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Ugh, hard ground and NO RAIN! :(

Basically a vent.

I board in Upperville, and for some reason that whole area has been a “dead zone“ for rain; all the systems seem to go either to the south or the north of us or stop at the mountains. Argh! We have a mostly sand ring which drains well and is lovely when wet!, but with sand and no rain for weeks and weeks – even dragging doesn’t improve the footing because it’s so dry and hard, and it becomes unstable under the horse’s feet.

(I board at a large breeding/layup/retiree facility, and I’m the only boarder who really rides and competes so ring maintenance is not a priority! It’s never been watered, and is rarely dragged.)

I go on hacks or ride in the turnout fields, but they are bone dry and rockhard, and this is not conducive to doing any conditioning or even circles; the ground is slippery even with grass.

I do a LOT of walking, and won’t jump in our ring when the footing isn’t good – I haul out to someplace local with good footing to do jump schools. There is a lovely facility less than 10 minutes away that has a huge ring with Atwood footing that is dragged and watered daily – I can haul over there but it’s $45 to do a flatwork school, $55 to do a jump school - which adds up! :disappointed:

It’s been this way in past summers when we’ve had droughts – but this is unusually bad – people’s wells are actually drying up in the Middleburg and Upperville area!

Last weekend at Great Meadow a goodly number of the 4* riders scratched because of the hard ground - and who can blame them?? I watch the weather forecasts with great hope, only to have them mislead us again and again about the rain that they “claim” is coming through our area - the water table is particularly low, though in Fairfax (where I live) and points east, there has actually been adequate rain. I have a student going BN at Seneca this weekend - her horse is barefoot and I just suggested her farrier put hoof testers on him at the last trim – luckily he was completely non-reactive; she takes excellent care of him, but she will be taking it easy even at this lower level. Icing and poulticing. I’m expecting some people will scratch regardless, particularly at the higher levels. This hard ground makes horses foot sore and body sore :disappointed_relieved:

I had hip replacement surgery back in May and have been trying to leg my mare up to do a fall starter trial or two, but will have to condition by finding a good hill and repeatedly trotting and cantering up it and walking down.

I never thought I would say this, but we could use a nice hurricane or tropical storm to give us a good, soaking rain!

Not looking for advice, just commiseration from other eventers in this area. It’s so frustrating…


You are heard!
I’m in Unionville, PA. Our ground is hard as well and we don’t have rain in the forcast either. Plus expected to be in the 90’s all next week. I board at an eventing barn with decent footing in our rings though it is much better after some rain. I’m doing a lot of long hacks with hills. I only go BN and have a OTTB so we are fine fitness wise.
Hang in there!!

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Thanks for the solidarity! I’m not religious, but lately I have been :pray::pray: for some damn RAIN!

Ugh :expressionless:


I saw on FB that they are agrivating the tracks so that’s something.


Thank goodness – I was wondering about that!

I was in that same boat until Monday. I have had rain two days! More than in the last two months and the temps have been over 100. I gave up on working the horse. It just wasn’t cooling down at night and no matter how early I got out in the morning it was just too hot. My arena needs dragging desperately. But I have a lot of fiber in the sand mix and it is actually softer when it is dry than when we have a lot of rain.

Other places were getting some rain. We would get the storms less precipitation. I could see it rain to the south of me, to the north and east and west. Only thunder and lightning here. Sunday I could even smell the rain but not a drop here. Considering how dry it is this moisture won’t last long but I will take what I can get. The ground was actually cracking here and it would have been like riding on concrete.

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It has been absolutely wretched! I’ve been all over Fauquier, Warren, Clarke, Loudoun, and even Fairfax this summer for farm calls and I haven’t seen it this dry so early (beginning of August at least). Fields absolutely parched, folks putting round bales already. Everything evaporates before it gets to us. Doesn’t look good for the next few weeks either.



I feel your pain, my barn is also in a dead zone, you go out the gate, drive literally 5 minutes and it will be raining. It’s exhausting scanning the weather reports and continually being disappointed.

Oh but in winter, we get about 8 months of rain in 3 months – it never stops raining and then it’s all mud and the rings are closed.

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Yeah, it’s really bad. All the way up into PA. The creeks have all dried up.
Hay is going to be rough this winter. Most have only gotten one cutting the whole year.

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we had drought 2021 - ground was bone dry 8’ down, 2022 we were flooded for months - I could canoe across my pasture. I think mother nature is messing with us. An indoor arena would be awfully nice but not in my budget sigh


Smack dab in the middle of the country here. Rain goes north or south but not us. We have had a bit more rain July/Aug but a bone dry spring . I have an OTTB who is on free choice alfalfa and I’m watching prices climb. Thankfully my new girl I’m eventing is green and we are trotting/light cantering the CC course but I HATE hard dry courses as they are slippery as snot.

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It looks like they were out yesterday or this morning working on it.
(They also really need volunteers if anyone has time!)

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We are dry as dry can be. I have had some time off and I have been rearranging the house. I have thrown a lot of stuff out. We bought a couch off a friend and were moving furniture.

I said we, however I don’t seem to have had any help. Hubby is on Holiday. It was hubby’s idea to create a DVD movie room. I am still working and he hasn’t lifted a finger and only done what he wants to do, which includes horses and cars.

So yesterday I had the epiphany to move the furniture and stuff outside. He did help me by bringing the couch in and going to get tarps because of course it rained!

I managed to get everything back inside and after dark, the rain was real. It will have all soaked in. Hopefully we get a bit more to back it up.


Yes. My clay pasture hill got so slippery that I couldn’t get the tractor up it. The ground was hard as a rock and the back wheels kept spinning. I would have to back all the way down and put the thing in 4wd to get up. I never have slipped on DRY ground before.


Southern Ontario (an hour north of Toronto) has had the wettest summer that I can recall.

We have mud in the paddocks and the grass growing like crazy.

Normally I mow the lawn maybe once in each of July and August, this summer it has had to be done weekly. I have not watered outdoor plants, flowers, other than a couple potted tomato plants, since June.

Please, take some of our rain.

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Same, my ancient lilacs have some sort of mildew from never drying out and have dropped 3/4 of their leaves. I keep dragging the arena but it’s sprouting weeds because it never gets dry so I am hand pulling them. We got a great first cutting but it hasn’t been dry enough to risk it taking the equipment out for second.

It hasn’t been dry enough to scrape the ground in front of the run-in sheds literally all summer so it’s a swamp. I was going to install some of those grids and geotextile but if I can’t get the top layer off what’s the point.


We usually have to mow weekly for spring summer and fall this year we’ve mowed literally two times the entire year. The grass is dead and crunchy. The ground is cement hard. Farmers got less than half of their normal 1st cutting of hay and there’s no 2nd or 3rd cutting coming. My barn just rightfully added a hay surcharge they’ve been feeding round bales since the beginning of July. My goats and pony at home are going through 1000lbs of hay a month which is actually a bit more than winter because they’ll usually graze the dead winter grass some. Wells in our county are going dry and they just put out a statement asking everyone to conserve water. We haven’t had rain in weeks and there’s absolutely none on the 10 day forecast. It’s honestly a bit scary.


You lot can have our rain in Massachusetts. It’s been so wet here we only processed second cut last weekend. Our paddocks that are normally dried out around June have been so wet we have frogs breeding in our pasture. There’s been one large puddle that has existed at the gate since March. I’m over it! (And hope y’all get some much needed moisture soon.)

We’ve had several events in my area cancel because of weather related issues; too much mud or bad footing.

A total 180 from last year, which was so dry the paddocks were dusty. I remember last year I was watering my outdoor plants every weekend with cached rain water - sometimes a few times a week. I ran out of rain water in short order and was watering with the hose. This year I haven’t even busted the hose out yet and it’s looking like I won’t need to.

Like @JenJ this is the wettest summer in memory for me. I’m seeing flowers and various vegetation I’ve never seen. Our lawn mower has been nonstop busy.

On the plus side it’s been so wet the corner of our property which is normally teeming with poison ivy, has been overtaken by garlic mustard. I’m not sure which is worse.

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check North Dakota, the ranch we have bought several horses from produces alfalfa current price for large square bales is $7.50 (was $7) Same hay bought here is now $28.95 (down from $35)