My goal is to have the horses home May 1st. FOUR WEEKS.
I still need to put up fencing and at the very least choose a location for our barn build.
For the first time since we bought our home we haven’t had snow on the ground. The rains Wednesday into Thursday washed it all away once and for all. For the first time this year I was able to put on my rain-boots and take a walk to the backyard and take a look at how spring’s treating us.
It’s not pretty.
My vision for lush green paddocks seems squelched at the moment. Zac and I went out to plan our fencing. We placed sticks in the ground where the corners are all going. The good news is that we made a lot of progress there! Instead of a simple square paddock we managed to find a fun woodsy area that might make good paddock space; increasing the paddock size, adding natural shade, and adding something “unique” for the horses to explore (and find ticks! :-/). It does require some labor as a lot of the path needs to be cleared of the shrubbery. The woods are quite dense.
When we began looking for a good spot for the barn the wind came gusting out of my sails. As I walked the grounds I could feel the squishy. With one step across the grass my feet were engulfed in a pool of water.
Our backyard is WET.
Not just “it’s springtime” wet. We were making tracks on our two feet, I can’t even imagine what 4 hooves carrying 10x our weight is going to do to this area if we don’t address it promptly.
No lie, I HEARD the water draining/running off in the ground. YOU COULD HEAR IT.
Our local Ace Hardware has been no help, not responding to messages for days and closed at 3:00PM. Our thoughts are to get started on the french drains now by renting a trencher.
Here I am feeling defeated and stressed out that I can’t do anything.
But wait a minute….
I have shovels and I’ve been complaining about my weight and how I need to workout.
Zac and I set out to digging. We found the soil to be very rocky, often finding what he refers to as “New England Potatoes.” We weren’t able to get the full 18-24″ deep but this helped get our stress out. We were amazed by the immediate gratification.
Once we made it to the wet area the water began to really flow. The wet area is exactly that; Wet and heavy. As we pulled the sod layer off it got heavier and heavier and came up with a big slurrrrrrpp.
We rejoiced when the runoff ran all the way to the creek/stream/swale.
If you’re unfamiliar with the french drain idea, we are digging a trench to help ground water drain better. It needs finishing but we began losing both light and steam after 2.5 hours of intense work. The trench will need to be about 18″ deep and we will lay it with perforated tubing, some stone, and porous fabric to reduce sediment backup. The trench will be covered back up and the sod (grass chunks to the left of the trench) will be replaced. Our greatest concern here is choosing the right tubing to withstand horses but it’s been done before so I have confidence this can work. Shown below is one trench but we intend to put in at least three in parallel each just over 100′ long.
We worked at this trench for 2.5 hours and it’s far from being finished. We decided to leave it for the night and return in the morning to see if perhaps the ground looks better after 12 hours of better flow. It’s amazing because you can see the saturated ground next to the dry ground, the color difference is bizzare. I’ll fill you in when I can!
I’m still very concerned about getting everything done in time. With hard work and maybe some good friends I’m sure we can pull it off, but you know me….always worrying and obsessing.