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What to put down to lessen the mud in a paddock?

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  • What to put down to lessen the mud in a paddock?

    I moved my mare to a nice barn yard type of barn in October.

    She is in an in and out stall which I love, as she likes to come and go.

    Problem is, right outside the stall door (going into her turnout) the footing is horribly muddy. As it is she has to step down about a foot and then sink another good six inches into the mud.
    Then when she comes into her stall, she carries the wetness with her and the stall bedding always seems damp.

    I'm thinking of something easy and not expensive, as the BO will sometimes switch horses around depending on how they get along with their over-the-fence pasture buddies.

    Don't want to put in the expense of stone and possibly be asked to move my mare to another stall in a month or so.

    Would a load of mulch put outside the door help, even if I have to add periodically? Or could I scrape away the mud down to the hardened ground?

    It is not a big area, just outside her door.

    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

  • #2
    Do they have gutters on the barn? If not, then the water will continue to cause mud/deep footing in front of your door even if you pour in something like hogs fuel (mulch). If your area isn't too rainy (and the barn is guttered), then scraping away the muddy footing and putting in large chunk hogs fuel can help. Just don't create a hole with your scraping. If possible, create a downhill flow from your door to the paddock, so that wet will move away from that area.

    Scrape away, add hogs fuel and maybe a rubber mat over the top?
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    • Original Poster

      Unfortunately (that is part of the problem) they do have gutters which pour right into her paddock and her door is on the down slope of the gutters. I'm really at a loss at what to do.
      Last edited by Huntertwo; Dec. 13, 2008, 01:12 PM.
      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


      • #4
        That is really a bad situation. If the water is pouring right into the paddock, no matter what you add or scrape away, it is going to keep coming back. The one thing that might work is to build the area up high enough to divert the water elsewhere. But that is going to create a mud pit somewhere else in the paddock. AND it is going to take a lot of mulch or dirt or whatever to do, as it is just going to keep getting sucked down into the mud pit that is there now. I've built stall floors up with 50 lb bags of lime, but it takes a lot of those bags to make a difference.

        Can you talk to the barn owner and maybe have her add a couple of spouts to direct the rainwater elsewhere?


        • #5
          Caryledee has the right idea.. but I'll add.

          Would one of these work?

          (HOLY Monster LINK, Batman!)



          • #6
            Originally posted by Sansena View Post
            Caryledee has the right idea.. but I'll add.

            Would one of these work?

            (HOLY Monster LINK, Batman!)
            OMG, that has got to be the coolest thing ever!!


            • #7
              With a real wet deep muddy area I have known people who have added a bag or two of cement poured right into the muck and it helped firm up the ground... it didn't setup like a cement floor...just made the ground firmer if that makes sense.


              Edited... I don't think I would let the horse step in it for a few days... I didn't ask how long it took to firm up, so be careful with this method.
              Watching Hawk Arabians
              Home of ZEGAS
              *Ganges x Zabrynka


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by LoveMyArabians View Post
                With a real wet deep muddy area I have known people who have added a bag or two of cement poured right into the muck and it helped firm up the ground... it didn't setup like a cement floor...just made the ground firmer if that makes sense.


                Edited... I don't think I would let the horse step in it for a few days... I didn't ask how long it took to firm up, so be careful with this method.

                Sounds like an interesting idea. But something I would experiment at home with first. Plenty of mud around here with all the rain we had this week. I'll ask hubby, he is in the concrete/construction business.

                Thank-you for the great links. Unfortunately, the gutters do not have a down spout attached. Luckily it was so darn cold today all the muck was frozen when I went to the barn.
                MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                • #9
                  We have used asphalt millings (my hubby is in the asphalt biz) at the entrances to pastures. I believe you can get them cheap or free but you would have to move quick, most asphalt companies are closed already for the season. You will obviously need some way of putting them down and compacting them. I knew of another farm that used crushed limestone, but that is pricey.
                  Summerwood Farm Welsh Ponies~


                  • #10
                    Around here the township cuts branches from around the telephone & powerlines (usually spring and fall) and muches them on the spot. They are quite happy to dump them at a nearby farm rather than haul them back to the town yard or dump. They don't last forever but do make a huge difference for muddy spots, which are most often...spring and fall. Personally I don't like any kind of gravel - mixed with mud it makes a nasty foot packing and can cause pretty sore feet from bruising.
                    * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
                    Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
                    NO! What was the question?


                    • #11
                      What about Cedarest? Awesome stuff.
                      Founding Member of "I Kept 'Off Topic Day!' Open"


                      • #12
                        My horse lives in a run in barn. There are perhaps 10 runs that all share the same huge shed. All these runs have a history of getting muddy and icky when it rained or snowed.

                        This summer, whenever it rained, I raked her pen. It helped it dry sooner, and I wound up removing a lot of that top layer that was all dirt and manure dust.

                        This winter, she has the dryest pen. Everyone else is a muddy mess--hers is dry. Her pen used to be the worst. Today everyone else has ankle deep mud, but Blush had 1/2" at most, and only where she pees.

                        I think you can accomplish a lot just by removing as much mud as you can. It's probably not dirt--it's probably dirt and manure, which just holds water like a sponge. Get it down to just dirt, and you should have less mud.


                        • #13
                          I always put stall mats right outside the stall so that when the horse traipses in and out, things are a little better. Someone mentioned cedar rest, which is lovely stuff but can also turn into a soggy mess. I've successfully used it in areas that had cover, a little less successfully in open spots. And they had to be pretty mud-free.

                          At one barn I boarded, the barn manager dumped bags of bark (the big chunky kind) right outside the tackroom door and it helped a lot. Don't know if it would stand up to horse use but might be worth thinking about.

                          In my paddocks here at home, I put dry stall in when an area gets too mucky and I can't wait for the sun to dry it. The stuff works really well.

                          I'm also big on digging "trenches" in paddocks to let the water drain out.

                          Good luck.
                          R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

                          Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.


                          • #14
                            Get an off cut of carpet and lay that. It coveres the mud, won't spread out like mulch and the like can, and should be fairly cheap.
                            Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                            • #15
                              Could you talk them into placing a water tank nearby and filling it with that lovely rainwater? There are a million uses for the water, and you can get large plastic tanks fairly cheap around here. I am talking in the 1000 gallon range.
                              Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                              • #16
                                We've put gravel and stone dust down in the muddy areas but it takes a lot of both, besides having it all rolled. Expensive to say the least but it does a super job that lasts for a few years.
                                http://www.talloaksfarm.net ---"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts." --- Winston Churchill


                                • #17
                                  I had really bad mud problems at my barn in VA, so I put down a deposit on land in SC


                                  • #18
                                    A friend suggested I put down my shredded bills and such (paper), so I've tried that a few times. It's biodegradable and soaks up some of the water in the short term. It's not ideal, but does seem to help. I, too, need a better solution, but it's certainly not going to be happening at this point in the year. Too cold out!


                                    • #19
                                      I second using mats. I recommend against anything organic as it breaks down and becomes mush later on. I have mats outside my guys run in and it helps tons.
                                      Appy Trails,
                                      Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                                      member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org


                                      • #20
                                        How about Cow Carpet? I'm dying for somebody to try it out so I can justify buying it to the DH. http://www.clothwipers.com/p_cow_carpet.htm
                                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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