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View Full Version : Best footing for sacrifice paddocks?



dogbluehorse
Mar. 30, 2011, 09:35 PM
We are about to clear some more trees to make two more paddocks so we can get the grass growing properly on the existing paddocks. Not planning to plant grass there (at least until the other 4 are doing well, and maybe not even then). Since this area is currently wooded and gently sloping, the "natural" footing will be forest-bed like. Any ideas on what to add, if anything? Doesn't currently seem too boggy since it's on a hill. Was wondering whether stone sand (like ring footing) would be good or if that would all just wash away.

doublesstable
Mar. 30, 2011, 09:41 PM
I don't like sand underfoot if possible - - but my horses eat "everything" off the ground... Sounds like it would be good all-natural....

JanWeber
Mar. 31, 2011, 06:42 PM
Our sacrifice paddock is to keep the horses off the grass in the bad weather and to avoid mud in turnout areas. We excavated down a bit, put in geotextile fabric as a barrier, added a layer of gravel, and topped it with stonedust. It is simply wonderful - drains beautifully, mud-free, survived the winter with no problems being repeatedly plowed to clear snow, and is easy to clean.

spacytracy
Apr. 3, 2011, 05:49 PM
Jan, we are considering a similar setup at my house.
Could you tell me how much you spent, and what size your paddock is?
This would be really helpful, as I'm in PA, so the prices should be comparable.

JanWeber
Apr. 3, 2011, 09:10 PM
If you're anywhere close, you can come see it and talk to my husband about what he spent. He also put drains in to channel run-off since it's at the bottom of a hill and the dutch doors open directly onto it.

Calvincrowe
Apr. 4, 2011, 12:17 AM
Cost-wise, you can figure out your square footage (my paddock area, including my overhang off the barn/stalls is 40 x 60).
We skipped the excavation step, and simply laid the geotextile cloth in the summer, over the packed dirt of the existing paddock. Then Mr. CC figured out how many square yards of gravel we'd need to cover that space to a depth of 6". If you tell me the dimensions, he can do the math for you, if needed (he's a math teacher).

I used "screenings", which is angular and round gravel 1/4" or smaller, which packs nicely, but still remains loose enough to give a bit underfoot. But, 5/8" minus (think driveway gravel) works well, too.

IIRC, the cloth ran about $300 (we bought it at the factory, your local extension office might be able to help you locate some, or a landscape contractor could, too). The gravel was around a $1000. This was during the height of construction madness here, so gravel was astronomically high.

This has held up beautifully for 5 years now, though I added 12 yards of screenings last summer, just to refresh it a bit. I do pick all the poop pretty much daily. This works for my two older TB geldings during our rainy season--which lasts 6 months;)

Foxtrot's
Apr. 4, 2011, 12:33 AM
We have 5/8 minus. Left it to get packed and it slopes and drains well over several years. Pickup manure daily. I feel, though, that rolling is very important for horses and since they do not go out into the field until it has dried up, I put down a load of yellow cedar (Cypress) sawdust for them but left it in a pile. They love, love it. Sleep in it, roll in it, and best of all my grey horse stays spotless.

It does get tracked a bit and soggy at the edges, but a small tractor can clear that away in the summer. I use the pile for bedding, too, so that is a saving.

judybigredpony
Apr. 4, 2011, 07:03 AM
Our sacrifice paddock is to keep the horses off the grass in the bad weather and to avoid mud in turnout areas. We excavated down a bit, put in geotextile fabric as a barrier, added a layer of gravel, and topped it with stonedust. It is simply wonderful - drains beautifully, mud-free, survived the winter with no problems being repeatedly plowed to clear snow, and is easy to clean.

This!!! and prices will vary depending on how far you from the Quarry.
Remember to wet Stone Dust thoroughly and let dry a few times BEFORE putting horses on to pack it down.

mkevent
Apr. 4, 2011, 09:46 AM
I'm so excited to find this thread!

I am currently in the midst of dealing with this and want to share what I've found out so far.

I know cow carpet has lots of fans. But is a little pricey between paying shipping and needing to purchase by the roll for any cost savings.

I googled for local geotextile firms and called around. The firm I called didn't sell to the public but did put me in touch with a local rental center that sells their product. Cow carpet is a 7 oz nonwoven geotextile, this product is 3.5 oz. The manufacturer suggested a layer of geotextile, a layer of crushed gravel and another layer of geotextile. I could then top off with a layer of dirt. This will still end up being half the cost of cow carpet.

Instead of crushed gravel, I'm looking into recycled asphalt. So far the quotes I've gotten from local companies run about $12-13/ton delivered. I was told that recycled asphalt is nontoxic, doesn't get dusty(as recycled concrete can) and is easy to rake. It also compacts well.

I've also had luck with Craigs List finding fill dirt. Last summer an excavator for a pool company delivered 3 dump truck loads of clean fill for free. Sometimes if you are local enough to a job site, they are happy to deliver and dump fill at no cost. The drawback is that you have to wait until they are doing a job locally.

Jan-what geotextile did you use for your project?

katie+tru
Apr. 4, 2011, 07:18 PM
I always get concered and confused about people turning horses out on gravel or other small, crushed rocks. Haven't any your horses ever graveled? My trainer told me about knowing a friend's mare who had a small rock come all the way through her foot and pop out through the coronary band. -cringe- That story alone would keep me from from ever putting gravel or any stone down down.

Calvincrowe
Apr. 4, 2011, 09:25 PM
Ask any farrier or vet--round, small stones (sometimes called pea gravel for the similarity in size/shape) is excellent for hoof health. I have two elderly TBs on gravel...have had for going on 5 years now, and not a single episode of "graveling abcesses"..heck, no abcesses at all. That is huge because of how horribly wet and muddy it gets here.

Pick their feet. Clean up the manure. I don't think that horses (and I've had my boarded horse in a gravel turnout and a mud turnout) on gravel are any more likely to abcess than any other.

dogbluehorse
Apr. 4, 2011, 09:32 PM
We tried various kinds of footing in the "barnyard" (around barn, under run-in shed), and tried shredded bark, which was a disaster, finally excavated that up and put pea gravel. Way better. Easier to pick, and much better in terms of drainage, not boggy. Need to pick poop/leftover hay though, else degenerates back into bog. Thought pea gravel would be expensive, but it wasn't that bad. Much less problem with scratches after we put this down.
Re cow carpet, I was at Agway this weekend, they have some kind of 12 yr guarantee geotextile fabric that I think is 3.5oz weight, for around $170 for a roll, think it was a 300x6ft. So cheaper than the "real" cow carpet. Not sure how it compares in terms of performance.

mkevent
Apr. 4, 2011, 10:16 PM
dogbluehorse-thanks for the tip! I hadn't thought of trying Agway. I will check it out.

foggybok
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:39 AM
We tried various kinds of footing in the "barnyard" (around barn, under run-in shed), and tried shredded bark, which was a disaster, finally excavated that up and put pea gravel. Way better. Easier to pick, and much better in terms of drainage, not boggy. Need to pick poop/leftover hay though, else degenerates back into bog. Thought pea gravel would be expensive, but it wasn't that bad. Much less problem with scratches after we put this down.
Re cow carpet, I was at Agway this weekend, they have some kind of 12 yr guarantee geotextile fabric that I think is 3.5oz weight, for around $170 for a roll, think it was a 300x6ft. So cheaper than the "real" cow carpet. Not sure how it compares in terms of performance.

one downside would be the 6 foot width. You want to avoid having a lot of seams. We got the 12 foot width.

Fancy That
Apr. 11, 2011, 04:27 PM
Our sacrifice paddock is to keep the horses off the grass in the bad weather and to avoid mud in turnout areas. We excavated down a bit, put in geotextile fabric as a barrier, added a layer of gravel, and topped it with stonedust. It is simply wonderful - drains beautifully, mud-free, survived the winter with no problems being repeatedly plowed to clear snow, and is easy to clean.

JW's set up is ideal. We did something similar for our sacrifice paddock, sans the geofab. We scraped/leveled/graded, put down two kinds of baserock, compacted, and topped off with sand.

Works great - the footing is awesome even in the worst rainstorms.

lcw579
May. 1, 2011, 11:50 AM
I just started investigating the best way to install a sand lot. What do you guys think of the products listed on this thread?

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=300315&highlight=sand+lot

I was wondering if a product like the Stable Grid would hold up better than the cow carpet.

ReSomething
May. 1, 2011, 02:46 PM
Dimly I recall that somebody used a substrate like the stable grid and didn't like it. Something about the edges of it worked up and began to rise up through their gravel.
Darned if I can remember exactly what the product was called, who used it etc. It may have been restaurant style rubber mats and not intended for use out doors. IIRC it worked OK in the areas constantly tamped down such as in the driveway, but the horses hoof action tended to make pocks and dig it up. I remember the post and the pics, just can't remember the product name!

ladybugred
May. 1, 2011, 02:51 PM
I was discussing this with my farrier a couple weeks ago. He sai the pea gravel is ok, but not the stone dust, that's what causes the gravel abcess.

LBR

Calvincrowe
May. 1, 2011, 06:02 PM
Horsepoor who posts on here has a 'hoof grid' in her paddocks and loves it. Not sure of the actual product name, but I'm sure she'd be glad to share her experiences. She has a digger, and it is the only thing she's found that he can't dig up. She hasn't mentioned any issues with it, beyond the initial cost.

lcw579
May. 1, 2011, 08:54 PM
The area we need to resurface is really muddy. I actually want to put in a sand lot but liked the idea of the Stable Grid since it could extend out and might help the other damp areas keep from turning into mud pits. This will be the second summer in a row the property owners have redone this paddock and I would like to make sure they make the right decision this time around.

So has anyone ever used one product and had sand over part of it and grass over the rest? Am I nuts to think that such a thing might work?