We have an area near our barn which when remotely wet turns into 2' deep mud. My suspicion is that the people who had horses here before didn't plan adequately nor clean up near the barn.
Would you dig up and gravel + French drain? Put the "livestock carpet stuff" on it?
My horse uses his stall as a run in, so there's an awful lot of traffic back and forth.
It's not really two feet deep is it? We got that, it was actually about a foot deep so close to knee high, the first time because the old guy was a terrible stall walker and stirred it up, so we moved his pen to an area with 4 inch drain rock and stall mats on top - intended to be temporary or we'd have put more gravel on top to smooth it out. Second time we had used the pens for small animal housing and had too much manure left behind - it got disgusting fast once the rain started and the pony was in there stirring it up, not quite knee deep but close enough.
What we are doing in the projected future location is scrape the area down to compacted soil. We may or may not put down a geotextile, I'd like to, then drain rock, and probably a 3/4 gravel on top of that, maybe fines on top of that for the old guy's ouchy feet. We don't have any drainage into the area from roof collection but we do have a little from a slope above and we'll probably divert that, the rock we are putting down is going to be about six inches deep once we are done so it might function to do that just by being a dam. We'll see.
In your case, I'd make sure that the eaves aren't draining water into the area first, get your gutters up or fixed, then I'd look at the lay of the land, how does it slope or is it dead flat so the area doesn't drain at all, then I'd scrape off that well pulverized future muck and replace it with several nice thick layers of stone as described. The geotextile is nice stuff, it's just you have to buy it somewhere. If you build up the rock and stone you can make it so that it is higher and drains off and it'll be twice as nice.
It is possible to win the battle with muck, just takes some thought. And money and work, LOL.
No, the 2' is an exaggeration lol. In the deep hoof prints (because it froze whilst muddy and my horse will not walk anywhere else) I'd say it's probably 6". We did redo the gutters because that was our first suspicion, but that only helped a little. It is a freaking mess though, and of course that's the way in/out so yuck. On the bright side, it did make me train him to come when called so that I didn't have to walk to get him! Hahahha! Not a long term solution, though. I'm wondering if I knock down a fence that segregates the two paddocks if that will help to reroute traffic (so to speak). It seems a crying shame to haul in rock, since rock is our problem on the rest of the property.
It's not a huge area, just very very heavily trafficked. It's at the corner of the barn, at the pass through of a gate. Shouldn't be too horrible to do, right? Lol
you could use Lime and Portland cement as both are used in soil stabilization
they interact with the soil and the water on a molecular level in turn not only dries out wet soil but improves the compactability and performance of the existing soil
I had all the mud scraped away until we got to solid ground, then put down landscaping fabric, followed by stone. It has held up well so far with lots of hoof traffic and a ton of water runoff.
Clanter, I've never heard of using those two as a mixture. Is there a ratio? How do you apply/mix?
We wanted a turn out sacrifice area directly from their stalls so that they had free will to come and go as they pleased. We leveled and pitched the area away from the barn and put down 6-7" of 3/4 crushed or quarry processed, then fabric mat and then about 5" of crushed limestone. It drains wonderfully and is easy to rake up manure and no mud.
Replying to say I'm interested in how some of you have dealt with mud. The mud I deal with is nowhere near as bad as it could be but there's always room for improvement.
Clanter, can you give us details on how to use the lime/cement mix?
I currently have mus approx 1' deep in several of my paddocks. My paddocks have sheds(but it is muddy as heck under the sheds now) I am seriously considering moving a few of the horses out of the paddocks to a pasture that has good drainage and is not muddy and won't get muddy (except in 1 spot around the water trough but there is no shelter (there are tree groves). To move or not to move? I've done Desitin, etc to hopefully prevent skin issues from the deep mud. And we are about to get more rain today/tomorrow and they just issued flash flood warnings. God get me through this.
might be more information than you want, but we have used Portland cement/lime to stabilize LZs to keep dust down . (Portland cement is often referred to as OPC, from Ordinary Portland Cement... it is the most common type of cement in general use)
Originally Posted by TBPONY
attached is a military guide line of how to do it.
simple way is use a tiller to mix the Portland into the soil
Rocks. Limestone. 2-3" pieces (these are not round). That is what we did. Works. Got rocks at every gate, every water trough, everywhere there will be horse, human, truck traffic. Also the rock is larger so it will not get caught in the horses foot.
You may want to scrape out some of your 2' of mud then put this down. Might want to contour it so it drains better. You could get big rock then move to smaller rock that way it will build a good foundation.
Mud is a hassle.
The limestone rocks are a non slip surface. And it will toughen the horses feet over time. My one mare does a huge slide stop in the rocks as she races to the gate to be brought in to be fed. You would think she was in a soft sand arena. If you have tender footed ones, they will get tougher feet and also it keeps some from racing to the fence. Some stand on the rocks some do not. Some poop on it some do not.
It is not 110% mud free, but by golly it is better than everything else we have tried. Not much mud comes through. Rocks are the way to go. You can always add more. It will never bio degrade.
No horse has EVER come up with any damaged feet or legs or anything else from the rocks. I do have some grass/weed growing through the rocks. I just mow over it. Not a big deal. But the base of the rocks are still there, and the mud is kept well at bay.
Our level of rain this year is ridiculous. I know droughts are worse, but seriously! I'd move them to the pasture, as warm as it is. I know mine would rather be out of the mud without shelter than standing in that. My mud isn't nearly so bad, but we just lost our lease on the 30 acres next door, so I know it's only going to get worse on my property from here on out. This rain can stop any time. It's open windows and short sleeves weather, but too wet to have any fun.
Originally Posted by nashfad
We're raining all day today and then temps are supposed to CRASH to below freezing tonight. We've had that happen once already and it contributed to some events that now have the horses boarded out till March. Muck with a frozen skin is absolutely HORRIBLE stuff as I am sure most of you are aware.
The cement mix definitely sounds worth checking out for some applications around this place, thanks for the info.
I kept my two in today. The very senior almost ancient pony doesn't need to be soaking wet (even with a blanket the way the wind is picking up) with the temps dropping.
Originally Posted by ReSomething
I'm going to try the cement mixture too.
We have heavy clay soil that gets to fetlock deep in the low spot in the paddock when it rains. Our entire five acre property is all heavy clay. The low ground in the paddock is the favorite pee spot. We used "screenings" or "road fill" around the 3 1/2 sided shelter, which worked very well. I just ordered a dump truck full of road fill (16 tons) to be delivered next Friday; it did not cost nearly as much as I'd expected ($208 incl. delivery).
The staff at the sand and gravel company also suggested something called "man sand" ($130 for 16 tons delivered). We went with the road fill.
Has anyone used "man sand" in your horse areas? If so, what was or is your experience with it?
I'm going to look into the Portland Cement, too.
Thank you for posting the TM for the Portland Cement. My husband and I are both Army people, so the familiar format will be very helpful.
That's what I've been doing for years, and it really makes a nice, firm base in high-traffic areas. It's the same rocks we use to create a base under the gravel when installing a new driveway. Remember--the smaller the rock, the faster it'll disappear.
Originally Posted by rmh_rider
This year, I wised up and had a load delivered in the fall. Now, I can dump a tractor bucketful here and there as needed.
Last month I revamped the top part of my mare's paddock, just outside her stall. It has the heaviest traffic. The top is the only flat part, the rest slopes down to a bog.
The drainage guys dug down about 2 feet until they reached good hard soil. Put down heavy felt landscaping fabric. Added about 18 inches of drain rock, then another layer of landscaping fabric. Then 5-6 inches of diorite, which they compacted with a plate machine. Diorite is a crushed product with fines. It's used as road base and hard pathways.
We put a fence on the high side of the transition between the new material and the rest of the muck, to force her to transition through one area instead of just breaking down the margin.
Then added a few mats in one area where she consistently poops.
The enemy of drainage is organic matter, so it's important to keep manure picked up. All of her hay is in hay nets in her attached stall, so no added organic load there. Without attention to this, over time the organic matter seeps through the diorite and fills up the voids in the lower level, reducing the drainage.
So it's been about a month. The entire top of her paddock is dry despite lots of rain. It's level, clean ... I couldn't be happier.
Sorry is somebody already suggested this...a temporary, cheap fix that has worked for me this year. Lots of mud at gates and in front of run ins. $5.99 a bag pine pellets at Tractor Supply. Just pour the in the area. The pellets absorb the water and turn to saw dust.
Drkhorse, how many bags did you use?
Clanter - Thanks for the info!
My neighbor is getting me a pickup truck load of gravel for free in exchange for helping her with her daughter's pony. Yay! So my current plan is to find something to stabilize and sop up the soil *for now* and then do what I can until it dries out enough to really do it right.