Welcome, Wet Coast Fall
We had a bit of an endless summer this year, for which I'm very grateful. The unprecedented dry spell until well into last week meant were able to get so much done on the property. I was able to plant grass over all the excavated areas last week and get a good start on new pasture and hedging for next year. I was even staining fences a couple of days ago!
|Sophie having a good roll in the sun last week|
When the forecast finally changed, it really changed - we went straight from sunny t-shirt weather to 'atmospheric rivers' and nothing but rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future.
It's crazy to think last week my work projects were mostly composed of drought mitigation efforts ( the regional area I work for came within days of turning on the taps and having no water). This week I am getting a head start on the flooding and road closure data I'm thinking we'll need soon enough.
On the pony front, the sudden and dramatic weather change means 7am and 7pm are both equally dark and dreary times to feed, and there are days where I don't see them in the daylight anymore. I'm back to researching outdoor lighting for the arena and having second thoughts whether solar will do the trick. My solar fence charger hasn't been working the last couple of days - I guess it needs more daylight to operate with than we've been getting.
|In the meantime - This thing has been a lifesaver! It powers my barn lights for about 20 hours and then it recharges itself in about an hour plugged in at home. It also connects to my phone so in theory once I have wifi there I could turn lights off and on from home.|
This weather is putting our new drainage and barn set up to the test, and fingers crossed, we are mostly winning. While I trusted the plan, I couldn't help but be nervous to see what the reality would be once the rain came! It wasn't so long ago there used to be water running through the barn in a big storm. There are a couple of minor gutter fixes needed at the barn, and the shared paddock is going to need more sand added eventually. Other than that, it's working as expected. Yay!
I feel more than a little guilty that B doesn't have a barn space at night, but when I show up in the morning she's been warm and dry under the covered area in front. I leave the stall door open for her in the day, so I'm hopeful she's going inside then to have a proper break from the weather (plus I leave Sophie's leftover dinner in there to tempt her so I'm sure she's there long enough to clean up that, at least.)
The one really excellent thing all this water is good for is getting the arena base to compact. I tried riding on it a while ago and it basically had zero traction at anything over a walk. It was a weird feeling. B probably felt like she was in one of these things:
I think we both quickly decided riding in it before it compacted wasn't a good idea (then I had to spend an hour harrowing and leveling to hide the evidence of my impatience). Hoping it firms up a bit this week and I can start sneaking a few quick after work rides in. I do have a line on an industrial compactor the road crews use, but I'd like to wait and see how it wants to settle before I do that.
We did go look at sand for the footing (and rocks for another project you'll be hearing more about - I feel like I am becoming a semi-expert on our local quarries) this past weekend. It turns out that only one of our local sand products is suited to riding arena footing, so that made the choice easy. I've ruled out adding wood fibre (dusty, decomposes) or rubber or manufactured fibre (responsibly containing it to the arena, then properly disposing of it after it's life span makes me nervous). I'm leaning towards using the very minimum amount of sand for now and then going from there as far as adding other (likely sand or pea gravel like) things.