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Trench in Turnout Paddock

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  • clanter
    Originally posted by Chall View Post

    Wow Clanter, that was great information and in layman’s language and layman’s tools. .
    your tax dollars at work

    I was exposed to that type of guide while on a regional US Forest Service advisory council and later for the Department of Transportation when we were able to insert the first $50m for Trails into the Highway Act of 1991

    I was these boards just because I volunteered, they needed outside representation (Also because I was regional youth director for the American Morgan Horse Association,my wife and I were asked to be on a Department of Agriculture board that reviewed and rewrote much of the 4H Equine requirements...even though our kids were never in 4H )

    There a multitudes of opportunists to make a difference in the quality of life of people (plus I had a vested interest of having greater access of horses on public land)

    here a few web links to volunteer positions
    Last edited by clanter; Sep. 22, 2019, 02:31 PM.

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  • Chall
    Originally posted by clanter View Post
    something that may help to prevent washouts is use slit dams, go to page 36 and afterwards of this attached trail construction guide of the US Forest Service. Back in the 1990s I was on an advisory board that oversaw the expansion and adaptation of a trail network in North Texas US Forest Service land. Even back then we had very specific guidelines that were required to be followed.
    Wow Clanter, that was great information and in layman’s language and layman’s tools. “If you’re downside ankle starts to roll, it has too much slope” “Determine your soil type by rolling moist soil into a ribbon” (pg 58).

    kudos on 1. Finding this information 2. Bookmarking/archiving it so you can share it with others.

    Leave a comment:

  • Edre
    I'm familiar with what sounds similar to this - the property I board at is lovely during flooding season because it's on a hill. The property I board at is terrible during flooding season. It's on a hill.

    The pros of course, is that we don't flood. The major problem is that as we are not at the very top of the hill, there is a goodly volume of water that comes through the property and erodes into washout gullies. They do work with the front loader to relocate dirt back in, but it just washes away at the next big storm. Some of the pastures are easier to address than others due to location, as well. The reality is, this is not a problem that will be won by "filling in" the trenches.

    You can try to plant it (making sure whatever you plant is horse-friendly), but it is going to need to have a very solid root system to really tackle the problem (and then of course it's going to have to hold up to equine-traffic as well. Most of our erosion happens in the dirt areas which have no growth due to high equine traffic). You can try to fill it with the rock layers mentioned above, but I've found that even a modest rainstorm will wash away even the larger fill (and then not only do you have a ditch but you have lost the money you put in to make it not-a-ditch). Earthmoving projects to address the water flow can reliably change where the run-off occurs, but it should be noted that this can result in different erosion elsewhere (and very unhappy neighbors if you do this recklessly/poorly). Sometimes you can install bypass drains but these are not always effective (and they also will fill with debris/clog and become ineffectual). Likewise, they will create problems somewhere else down the line because you are not slowing down the water flow.

    What has ended up being the solution for my property owner is that we let many of the washouts remain. The pastures are large enough and the horses know them well enough that they can be navigated at their leisure and with safety. The ones that are easier to address, they do via earthmoving (he owns his own frontloader & can do this on his own time). But it is not a permanent fix and unless your barn has the right equipment, the time, and someone with the knowledge, you are looking at something that I would consider routine maintenance - it adds up, quickly (especially if you add in material to try to help improve drainage).

    Leave a comment:

  • Palm Beach
    Originally posted by paintedpony View Post
    These areas are quite small. I would just fence around them.
    Trenches tend to grow.

    Leave a comment:

  • paintedpony
    These areas are quite small. I would just fence around them.

    Leave a comment:

  • Palm Beach
    It's a tough situation. The best thing is to try to divert the water from entering the pasture by excavating at the top of the hill.

    Leave a comment:

  • B and B
    Possibly not applicable here, I really can't quite visualize it the property; but by far the best erosion control is to give up a little space and plant it out. thus speaks the inland wetlands commissioner who wants to post for posterity or something
    Maintained pasture grass doesn't slow down water at all (lawns and hayfields are second after paved surfaces for impermeable qualities). Grass mowed once a year, even a yard wide strip, will slow water down a lot. A real washout can sometimes be permanently stabilized with certain shrubs. They've actually bred a willow specifically for the purpose (Streamco). A swale, planted with tall grass/flood tolerant plants, can help capture the water and let it recharge into the ground, before it goes racing across the field and washing it out. You want to slow down, divert, and let the water sink in. Otherwise, you will spend a fortune moving dirt around every year.
    If you have a run, arena, driveway, barn, sacrifice lot, look at where the water is going. Jog out there during that 'gully washer' rain event and see it in action. That will help you figure out where to place things.
    Look into rain gardens, LID design, stormwater management. There are a lot of publications out there now that go into detail about proper sizing, maintenance, and other concerns

    Leave a comment:

  • clanter
    something that may help to prevent washouts is use slit dams, go to page 36 and afterwards of this attached trail construction guide of the US Forest Service. Back in the 1990s I was on an advisory board that oversaw the expansion and adaptation of a trail network in North Texas US Forest Service land. Even back then we had very specific guidelines that were required to be followed.

    Leave a comment:

  • ElementFarm
    We've struggled with these after the big hurricanes hit NC in the last few years. Ours were between 1-4' deep and about 2' wide. We tried filling them in with regular fill dirt, sand, and small gravel, but all washed away again after even regular spring storms.

    Next we hired a professional with heavy equipment to address the water problem. His solution was about $3.5K, and only lasted a month or three until the next hurricane. The ravines returned worse than ever. I was soooo mad.

    We finally fixed them ourselves (at least for day-to-day rainstorms, I doubt they'll hold up to another rain-heavy hurricane) with gravel and fill dirt, and compacting several times each layer. Then we put grass seed on it and the roots helped stabilize the new earth.

    Because it was so dangerous, we used step in posts and electric fence tape to keep the horses away from that whole area. I'd say it was ~1 yr before we could remove the electric fence and let the horses access that area again. And naturally I'm concerned because hurricane season is ramping up. We'll just see what happens, and if the washout trenches happen again, we'll bring out the hot tape and posts, and 'fix' it ourselves again for a fraction of the pros. We just have to accept that our 'solution' isn't durable, and will need more work than bringing in lots of big rocks, geotextile, small gravel, sand, all with heavy equipment and compacting it, and then grass on top of it all. Our whole property is on a slope, and this particular paddock gets all the runoff from not only our pasture above it, but our neighbors' whole pasture as well.

    Leave a comment:

  • 4horses
    My property is on a hill so my pastures all erode significantly over time. There is now a 2 ft drop going through the gates. I pay my neighbor to come with his tractor and push the dirt back up the hill every single year. The dirt road next to us washes out as well and is actually a 3 ft deep trench, with a bank on each side - the reason my neighbor has a tractor is to maintain that road. He grades the road constantly. The truck drivers amuse me to no end because he put in a speed bump and they always hit it without fail. Wonder when they will learn that speeding down a one lane dirt road isn't a good idea?

    A simple solution? Buy limestone or small rocks by the truck load and fill the trenches in. You will need someone with a front loader to level everything.

    A more complicated solution is to install french drains.

    Another option would be to have a pond dug and use the fill to cover the washouts.

    I think i would just buy lime rock and fill it. Just assume you will need to add more eventually. Not sure you want actual lime rock or some other type of rock. If you need 2 truck loads you could get larger rocks for the bottom and smaller on top.

    Depending on where you are, fill can be as cheap as $60 or $200 a load. Not sure what rock goes for?

    I myself will probably just get a truck load of sand, but then again i have a neighbor to move it. If it washes away, I'll just have him dig more from the bottom of the hill. I don't particularly care if the incline going down is a little steeper. That area is in full shade and nothing grows except weeds.

    Once you have something in place, get 6 inch by 8 ft boards and some posts. Cut the posts to 2 ft sections, partially bury them, attach the boards at ground level to the posts. As the dirt erodes, it stops at the board, eventually burying the board. This builds terraces, or steps. And it's horse safe. I have some up right now for erosion control. It's a good way to recycle old fence rails. Not a complete solution, but a cheap one. I plan on putting up more once i get more fill put down. The only issue is it may divert the water and create a ditch elsewhere- i diverted the water onto the grass which again helps prevent erosion.

    Leave a comment:

  • betsyk
    I'm curious about whether this is a single leg-breaker in the middle of a very large pasture, or if it's in a small area. If it's in a large pasture, I'd worry a lot less. Rereading the original post, the 4' deep x 5' long trench would worry me, regardless of where it is. Short term fix: block it off? fill it with brush? If you simply want to reduce the likelihood that horses will run through it in the dark, maybe step in posts and white tape will be sufficient. Ideally you'd figure out why it keeps washing out and divert the water, but between now and the time the engineers arrive, I'd probably rope it off.

    Leave a comment:

  • Simkie
    It would be worthwhile to think about where the water creating the wash outs is coming from and try to mitigate it there. Sometimes diverting is easier and cheaper, or adding plantings to absorb the water before it really starts to flow.

    If you live in a place with a robust county extension agency, they may be willing to come out, take a look, and advise. Depending on the problem, there may even be some financial aid to fix it.

    I managed to create a wash out issue in my own barn by cleaning the runs off the barn, sigh. There used to be a ton of organic material there (old manure that previous owners left) that turned to mud in the winter. Cleaning the pens means they stay a lot drier now, but that water has to go somewhere...and it flows downhill, into the pasture. The answer here is digging a trench in the run and laying a French drain to collect and move the water away from the barn and field. It sounds like you're dealing with space away from structures, so you probably have more options.

    Leave a comment:

  • 4LeafCloverFarm
    Those sound like washout gullies - when heavy rains drain and follow the path of least resistance (whether it looks fairly flat on not).

    Unless the gullies are packed with large rocks (5" - 8" rocks) in the bottom, then slightly smaller rocks, then gravel, then dirt - all packed down at leach layer, as the BO said, it will eventually wash out again. And that is not an inexpensive repair (because you need someone with the proper equipment to pack each layer down)!

    Leave a comment:

  • Spotless
    started a topic Trench in Turnout Paddock

    Trench in Turnout Paddock

    Hi all,

    There are several large-ish trenches in the paddocks, and clearly that is a safety issue. I've talked to the barn owner about it and she said that everything they've filled it with has washed away... the pasture isn't very hilly so that surprised me, but of course it isn't perfectly flat. The pasture is uphill from a good majority of the property. BO has had a lot of changes in her life this year, and while finance is not one of them I told her I would try to help her out and come up with ideas. The main trench (in the middle of the pasture) is about 15 ish feet long and about 1-1.5' deep. There is another one in the woods by the fenceline (that the horses luckily stay away from, the brush is very thick and they have around 10 acres of grass to eat) that is around 4' deep and probably extends 5' into the pasture.

    I have heard about tiling, although I admit that I don't really understand it. What can we do that we can do ourselves, if anything, or do we need to hire someone to build an underground drain? We are luckily a pretty handy bunch with a lot of resources. Thank you!