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<3 My Geotex!!!! & Some stone advice

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  • <3 My Geotex!!!! & Some stone advice

    I finally heeded the COTH Wisdom of putting down geotextile - aka Cow Carpet - beneath stone to solve the mud problem.

    Geotex freshly laid Thursday followed by torrential downpour last night.
    I went out for PM barncheck and for the first time in 10yrs did NOT have to slog through mud!

    2DogsFarm does the Happy Dance!!!!!!!

    Anyone sick of boot-sucking, ankle-twisting, soul-searing liquid dirt has to try this.

    Excavator researched among horseowners he knows and the stone he used is a mix of stuff ranging from river rock-sized to some hefty boulders that I am gradually picking out to use beneath drainpipes & along the fenceline.
    Unlike the standard #53 gravel used for driveways, etc - it does not have sharp edges.
    This means it will take longer to "lock" in place & form a solid base.

    Right now it is loose, but even arthritic RF WB is not mincing along on it.
    Once it settles & packs down the rounded edges shouldn't be a problem then either.

    As a test he dumped a bucketful in my drive and after it sat a month I could walk on it barefoot and not ouch my way along like I do on the rest of the drive.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

  • #2
    Photos would be so much fun to admire!


    • #3
      That's bigger gravel than I used (mine is called screenings--what falls through the screen at the pit, so tiny, round rocks and grit). Are you planning on picking manure off this? Because if you don't remove the organics (hay, manure) your system will fail--muddy, yucky gravelly mess.

      But..all that said...isn't it the best stuff in the whole freaking world!? I have a lovely sacrifice paddock that has been mud free for 6 years now--I just add gravel every 3 years or so.
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


      • Original Poster

        csaper58 - sorry, I am technologically inept so can't post a pic.
        Picture in your mind a paddock floored in river rock <- sorry, that;s the best I can do : }

        I have screenings in my aisle, stalls & a 50' long by 25' wide path from the front of the barn to the gate.
        Here they topped the 53s & after 5 yrs this driveway has hardened to where it feels like cement and still drains except for the 3' strip right by the gate where the horses walk back & forth.
        I am raking some of the new stone onto this strip & although I know it will eventually sink into the dirt it should buy me some time.
        My bad for not insisting excavator geotex this path too, but it really has held up w/o.

        I am picking manure off the new stuff to avoid creating the mess you speak of.
        TG, I have just the 2 - WB & pony - to pick up after!

        <headtobarnwall> for not heeding COTH geotex advice for so long!
        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


        • #5
          I just had mine done. $1200 later and I am so so so so happy!!!!!!!! It's not perfect, but its 1000x better!! You will love it too!


          • #6
            We too had ours done a few months back. I love it! I do have pictures from start to finish if anyone wants to see the process. It is so nice not having to worry about mud in those high traffic areas. It was a dream come true!
            To ride a horse is to borrow freedom.


            • #7
              Pictures! Yes! I'm in the planning stage for my horses' runs, and I tried to explain it to my handyman but pictures would be fantastic. Please post them.


              • #8
                Sure, but keep in mind our farm is always a work in progress
                To ride a horse is to borrow freedom.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by equislover View Post
                  Sure, but keep in mind our farm is always a work in progress
                  What farm isn't!! Your pics look great!

                  How did you all get the cow carpet to your places? It seems like when I looked into doing this, freight was considerable.

                  I would love to flatten out an area, put this down, and then put some sand/ limestone down for an arena... people who have used it, thoughts??


                  • #10
                    Equislover, your set up is great! I'm looking to do this with my sacrifice area, which im hoping will double as a small riding arena when its wet. Out of curiosity how much gravel and sand is needed on average over the geotextile? Thanks!


                    • #11
                      Thank you!!! We were incredibly lucky as a distributer was just 15 miles from us but it can be found at other building supply places so I would check around. Shipping would be high for sure. I hooked up the flatbed and was back within an hour. Thank you for the compliments! I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. And the cross fencing is definately helping our pasture. You need six inches of gravel on top of the fabric. Our fabric was 15 foot wide though it does come in other widths. I want to say for our entire project we figured on 22 truck loads (22 tons each) of gravel. Though I do think the contractor skimped in some areas but exceeded in others. One thing I am so glad we did was to go with a paving company. The other guys (and trust me we talked to tons) did not have the equipment (like the roller/compacter) to do the job truly right. I already have another area in mind when we can afford it. Well, it would connect the dry lot to the long lane. A side benefit from all this- the horses feet are toughening up and staying in nicer condition. Maybe less farrier visits . ha!
                      To ride a horse is to borrow freedom.


                      • #12
                        Oh and another thought- I too had considered using the area around the barn as an all weather arena. I ended up negotiating in gravel for my little arena. I am so glad I did. Really, you want the heavy use area's to be compacted so there is minimal gravel loss. The footing does get very hard, which is not ideal for riding IMO. Others may do it successfully but I cringe at the loss of gravel. You should see me so very carefully picking up the manure piles and trying to save every stone. ha!
                        To ride a horse is to borrow freedom.


                        • #13
                          Don't buy the "Cow Carpet" Brand--call a large landscaping company or better yet, look for an erosion control business/company--what you are really buying is erosion control fabric. You'll find it locally that way. I put my roll in the back of my long bed pickup and brought it home myself, right from the loading dock of the erosion control company 15 miles away! It isn't really heavy, even in big rolls, and Mr. CC and I did it all ourselves. The only equipment needed to roll it out is a pair of scissors.

                          It poured here last night--first rain since June ( is our secret that summers in the PNW can be really dry) and my sacrifice area is perfect--some small puddles in a low spot, but no mud, no mess. And it's been there for 6 years!
                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                          • #14
                            I just did this, too--excavated 4" (the area was already worn down pretty well), laid 18 oz, non-woven geotextile fabric, 4" of CR-6, 3" of two-inch stone, topped by 2" of stone dust/screenings. Tamped everything down after each load, so it was tamped as the project went along. I am so, so thrilled to not have to slog through mud this year, and I'm sure the horses and donks will, too.
                            Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                            • Original Poster

                              Week 1: Report on Progress

                              Stone is continuing to lock into place - some places already feel like concrete, others still loose.

                              I dumped the 50gal water barrel today to scrub it and by the time it had refilled, the old, mucky water had completely drained through the geotex.

                              I have been extra-conscientous about picking hooves - worried about the smaller stones starting a gravel.
                              At first I was picking at least a couple from feet, now hardly a one.
                              And feet seem to be toughening too.

                              Horses still stand in their usual place for their morning siesta - which is now graveled.

                              My only complaint is some of the stones are poop-sized and I need to pick them out of the fork before dumping it.
                              I expect once everything locks down that will be minimized too.

                              Ccrowe: I did not get Cow Carpet brand geotex, my excavator got the material referral from a pal of his who does roads. I think it is the erosion control fabric as that's the problem we discussed when he bid the job.

                              I am almost? looking forward to Mud Season - Bring.It.On!
                              *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                              Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                              Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                              • #16
                                Did you do anything to hold the fabric in place or just pour the gravel/stone material on top? I ask because when I was talking to the guy at the geotex supply he asked what kind of fasteners I want. I don't think I'd need any...but thought I better ask those who have done it already.


                                • #17
                                  You don't need any fasteners. Just make sure it's all covered up with the gravel/stone that you put on top of it.
                                  Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                                  • #18
                                    How deep did you guys dig before laying the cloth? I have 2 infirmary paddocks-I did one about 6 years ago but the guy who did it for me has since retired and disappeared...I know he did some digging bc he used my tractor. Then down went the cloth (I bought it locally too, brought it home in my pick up, no prob) then I had a 10-wheeler of bluestone dust and I just spread that around, about 3" thick. I'm desperate to do my second infirmary but how much scraping/digging shall I do?? Congrats on your places too. Beauty! (jealous)
                                    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Sorry I haven't checked on this thread for a while.

                                      My excavator scraped the paddock down 4" before laying the geotex.
                                      He used long staples - about 10" - that screwed in to hold it in place then dumped 4" of the rounded gravel (roadbase?) on top of the fabric.

                                      After the second rainfall the stone is packing down still tighter.
                                      Horses don't seem to be picking up the smaller pieces in their feet and mud is a dim memory.
                                      I am making an effort to keep the paddock picked free of manure and after a season passes I'll see how well that is working.
                                      My biggest "problem" now is having to pick the poop-sized pieces of gravel out of the manure fork or toss them into the compost pile.
                                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                                      • #20
                                        Thanks, 2 dogs. I was afraid of that. The cloth and stone dust are easy, it is the digging I had hoped to avoid ;-) I pick up my paddocks (yesterday's left over hay wisps and yesterday's manure. I know I should do it the same day but come on.) each morning-I feed breakfast then do paddocks. By the time they've finished breakfast, I'm ready to put them out into clean paddocks. Works a charm. You DO want to keep them clean or you'll have a mess before long...
                                        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.