As you may have gathered, we have gone a little crazy with the projects here at Glenmore. In our defense, this was not a horse property when we bought it and that’s what we really needed, so a lot of these jobs have helped to make it one. We have cleared out overgrown land, built a barn, fenced in pasture and built an arena. The arena is really great, but I have hesitated on putting a fence around it. There are a lot of good reasons for having an open arena, but it is also nice having a fenced in area to ride or work a horse from the ground. The solution, we decided, was to put in a round pen.
Oh great – another project. Although I have a habit of making anything horse related a high priority, I have been able to work the horses just fine without a round pen, so it was low on my list – too many other things I want to get done. Gator, however, had other ideas. Once we decided on a relatively flat place to put it, he started the dirt work like a man obsessed. He spent several weekends scraping and moving dirt, making sure the spot was perfectly level. Around the middle of September, he told me he had gotten a great deal on the round pen that our local co-op was using as a display, so that was his birthday present to me. OK, well that explains the rush since my birthday was just a week away.
Now just to explain a little, this particular round pen is only about 57 feet across. Although we have worked in many round pens that aren’t on level ground, it is a fairly tight circle for a horse to canter, so the more level the ground can be, the better.
However, I was not prepared for what I was going to hear next – we need a retaining wall. Remember one of my previous posts about the sucking vortex? Well here we go again! As he was walking it off and showing me what he had planned, my head began to spin. This wall was going to be almost 100 feet long! Did we really need all of this? Gator calmly explained that if we were going to do it right and have good drainage so that the water wouldn’t puddle in the middle of the pen, this was the only way to go. Before I know it, a huge truck pulled up with six pallets of cement blocks.
Normally, Gator and I work together on big projects like this, but this time things were really busy at my job I and had to work several weekends, so for the most part, he was on his own. With several weekends of interruptions with rain and company coming to visit, Gator finally got the wall finished. I must say, it’s beautiful!
Once the wall was done, it was just a matter of having sand hauled in and getting the round pen delivered and set up. Two months later, I have a first class round pen that is level and won’t get washed out when it rains!
That Gator – he really knows how to win my heart!