My vote would be for a tractor with bucket and back blade.`Skid Loaders while fun to operate can really take a toll on your lawn if not careful. I think someone with no experience would be better off with the tractor, it is not as large as learning curve.
Heck buy an old tractor of CL, use it all summer then sell it if you no longer have a need for it. You should be able to pick one up for 3 or 4 grand. In this economy I have even seen pretty decent skid loaders on CL for around 6k
Leah Frances; I don't think clasact meant that to be a sexist jab, just a spousal jab.
After all it did sound like she did have a "little" mishap.