If your ring is currently sand, you might consider adding in shredded rubber to create a more forgiving surface for riding.
In some cases, rings need to be rebuilt. If the base of your ring has been compromised or if drainage is a serious issue, your ring may benefit from being professionally rebuilt. While rebuilding your ring can be a significant expense, doing so will be a worthwhile investment. Proper footing can help to minimize injuries to your horses and may help to keep a horse with arthritis or previous injuries more comfortable during workouts.
Improve Your Fencing
As you focus on your riding rings, now can be the perfect time to make any necessary changes to the farm fencing which encircles those rings. You will want any fencing on your property to be safe and highly visible, and nowhere is that more important than in the fencing that surrounds your riding rings. Be sure that the fencing you use is as safe as possible for both horse and rider; remember that a rider could collide with the fence during a fall, so avoid using electric fencing of any kind. If your ring shares a fence line with an electric fence, put up a solid line of fencing between the ring and the electric line.
If possible, add mirrors to your riding ring to maximize your productivity during solo rides. Make sure to position them so that they are out of range of a stray kick, and use only safety glass or a plastic shield to prevent breaking or shattering.
You put a lot of effort into your rides; remodeling your farm with your riding in mind can make your rides both more pleasant and more productive.