April 20 - our annual Summer Horse/Pony Camp issue
Arena Maintenance Is A Drag
Maintaining arena footing can be quite a chore, especially if you do not have the right equipment. Keeping the footing soft and level is essential for both the horses’ health and the fairness of the competition. Maintenance of the home arena is just as important as maintenance of the commercial arena, since your horse spends more time working there.
Fortunately, there is a new, quality-built, affordable arena drag made right here in the mid-south. MetalFab, LLC in Jackson, Tennessee is manufacturing the Drag Queen Arena Drag. Randy Prince, manager and partner at MetalFab, is an experienced horseman who saw a need for an arena drag that would do a superior job, would hold up under constant use, and be considerably less expensive than other arena drags on the market. He also wanted it to be easy to use and be able to do the same job as other drags using a lower horse power tractor. Before he ever set welder to metal, he had a design in mind, and once he built the design into reality, the Drag Queen seemed to meet all of his requirements. And, appreciating the purveyor of good puns, we think the name is easily remembered!
There are two basic types of arena drags on the market: spring tooth harrow type and a ripper tooth type. The disadvantage of the spring tooth harrow type is that it is hard to get the depth adjustment correct. They won’t cut hard ground and they move too much footing on soft ground. A ripper tooth type drag cuts deep, sometimes moving too much dirt and, thus, it requires a high horsepower tractor.
Randy designed the Drag Queen to solve both of these problems. The Drag Queen’s design has five sections: (1) movable, adjustable ripper shanks in the front that will cut ground 4.5 inches and “up to 10 inches” deep. (2) A section that is a row of cultivator points that will cut 5 inches deep; (3) a harrow section behind that, to break up any large clods, with teeth that are evenly spaced to keep the worked up dirt level without ridges. (4) A chopper wheel at the rear of the drag (resembling a paddle wheel on a boat) is used to break up the remainder of dirt clods, (5) followed by a leveling bar. For longevity, the finish on every part of the Drag Queen is powder coated.
The leveling bar is particularly good for dragging barrel racing patterns because it keeps the footing level and smooth. The chopper wheel rotates on ball bearing pillow blocks. The depth is controlled by a single hydraulic cylinder which raises and lowers the rear section of the drag. The three point hitch is set to float so the chopper wheel sets the depth for the ripper teeth, which can also be moved back from ground contact in case they are not needed. All of this can be done with as small as a 50 horse power tractor for the 8 foot model, which is currently priced at about $3600. Randy said that he will custom make a larger model if desired.
The Drag Queen Arena Drag is not the only thing that MetalFab makes for horse owners. They custom fabricate stalls and stall fronts, mezzanines, stairways, structural columns and beams, gates, pipe fencing, truck accessories and just about anything you can think of that can be welded and fabricated.
MetalFab is located at 87 Miller Avenue in Jackson, Tennessee. For more information, call Randy at 731-255-7516. Visit their website http://www.metalfabllc.com/and find them on Instagram: TheDragQueenArenaDrag, and Facebook: The Drag Queen Arena Drag.
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