I know this has been discussed before, but now that I have a tractor, Mr. BOD is willing to dig out the mud where the horses stand and put down the landscape cloth and new footing. What I need to know is
What kind of landscape cloth to put down, how deep do we have to dig, what kind of footing to replace with (stonedust, crush n run, wood chips). We are basically talking about the gate area, and the corner where 2 horses stand.
There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.
A few years back, I had a part-time handyman that I was paying to do maintenance on the house, barn and property. Lucky for me, his girlfriend had horses and owned a boarding stable, so he knew a lot about barn maintenance and upkeep.
I had the same muddy places that you describe, and the handyman suggested that he could fix it based on what he did at his girlfriend's place. I didn't watch the handyman closely as he did his work, but I can describe vaguely what was done. This was probably 15 years ago that he did this work (at the front of barn door), and believe it or not it is still holding to this day, it's still solid and it does not get muddy. I live in SW Pennsylvania, so we get a lot of rain and mud.
He dug the area out around 9 - 12 inches deep. He didn't use any machinery, just dug it out with a shovel. Then he filled the base with large round rocks that he bought at a landscaping supply company. For reference, these rocks are about the size of a softball or baseball. Then he topped the large rocks with smaller gravel (about the size of a walnut or almond). The smaller gravel filled in the air holes and gaps around the larger rocks, and also created another 4 - 5 inches of base on top of the larger rocks. Then he put the landscape cloth on top of everything. Once he had the landscape cloth on top, he covered the cloth with about 4 inches of a mixture of dirt and more gravel. I might add that the area is a bit higher than the ground around it, but only about 2 - 3 inches. This ensures water run-off when it rains.
I think he did this work in the late Spring, but I honestly can't remember. This creation has never deteriorated and the landscape cloth is still safely buried underneath the top layer of dirt/gravel. No more mud!
I wish I could hire that handyman back. LOL! He ended up getting a "real" job, and couldn't continue to do work for me part-time. He was a gem!