Vacation Means Getting Stuff Done

Horse people don’t get to take nice tropical vacations.  No.

Horse people get to stay home and work around the house doing things they should have been doing all along but never have time to.

Like riding.


and improvements.

All this week I have been on vacation.  One of my highlights is the work getting done on the paddock.

As you might recall….

We have a major clay & mud problem.


So bad the horses would sink down to their fetlocks when around the barn area.

To get through the winter season I threw down wasted hay in the stall to keep them dry and cozy.  It worked but it results in a huge headache later on.


I very much do NOT want our second winter to result in this way.

During better weather, the boys lived up on the hill so they could stay dry.  They came down to get out of the bad weather but that’s about it.


Last year we busted our butts and got a lot done.

We cleared land.


We installed french drains.

We installed fencing.

We built a barn.

We housed horses and made my dreams come true.

This year I just didn’t want to work so hard.

We hired someone.

I met Dusty, owner of Northeast Tree and Lawn, who gave me a few recommendations on what we should do to rectify the excessive mud situation.  As someone who has horses himself, I knew he understood what we were up against.

We then had one of the wettest springs I’ve ever seen and Dusty was working double-time to get all of his customers’ needs taken care of.  We finally scheduled some time in August to do the work.

For once it was SO nice to not have to worry about major projects!  I was happy to pay to get this done and Dusty was very reasonable and fair with me.


The first day Dusty came to our home with his Bobcat and removed the topsoil.  He moved it down to a low wet spot at the bottom of our other paddock.  Hopefully, this will help with our stream overflowing.

The following day he came with road fabric and two loads (45 tons) of stone.  He and one of his guys laid the fabric and followed it up with the stone….crusher run.


The total area is about 250 sq feet….50′ x 50′ around the barn.  This will give the boys a nice dry spot to stand even in inclement weather.  It also serves to give me a better spot for my tack room.  It doesn’t make much sense to put mud boots on just to get to the tack room.

When the stone was laid and leveled it was tamped down.


The result?


As you can see Bardi knows when the camera comes out and positions himself accordingly.

I am so happy and so thankful that we found Dusty and Northeast Tree and Lawn.  So happy that I let the pros handle it instead of embarking on a tedious DIY project I knew nothing about.r

It was also super helpful and amazing that Dusty knows about horses and it was clear he understood and cared about the project.  Everything was left in BETTER condition than when he arrived.  We needed to prune a tree to make clearance for the dump truck.  He did that.  He not only relocated the topsoil to our wet lowland but he also smoothed it out in hopes to improve the land there.  We have a culvert to cross in order to reach the paddocks.  Over time the land has begun to erode away and make the culvert more pronounced.  Dusty even left that in better condition by leaving some dirt and stone to level it.

A couple days later Tractor Supply put stall mats on sale for their Labor Day sale so I grabbed a few of those to make the renovation complete.  The horses will be thrilled!

I am also very eager to move everything into the tack room as originally intended!

While Dusty was busy on the Bobcat I had some time to leisurely finish my portable corral panels (The Blade Chronicles: Happy 4th and Updates).

From earlier, you may remember that these corral panels typically cost $300-800 which is utterly absurd.

I now can say that I have 5 12’x12′ portable corral stall kits.  They are far from perfect but I’ve proven that it can be done.  If I ever need to make more I will certainly be using 1.5″ PVC (but these I got on Facebook for $60 so prototype it is!) to ensure a more sturdy frame.



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