Yard work doesn’t bother me in general. Weeding, mowing, planting, cleaning stalls. I can find pleasure in it all.
Except raking. I despise raking. Not only is the actual act of raking annoying but then you need to pick up all those piles and figure out what to do with them. Raking is a never ending project. I hates it.
Once the arena was fully torn up, it was time to tackle all those clumps of grass and weeds. They needed removed and this has to be done by hand. With a rake.
No joke, literally 20 hours of hand raking through all the clumped sand to pull out the grass and weeds left me with all of 1/32nd of the total arena done. It looked super nice in the tiny corner I finished. At that rate I might have a workable arena again by next spring. If I’m lucky.
This wasn’t going to work. Sure the footing was looking amazing and I was getting some baller abs from all the raking, shoveling and scooping, but every time I looked up and saw the hundreds of hours still ahead of me I wanted to die a little.
It was time for a plan B: use the front loader of the tractor and just scoop the crud out.
While this method proved to be quick and way less work, it also was removing too much. The entire effort was in retaining as much of the sand footing as possible while still removing the crud and this method was removing everything.
I hopped off the tractor and sighed. Not going to work.
It was on to plan C: use the grooming fork part of the drag to break up the clumps of sand as much as possible in an attempt to lessen the amount of raking.
This proved a good compromise. The rake broke up the major piles and spread them thinner so it was quicker and easier to hand rake through. I started attacking the arena with a new vigor.
Then 10 more hours later I looked up and saw I had completed roughly 1/16th of the arena and the other half I had yet to touch at all was regrowing grass as my pulled up clumps had re rooted. Add in a ton of rain killing off days or weeks at a time where the arena couldn’t be worked and this entire project was seeming a bit daunting.
On to plan D: call in a professional.