Archive for the ‘Arena’ Category

And the view out our front door is this……….


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I am hoping to connect with Cherry Hill about the definition of the basic keeping of horses.  I live in Massachusetts and recently purchased a 12+ acre parcel for the purpose of building a barn and both indoor and outdoor riding rings.  We are living on the property.  I have obtained my Animal Keeping Permit and Building Permit from the Town.

One of the abutters in not pleased with the prospect of my project and is objecting through various means.  I am trying to connect with experts in the care and keeping of horses to help confirm that horses are “kept” in stables/barns and paddocks (turnout) and the indoor riding ring is not where horses are “kept”.

I greatly appreciate your time and consideration.

Regards, Lisa

Hi Lisa,

The definition of horsekeeping, I’m afraid, has about as many definitions as there are horsekeepers ! It can range from a bare bones dirt lot to deluxe accommodations and hand-on care. Sadly some poor horsekeeers do make a bad impression on non-horse people and it is no wonder why problems arise.

Responsible, conscientous, mindful horsekeeping does indeed include barns, pens, paddocks, turnout areas and daily care. However, many times when time and money constraints arise, horsekeepers cut corners and those shortcuts can result in unsightly changes to the property and possible sanitation and health issues for neighbors.

In terms of a legal definition, I’ve been contacted over the years by various townships, cities, and counties as they try to establish legal parameters for keeping horses. Number of horses per acre, types of fencing, the distance buildings and horses must be from adjacent properties, fugitive dust that is churned up in paddocks and outdoor arenas and much much more.

Each locale has its own laws and wording so it would be best for you to work your appeal within the wording of your specific laws. Stating things appropriately for Larimer County Colorado for example might be inappropriate for your location and  might cause an unintended issue to arise. 

If you care to write more specifics, please feel free. In the meantime, be sure to use my book Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage as a reference guide. And browse the articles on my website horsekeeping.com

Best of luck,


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We’ve had more rain than usual this year which has made the maintenance of our outdoor arena interesting.

We live at approximately 7000 feet in a semi-arid climate (15 inches of rain per year) so dust is our usual problem.

But this year with the rain (and hail !) packing down the footing, it seems like a non-stop job to keep it fluffed up !

After a number of rain days in a row, the arena had turned into a hard pan, felt like concrete when you walked across it. I kept waiting for that perfect time when we got just enough moisture to soak into the decomposed granite soil to wet it without it being too soggy.

If I time it right, I can get by with using just the rotary harrow but if things get out of hand, I have to call on Mr. Big Disc to work the hard surface, but sometimes a disc will work the footing TOO deep.

So after 0.27 inches of rain last night, I hopped on Ruby (my Massey) and raised the bucket so I would clear the arena rails once I got to rockin’ and a rollin’. Then I drove very slow on the initial pass so the harrow would really dig in.

With each subsequent pass, I kicked Ruby up a notch and soon was smoothing perfect footing.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of an arena harrowing.

Have a great ride.

Equipping Your Horse Farm by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh

Equipping Your Horse Farm by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh

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