View Full Version : I've had it with mud! Need Geotextile fabric.

Altamont Sport Horses
Jan. 4, 2009, 11:56 AM
I swear it's been raining here for at least a month. We are a huge mucky mess and slopping around in this trying not to fall is hurting my back. I purchased corral panels so I could put up seven 12'x12' corrals for the larger herd and feed them separately. The racing around and competition for feed (all the same stuff) has gotten ridiculous and somebody is going to get hurt. It wears my patience and I just wanted to scream this morning.

Anyway, I want to do this right the first time. I need to put down some geotextile fabric and then some crushed limestone so we won't have a mud problem in the area of the feed corrals. I will run it all the way down the fenceline in order to take care of the area in front of the gates as well. I have emailed the folks at the Cow Carpet place twice with no response. For those of you who have used geotextile fabric where did you buy it and can you recommend purchasing it there? Best price?

I do think I need for the ground to dry before moving forward with this project. It stopped raining for 2 days and I started to think we might be home free but then it started right back up again.

Any special tips that you would pass along?

Jan. 4, 2009, 12:03 PM
Remove any mud that is present before laying down your base and pipe your gutters. If there is anything you can do to the grade to get water to run away from your high traffic areas is going to help.

Altamont Sport Horses
Jan. 4, 2009, 10:59 PM

Jan. 5, 2009, 02:32 PM
I cant really help you as far as suggestions but call any local Excavating and or Landscaping business and ask them where they get there Geo- Fabric from. I know we get ours from ACF Enviromental, but it seems per there website they dont serve your area.

Jan. 5, 2009, 04:01 PM


It ain't cheap, but it sure does work. PM if you need more info.

Jan. 5, 2009, 04:09 PM
I've been researching the same thing for my 2009 farm improvment project. Came across this helpful post at another board today:


(Q) Any suggestions for "mud management?" I was thinking of putting some gravel down in key areas if I can get a truck back there safely, but that will only help in a few areas."

(A) This is what I have done here, in TN another name for the MUD state! Geo Textile fabric is the key. You can get it here from the Co-ops and Country extensions usually know what you need. It is used in road construction. Not the yard stuff you get at building supply places that is not thick/strong enough. If you dig out your mud areas put down this fabric (below soil level) put a layer of large rocks (2 inches or larger) on it to hold it down and drainage. Then you put about 4 to 6 inches of smaller rock on top. Put this in your heavy use areas and I tell you it is a dream come true. The plus is that it creates rock crushing hooves too! Barefoot that is....... I found out about this from the Federal Government USDA site. You should be able to find a local office. I found them much more helpful than the state offices. They will know were to get the fabric in your areas and how to mange getting equipment in and out of areas. These guys are no wimps... at least the ones I met were not. They were used to dealing with large and small cattle ranches, etc. Lots of muck and mud, etc. What I found with my horses is once you dry up feeding areas they are much happier and other areas dry up because it takes pressure off of those lighter use areas.
Check with your local USDA office they have all the spec's on this issue. IF I remember right it is 6 inches. It does no good to do this half way. Trust me on this. I have done this all the way around my barn and feeding area out 25 ft. and it has lasted for many years and it will change your life! You will need rock by the ton.

Jan. 5, 2009, 04:22 PM
There is quite a bit of info on that usda.gov site. I did a search for "geotextiles horses" and found an article on mud and manure management (http://search.usda.gov/search?q=cache:pXQdI-YAZTYJ:http://www.or.nrcs.usda.gov/news/factsheets/fs11.pdf+geotextile+horse&access=p&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&client=usda&num=10&site=usda&proxystylesheet=OC)

"Muddy areas are often found at barn entrances, lanes, gates, and loafing areas. You can install concrete in these areas. However, geotextile fabric and gravel will provide an all-weather surface at a third of the cost. Geotextile fabric allows water to drain down, but stops mud from working up through the gravel. Use a layer of geotextile fabric next to the soil, a 4- to 6-inch layer of 1.5-inch minus crushed rock in the middle, and a 2- to 3-inch layer of 5/8-inch minus crushed rock on top to provide a firm surface. In areas with less animal traffic, consider using up to 18 inches of hogfuel or wood chips for footing. Hogfuel decomposes and needs to be periodically replaced. Avoid using hogfuel near wetlands, streams, or ditches, as resin acids may leach into water."

Jan. 5, 2009, 08:00 PM
I bought my cowcarpet from www.FarmTek.com 1-800-327-6835. I waited until summer so I could remove the mudd. I then covered it with limestone fines. One the horses stomp the fines flat, it hardens into a nice solid surface. I have no trouble with mud and it is easy to remove the manure from the surface. It's not cheap but it is very effective.

Jan. 5, 2009, 09:30 PM
FarmTek has it, but I get mine from a local feed/fertilizer place. Around here it's often called "filter fabric"; I have no idea why. Call your Cooperative Extension agent and ask if he knows where to get it locally. In KY, there are cost share programs that involve the use of geo-textile fabric for around cattle waterers and such so the agents know where it can be purchased. Another place that may know where to obtain it nearby is your local quarry, as it's being used more and more under roadways and driveways. This stuff is twelve feet wide, and even if you have to drive an hour to get a roll, it'll be cheaper than paying truck freight.

Jan. 6, 2009, 01:53 AM
And so how do you convince your horses not to DIG THE FABRIC UP? And don't tell me it's due to a lack of material placed on top.

Everywhere I have seen this material used, it just takes one horse to dig and get ahold of it......

Before I moved my horses home, I boarded at 3 facilities, all of whom had this material in their turnouts- one had sand, one had hogsfuel, and the other had pea gravel over the top of it. At each facility, one horse would start to dig and get ahold of the fabric, and pretty soon paddock digging was every horse's turn-out passtime. 2 of the facilities did an excellent job (and one not so much) of grading/site prep, including french drain installation, before they laid down the fabric and put the footing on top.

Anyone else had this issue, and how did you address it?

Jan. 6, 2009, 06:39 AM
Did they have 4-6" inches of rock on top of fabric under the top footing (sand, hogs fuel, or pea gravel)? Or was this looser footing placed directly on the fabric?

Jan. 6, 2009, 07:28 AM
You don't want geo textile. we use that with installing septic systems. it can tear really easily. You want filter fabric, it is more like plastic with tiny holes. it will need small stakes in the corners. We got ours from landscaping places.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jan. 6, 2009, 08:25 AM
I got mine from US Fabrics. Corresponded with Dan Bonn, dan@usfabricsinc.com phone # 800-518-2290

This was 5 or 6 years ago, don't know if he's still there, but I think the company is. One of the products I considered was $350 for a 15X300 foot roll, another was 55 cents a square foot, glancing briefly back at my notes. I put it under ABC stone in my ring and paddock, and have been thrilled at my mudlessless there.

Jan. 6, 2009, 12:43 PM
We used a LOT of the geotextile fabric to stabilize the fill dirt around the farm. We bought in rolls. 14ft wide, not sure how long but LONG. It is awkward, but one person can move the whole roll, easily cut with knife or scissors, pulled into place. Feels like a heavy felt, though light will show thru. Not plastic at all. We could not purchase fabric in less than full size rolls. I thought cost was reasonable, fabric never dies, maybe you could resell the extra if there is a lot. Ours came in handy for other projects we thought up later on. My short lane to the big field is now fabric with gravel fill over. NICE footing and driving with the tractor in wet weather, no mud pits anymore!

We also use DEEP fill, 4-6 inches packed, so that means you start with about 8 inches loose fill. Drive over it with the skidsteer, rent a power compactor, but get it packed so dirt, stone chips, stays put with horses walking on it.

If you have a **&% digger, you can lay one or more rubber mats at the gate area to prevent hole making. Maybe use a shock collar for behaviour correction, pawing chains. Same horse ususally does pawing in the stalls if excited. Pawing is learned bad behaviour, needs correction to save shoeing wear, damaging the facilities by whacking gates, digging holes in gateway or stalls, pulling up the fabric.

I really like the fabric as a solution, have found it valuable in helping prevent mud. We did run drainage tile to help remove more water in lower areas, put the fabric over tile and filled with peastone, more fabric, gravel fill on top where horses walk. Does help with faster drying. I would not recommend peastone as a fill, unless layered between fabric, top and bottom, with other kinds of fill above. Peastone is slippery for horses, doesn't stay put for your uses, as a top layer. Peastone is good for filling around any drain tile, just not the top layer of surface fill.

We rent the skidsteer/bobcat machine with bucket. We drag and remove wet mud, make a pile of it with the nice bucket. Get the wet area smoothed, down to firm dirt if possible. If not possible, lay the fabric and plan on more fill depth. Some mud is just too deep to remove it all, you have a crater!

Lay the fabric out smoothly, overlap at least a foot if you need wider coverage than the 14ft. Driving on fabric with machines to fill, ground changes in cold or wet weather, won't pull the fabric apart with wide overlapping. We now have parking spaces for the semi truck, trailer and horse trailer, in a formerly bottomless woods area. Fabric down, crushed asphault 8 inches deep. Truck no longer gets even wet tires, where before we had to have it pulled out after weight sank it down into the gravel fill. Fabric was the key, fill can't sink now. Rest of that woods area floods, lowest spot on the place, meets the township drain. Woods has standing water in wet times, but truck is able to drive out anytime now. Same with getting out the horse trailer parked beside it. No problems on the fabric based parking area now.

THANK YOU Fabric inventor!! Sure has improved ease of working around the farm here.

Jan. 6, 2009, 12:50 PM
Thank you, goodhors. I thought this was a project to do when everything was drier this summer. Then, do you just scrape to level, or do you need to dig down several inches even if you are starting with dirt that is not mud at the moment?

Jan. 6, 2009, 01:18 PM
Husband likes things fairly level/flat, though level/flat may have a drainage slope to it for moving water. Our dirt is heavy clay, so drainage is usually needed. We are not talking of getting laser tools for siting it in. Though others might want to, so you get enough drop for good drainage or you don't have "the eye" developed from doing dirt moving often.

He goes around and takes off lumps that may develop as you drive in the same trenches of a gate driveway or the lane, to get surfaces evened out. If dirt is not mud, he usually just levels it off, evens it out, then covers with fabric and fills. Our summer dirt is like concrete, doesn't need removing, just leveling off.

Other girls get girly stuff, while I get HUGE trucks of dirt fill, put in places so I no longer get the tractor stuck or my boots sucked off getting the horses from the field!! I love it, makes the horse jobs easier to face daily. I really appreciate how much work has gone into making the place nice in all seasons and weather. I think dirt is a great gift, especially when well arranged! He gets the bonus of playing with fun rental machines, all the dirt to arrange, the rest of the family doing assigned jobs to help him like fabric laying. Working is kind of like a giant sandbox with all the toys for him!

Jan. 6, 2009, 02:33 PM

Flat is not really an option for us, but graded/smooth and then fabric wrapped and covered with footing is the way we'll go.