Monday, July 19, 2010

the pens

The pens went through a few final stages.

This is the total list, the top stuff you already know:
Excavate down.
Remove the dirt.
Lay down underliner/geotextile as farmtek calls is "non woven pond underliner".
3 inches process (gravel with sand).
3 inches gravel.

THEN, in Ms. Java's pen - mats with holes. 
She is the destroyer of all footing.
She got mats, then more gravel.

Actaully, all the pens got more gravel.

We got rain today, great excuse to use the pens while the grass paddocks dry out.  Since it's 80* and sunny, that won't take long.

The layout again is like an L.  each is 12x24.  If we want to open a pen larger without all 3 out, we can just open an gate and give that horse more room:

Mr. Java's Mom laying the mats for the Java - the footing destroyer:

Mats with holes, from Farm Tek, supposed to be used like this.
They were in one of the dirt lots, but this is a better use for them, or at least we think so.
Well, now that they are in the pens, we are sure, sure that we don't want to move them again that is...

He's pretty good at things like this, so nice and straight, flat and tidy.
Yes, he is putting the cut offs of the zip ties in an empty SMZ bottle.

It was hot, Mackie came out out to supervise and needed to hydrate. 
Horse paddock water is his favorite:

All the gates open:

This is the size of the gravel:

Ah, nice pens:

Tidy, ready to go:

We love Tarter gates.

This is the pen with the mats underneath:

This photo is distorted for some reason, but you get the idea:

At last, project complete.  We're ready for precipitation and next spring!

Mid morning we got a dumping of rain, the storm clouds cleared, the paddocks are drying out, it's time to go out again kids!

Java and Sugar testing them out.  They did not bake in the sun, it comes around in the afternoon.

Each horse rolled, tucked into their hay, and last I looked, they were all in the shade napping. 
Happy horses -  That makes it all worth it.
This will give the grass time to dryout, and they can go back to mowing tomorrow:

Even Stretch likes the pens.  He gets the end spot, because he has to have his own space.
And his favorite posession, his hay bag.


Terry said...

They look great!

Sharon said...

Those grids look like what we're looking for, but I went to Farm Tek's site and can't find them. Can you tell me a bit more about exactly what they're called or what the item number is? Any problems with them so far??

Java's Mom said...

Hi Sharon!

They are the "heavy duty rubber ring mat". And well... we honestly are not impressed with them.

We first laid them in one of our dirt lots... some got holes in them from the horses hooves (they are barefoot, so I can't blame shoes). We figured we laid them down wrong, or that they had to go on very level land tamped down, etc.

So, we cleaned them up (the dirt got stuck in the holes and we had to poke the holes out by hand, which is a mindnumbing experience I hope to never repeat) and laid them in the pens.

The same thing is happening... the mats are getting tears in them where the horses step and are not laying flat.

I think a more rigid mat is needed for something like this, and that would be hoof grid... but I've never tried that product because the farm tek mat was supposed to be OK for applications like this. And, now I would be hesitant to buy mats like this again.

We do have similar mats in our wash stall, and they work fine there (but they are not made by FarmTek, we bought those at TSC).

Does that help, do you have move questions? Oh, and the pens without the mats are doing great without the mats.