Small Sand Ring

Updated June 23, 2011

Information on each of the LTS properties (as compared to buildings – barns, sheds, arenas, etc.) is sorted into these categories:

  • status and early remedial work completed upon arrival in November 2009
  • renovations and/or upgrades completed in 2010
  • work currently underway
  • future work programs and/or aspirations

We welcome any questions or comments on any of these topics. Although this is a BLOG site, we will return to each of these topics on a regular basis to update each of the sub-topics. We will do our best to respond to any questions, comments or concerns as soon as possible.

Pictures showing the renovation of the small sand ring are on Photobucket here:

I note that this page does not show the new fencing that was added to the Small Sand Ring during the summer of 2010. That will show in the new photographs – and we are slowly moving the sand ring perimeter back to the fence line each time it is harrowed.

Water ponding has always been a problem in the small sand ring, as described in the previous posts. In June 2011 (once the major spring storms had stopped!) a trench was dug at the south end of the ring and weeping tile was installed, with a gravel cover and subsequent replacement of the sand. During construction of the weeping tile system it was very clear that the ring had a SOLID BASE OF CLAY that did not allow for the drainage of any of the water that pooled on the surface. This may not completely solve the problem (that would require a complete reconstruction of the ring) but perhaps it will result in a “quicker recovery” of the ring after a major storm event.

Southern Trench and Weeping Tile Installed

The following is from earlier posts about the small sand ring, prior to the above noted updates.

Our Trusty Landscaper Hard at Work!

That site now also includes all the photographs that Lynn Watts took during the initial days and weeks at the new site – so check those out. Any others are welcome as well.

We all appreciate the great work that Shelly has done to “beautify the farm”. From cutting weeds to planting and caring for the flowers.

Status and Remedial Work Upon Arrival in 2009

The small sand ring had a lot of use when the LTS team first showed up in November 2009. The ring was experiencing a lot of flooding from the fall rains and was more or less a “weed infested sand box”. However, it was usable – but the team went to work. The first actions are summarized as follows:

  • Thanks to Shelly Speck-Cato, her “weed whacker” did a quick job on the accumulated weeds around the perimeter of the facility. That made a huge improvement in just a few hours. The weeds were all hauled to the “burn pile” and we all hoped they would not return.
  • The small sand ring always had a pool of water in the south central part of the ring. The base for this ring is some form of colloidal clay, not sand, so it holds the water and turns into a slimy mess when it is wet. Early results were achieved by breaking through the south perimeter to install a “French Drain” that would allow for the water to drain away without washing away all the base material.

There are a number of pictures of these works in the “Small Sand Ring Album”. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of Shelly hard at work on weed duty – but I believe that Lynn has pictures from those early days – calling Lynn for her pictures!! At the time, I was loading the weeds in the truck, never for a moment thinking we should preserve this first day on film – what a mistake!

The Original 2009 “French Drain”, Small Sand Ring

Renovations and Upgrades Completed in 2010

The spring and summer rains of 2010 kept us busy trying to cope with the water in the small sand ring but no significant additional work was completed – until the July storm more or less washed out the November 2009 drainage system. Lynn and Olga spent a lot of time picking up the rocks that arrived after every storm and the LTS “Harrowed Team” did their best to keep the sand ring in a usable condition.

The footing in this sand ring is “not sand” but rather some sort of dirt-clay mixture that is very hydrophilic (attracts water), which is not good. In the alternative a sand mixture is very hydrophobic (repulses water) and that is not good either. As such, our early thoughts were to mix the sand in the main arena and front ring with the clay in the small arena and small sand ring, in hopes of arriving at a suitable condition in all rings. Other pressing issues have never given us the time to test this possible solution.

Work Currently Underway

We have just completed a new cleaning of the small sand ring, removing all the weeds on the perimeter, extracting the rocks (okay they were boulders in some cases), and extending the perimeter of the small sand ring as far as possible. There are new photographs of the revitalized small sand ring in the Photobucket album.

Future Programs / Aspirations

During the next few weeks we will assess the drainage from the site to see if has improved. I suspect that in the future we will have to install sub-surface drains in the south area of the ring that feed to the re-built french drain. That is a big task, as the drains will need to be deep enough that they are not impacted by the harrowing of the arena. Mixing of the sand and arena footings will probably take precedence over that drainage project, as that may solve many of the problems.

Upgrade of Small Sand Ring in September 2010
Small Sand Ring Expanded on All Sides
Boulders Removed from Small Sand Ring, September 2010
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