Saturday, July 3, 2010

Small Dry Lot / Sacrafice Paddock Project Starting Today

3 horses.
4 grass paddocks.
2 "sacrifice" paddocks which are dirt/dry lots.
And the latest project...
3 little all weather dry lots.

The little dry lots will be used for days when I need the horses (or one or two, or whatever configuration) near the barn.  Or, if the conditions elsewhere are too wet.
This also will be great for a horse who needs limited space turnout if possibly recovering form a veterinary issue.

The footing will be gravel.
No mud, drains well, nice to roll in, and hoof friendly.
Terry at Moondance Ranch in Colorado helped me feel confident with the choice of gravel.
Gravel is not used much for dry lots in Connecticut.  CT people seem to think horses should be on sand for dry lots.  Well... gravel gives better drainage and no risk of sand colic... so Terry and I corresponded and she gave a good review of gravel... so we ordered it.

There is a fabulous place not more than two miles from the house that sells wonderful materials.

So I headed on down to the quarry and place the order (their phone was not working). 
Mr. Java's Mom gave me exact instructions on what to order.

First batch... oops.  That's not gravel... well, there is gravel in it, it is gravel and washed sand. 
Well... it's here now, we'll have to make it work.

Here comes the second batch. 

 One batch of small hoof friendly gravel. 
One batch of gravel plus sand.
We'll make it work.  You will see.

This is the area that will be transformed.
This photo seems to accentuate the fact that neighbor Jim cut down almost all the trees on his property... except from those two...  maybe some day they will look normal.  :)
Those are our spruce trees, they are growing well.  I like that.

More of the area we will be working on:

So, we will scrape off the topsoil in the little pens area, lay down geotextile cloth and spread this new material. 
The weather forecast is hot hot hot.  Bummer.
I'll take pictures for you.


SoraSoul said...

That is SOOO cool, I wish so much that I could do this with our winter pens/drylots. Lucky Java =D

Terry said...

Oh my goodness!!! Now I really, really, really hope gravel works as good for you as it has for us! Keep us posted, dear Java's Mom!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I wonder why it is common to prefer sand over gravel for a sacrifice area? As we plan out our sacrifice areas at our new farm it is a given that they will be gravel. It drains well, the horses love to roll in the gravel areas we have now, and as you said no sand colic issues. I think you made a good choice.