Hey everyone! Thank you in advance for your advice!
Here is the situation: The barn I board at has riders of several disciplines. We have dressage riders, pleasure riders, and Hunter/Jumper riders. It is a fairly large arena and we have a large segment of the arena measured out for a dressage arena with letters set up. The other half of the arena has six jumps. The pleasure riders typically stay on the rail and for years we have all cohabitated and maintained the arena by sprinklers, dragging, and once in a while having it box bladed…we live in Florida so the biggest struggle is keeping it watered enough. It is a beach sand dirt mix that has a tendency to get deep. We will usually move the standards around and change the jump course once a month. We now have someone that is working at the barn (who is a dressage rider and does not like jumping) that insists in order for the arena to be maintained, anyone who wants to jump needs to set their jumps up before riding and pull the jumps down when they are done riding. We do not have a proper jump storage area and our wooden wing standards, jumpgate fillers, and 12 ft long wooden poles are pretty heavy to carry. Keeping in mind that in order to set up a small course safely, distances need to be measured out and he jumps should be spread out enough for appropriate space for turning–it can easily take 45 minutes to an hour to set up a jump course. After riding for an hour, it would then take another 30 to 45 minutes to pull all the jumps down and move them back out of the arena. Her husband claims that’s all barns insist that this is the way things are done… I have been riding since I was 8 and I’m now 30 and have never once seen a barn that requires this to be done by it’s boarders. At most barns that I have been to, management of the facility will clear the jump ring every once in awhile to level it out but typically just drags the arena several times a week or every day to maintain the arena. I have even suggested to her that we should compromise and leave the standards in place and when the arena is going to be drug, we can lean the poles up against the standards so we can drag in between the standards. I also said we can clear the jumps out of the arena once a month. She is insisting that none of this will be working and that the jumps must be put up and taken down in the same day and says that “horses don’t jump every day anyway” which yes, that is correct… We flatwork 4 or 5 days out of the week and jump 2 to 3 days a week. It is not good for any humans back to be carrying around 50 pound standardso onebyone and other heavy things every time they would like to jump. I have been boarding at this facility for 8 years now and this is the first time that this crazy suggestion has been brought up. This suggestion is from someone who has no experience running or managing a barn.
Please provide some insight on what you do to manage a multiple discipline arena and keep it well-maintained. Do any farms that you know of put jumps up and take them down every day? And if so, are paying boarders responsible for that or is the farm management responsible for that? I am at a standstill here. any suggestions for compromise would also be welcomed.