Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Footing installation of the sacrafice/all weather pens

This lovely hot hot sweltering hot weekend we got to the next phase of our all weather sacrifice pens.

Yes, I'm excited about these.  Excited!!!
And, yes, I am glad that Mr. Java's Mom did more work than me on these, I think I would have melted into a useless heap if this project took one more minute.

There was a lot of seat time logged on the tractors.
Epic seat time for me actually. 
I used the other tractor to move the dirt to another area while Mr. Java's mom graded and measured, etc.
I usually watch him, worry and say, "that's not going to work".

First, we box bladed the area.
We had to pull up the top soil, dig down and grade.

Then, I'm in the barn mucking and hear unhappy noises coming from Mr. Java's Mom.

The box blade is bent.  in 6 places.  That one tree root bent the steel.  Oops.
That tree root is not even part of a tree anymore.  It's a little surprise left over from clearing the barn site, that used to be buried... not anymore.

Well, the show must go on, the box blade had more work to do, bent or not.

Mr. Java's Mom scraped and graded, and moved dirt off the area... for what seemed like forever.

Then we cut the geotextile fabric to size and pinned it down.
This fabric will keep the area mud free by not allowing dirt to
come up into the gravel, and not allowing the gravel to go down into the dirt.
We got it from FarmTek.  In a big giant 250 lb roll. 
I remember this because I unloaded it off the freight truck, it was pretty heavy.
I tried to make it look easy as the driver helped.  I'm not known for my strength.

Then, the first layer was put down over the cloth.
This is 3/4 inch process.  There are a lot of names for the same things depending on what part of the country you live in.  It is 3/4 inch stone with sand and smaller stone, the stone and the stuff that comes with in while being processed (I think). 
Anyway, it makes a nice base because it drains well, won't make mud, and gives some grab.  So the horses don't feel like they are walking on marbles, the gravel will grab and set into the process stuff. 

Then, the gravel.  This is 3/8 inch angular stone/gravel.  That means the largest piece is 3/8 of an inch, and angular, meaning is is not the round stuff, but has angles so it does not have too much movement. 

Java is barefoot, all the horses are, but we tested Java on the driveway with the same stone and we love the size.  I get worried about larger making stone bruises, as some places I have boarded had larger angular big gravel and Java found that to be ouchy.  This is cushy.  Java is spoiled, she likes cushy.

It's so hot out.  But we want to make sure it is spread evenly...

The piles are gone, the driveway is clear...

And, the footing is done.  Well, done for now.  We will probably add more stone, but this is 3 inches process and 3 inches stone.  It has great grab, is soft underfoot, and looks good for a horse to enjoy a nice roll.  

Next we will install the fencing.  As you can see, the posts are in, we did those a while ago.
We hope to get the fencing up and gates hung by the weekend.

There will be 3 "pens".  It's shaped like an L.  Two on the long side and one on the leg of the L.
All 3 are the same size, and will be separated by gates, so a horse can use one, two or all three pens opened up depending on what we need.


the7msn said...

I'm so impressed with the way you do things - you do the research and invest the money and time to do it right the first time.

Terry said...

Nice! Too bad about the blade.

Java's Mom said...

Thanks 7MSN!! I am the queen of shortcuts, so Mr. Java's Mom deserves the credit for doing it right. I told him about your comment to give him a pat on the back from you. Thanks! :)

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

They look great!