What Ring Drag/Harrow Do I Need for 1" of Sand? Thank You in Advance! This is Driving Me Crazy!

Hi Folks,
I have a small (20m x 60m) ring which until recently was bluestone dust. It was always hard and we dragged it with a rock rake.

This thing:
CountyLine Landscape Rake Sub-Compact at Tractor Supply Co.

Recently we got 1" of natural sand spread on top of the bluestone to make it softer. So now, the rock rake digs too deep (i guess) and starts pulling up mounds of sand.

My husband bought a drag mat which smooths baseball diamonds etc. I tried weighing it down with bricks:
Yard Tuff 5 ft. x 3 ft. Drag Mat at Tractor Supply Co.

Nothing seems to work. The rock rake and the smoothing drag (with bricks) both mound up piles of sand as they drag. What is the correct tool to drag a sand ring? The normal chain link type drag/harrow they sell at Tractor Supply?
Which is this:
Concord 6 ft. Drag Harrow at Tractor Supply Co.
My husband thinks this won’t work, but I see everyone using this.

Thank You!!

Use the 6ft drag harrow. 1st time tines down. 2nd time turn it over to smooth.

You may get other more knowledgeable responses, but I’d say that 1” of sand is going to disappear pretty quickly. At our previous farm we had 6” of stone dust rolled and packed with 3” of sand over top. I used a section of chain link fence to drag it especially before a rain, which would help stabilize it and prevent washouts. Even so the sand and stone dust mixed over time but it was the right combo for our environment. And that’s the really important additional variable.


I agree with @frugalannie
1" is going to integrate into the base pretty quick on its own.

My indoor has a 9" base of packed gravel. Excavator took a solid week packing it down.
That was topped with 3" of angular sand - dumped & spread.

I am the only one who rides in there.
In the first 5yrs, gravel worked through to the top. Not a lot, but the occasional stone. Never bothered me or horses.
I don’t have a drag & used to hand rake when a track began to form.

For the last 5yrs a neighbor, who is also my hayguy, has stored loaded wagons in there over Winter.
He drives them in & hauls them out behind a tractor with turf tires or a pickup. Tracks are left, but rideable - sometimes I’ll rake the deepest down.
In Spring he drags it for me using a section of chainlink.

Some people use an old bedspring to drag.

Unless you can add at least 1 more inch of sand, IMHO you are wasting money on a pricey drag.

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I have one of those and used it on my sand and rubber arena until I upgraded to a Drag N Fly. It worked fine! With only 1” of sand I think you’d want to use it tines up so they don’t dig into the bluestone. (I also agree 1” doesn’t seem like enough but you can always add more later.)

This is pretty redneck, but try dragging a tire around to level the sand. Bigger tire is better, dually pickup over a compact car tire. Should not make any sand piles or bring up base stone with the smooth sidewalls. You will have sand filling between the stones as others said, so sand will seem to “disappear” in time.

I use a tractor tire, heavier, covers more surface with our dirt/gravel barnyard surfaces. I use the bigger tire to smooth off our barnyards, looks like I frosted it like a cake! No pulling up the base, fills in hoofprints, any mud dries much faster, smoothed out. Our arena sand is much deeper than yours and we have a leveler/smoother implement for keeping that leveled off.

We have a hole cut thru the tread part of tire. We put a short piece of pulling chain thru hole with a metal bar thru the chain end, making a T inside the tire. All abrasion pulling is on the tire sides, nothing to wear thru with use. You do have to dump dirt out of the tire now and then or it is heavy to roll around by hand.

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For what you have, I agree with this method.

I think you may want more sand eventually, unless you want the bluestone dust to mix with the sand. If that’s the case, then I think you’ll need something that will dig deeper than the TSC harrow.

Possibly using the rock rake and then the harrow would work, though.

We have a base with 3" of sand and add sand about every 4-5 yrs. You don’t want to cut and turn your base up.