I’m not looking for experts to suggest what I did wrong or critique, just some ideas from people who ran into the same problem.*
I recently put sand down to make an outdoor ring and am looking for some suggestions. I had an area of land that was in corn for several years beforehand. It is really good soil with high OM and somewhat high clay content. I leveled and packed it to create a ‘base’ and put 2" of arena sand on top. Before the sand was added, it was hard as concrete and drained really well, so I thought I wouldn’t have too much of a problem. However when I added sand, the clay underneath became very very slippery and is unsafe to ride on. When doing any type of sideways motion, their feet will slip out beneath the sand and skid on the clay. I think the sand ‘insulates’ the base in a way and traps moisture in the clay, as it is still rock hard where there is no sand in the same area. Overall the area drains amazingly well and there are no puddles, wet spots or obvious drainage issues (we just had 2 weeks of straight rain and it looks beautiful still).
The options I’m deciding between are a) pulling the sand back and adding stone dust to increase structure and stability as a sub-base. b) people have suggested adding a few tile drains underneath might be enough to pull the moisture out of the clay and decrease the slipperiness. c) if there’s something else someone would recommend.
I would like to do it as efficiently as possible (would like to keep a low budget but also want something safe. We have our own skidsteers, tractors, tillage equipment, etc so labour/rentals isn’t an added cost)
Located in Ontario