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How to deal with MUD!!!! UGGGGGGGGH.

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  • How to deal with MUD!!!! UGGGGGGGGH.

    How do you deal with the mud?!
    If you use stone dust, do you just shovel some onto the mud spot and let the hooves churn it in or does it take some special application to be effective?
    Im looking for an easy way to deal with mud.

    LOL, I live in KY now but am originally from AZ...where we dont have this problem too often

    Oh and it doesnt have to be only stone dust...I would love to hear about whatever works...pea gravel...wood chips?

  • #2
    How do I deal with mud?

    A good single malt Scotch, a box of Belgian chocolates, my seed catalogs, and I hunker down and wait for spring.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    • #3
      Get gravel put down in the fall. Go around your community and see what sort of gravel/footing people have to maintain mud-free and what you like about it.

      I'm house sitting and here it is gravel and fines. It seems to compact well but more prone to a sort of rock/sand mud, its hard to describe. I've seen other places that have just gravel, no fines. It doesn't compact but is for sure cleaner.

      I live in the NW. Yesterday I was just thinking of how many different ways I can describe mud, sort of like having 15 different words for snow.


      • #4
        anyone use those geotextile rubber mat thingies with the drain holes? I have a couple spots in a paddock outside my little barn where the drainage is overwhelmed by hoof tear-up. Wondering if scraping back the top of the screenings and burying those mats below the new screenings would keep the horses above the gack...
        ...don't sh** where you eat...


        • #5
          Also consider where the water is going. High spots won't pool water. The area right under your non-guttered roof is going to get a lot of water, thus mud.
          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


          • #6
            as was said, think about where the water is coming from and see what can be done about that... gutters on barns go a long way to helping.

            I have tried a lot of substrates in my attempts to put bandaids on my mud woes. I have learned to steer clear of anything that can break down, like mulch or hogsfuel, etc. It is awesome when its fresh, but unless you remove the mud, and at least partially solve the water pooling issue to begin with, it will eventually break back down and become muck again.

            I love gravel but unless you remove the mud and put down some sort of barrier, mine eventually sinks and disappears.

            Sand has become my friend. The large grit yellow stuff used for mixing into concrete, its reasonably cheap and easy to find. Its easy to shovel and wheelbarrow around, I moved 3 tons in less than 5 hours by myself with shovel and wheelbarrow. I did not bother to remove the existing muck, I just shoveled sand on top of it. It was glorious for about a month then it got churned into the mud. But now I have sandy mud which drains faster and is far more livable than mucky sticky slippery mud.

            My horses recently destroyed an area on the otherside of my barn which is sticky, slippery, boot-sucking ankle deep slop. I have to go through it at least a half dozen times every morning, and I nearly throw out my back each time by slipping and being stuck in the same moment. When I slog back to the otherside of the barn I'm so thankful for my sandy mud its sloppy, but easy to walk in, and it doesn't try to rip your boots off with every step.

            My plan, since I have to deal with a low lying area and have no ability to control the water runoff, is to shovel in another 3-5 tons of sand, then cover that with a layer of stone dust which *should* compact down and be a bit concrete like. I *plan* to crown the top so the water should run away, but we'll see how much I feel like crowning after doing that much shoveling.

            Oh and I want to try cattle carpet, I'm interested in finding out the cost for it.
            Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


            • #7
              Remind myself that in August I will miss the rain.
              One of the many names for mud, Primal Ooze. Then there is the not frozen enough to walk on, but too frozen to be real mud, also good for throwing backs out.


              • #8
                Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                How do I deal with mud?

                A good single malt Scotch, a box of Belgian chocolates, my seed catalogs, and I hunker down and wait for spring.
                ha ha ha, I like your method! Which variety of single malt is required? On the Belgians, I vote for Leonidas!
                Turn off the computer and go ride!


                • #9
                  We did a lot of work this year. Last year was our first winter here and we discovered all the problem areas... Part of my winter pasture had a foot of water in it which of course was churned into muck.....

                  So we found the old drains, cleaned them out, added new ones where there were none.... And diverted water flow away from the area.... Helped some, at least the barn was no longer underwater...but still mucky in back of the barn in the high traffic area.

                  So phase two was this fall. Raised the barn floor with 5/8 minus and matted the whole thing (keeps it dry inside). Put down geotextile carpet in a 60 by 60 square outside the barn including the high traffic pathway. Covered that in 15 tons of 5/8 minus..... Now there are a few wet spots where we didn't get it quite evenly spread (and it's still soft so hoofs do sink and make some small puddles), but it is mostly dry! woo hoo!, and no mud, woo hoo!

                  I'll dump some more next summer when things are hard and dry and this layer has compacted down better...

                  But I'm really happy with the geotextile fabric plus gravel method!
                  Turn off the computer and go ride!


                  • #10
                    foggybok: If you don't mind my asking, about how much $$$ did it take to do the 60x60?

                    With the geotextile, did you do like it recommends and remove the dirt down to the base and then add back with stone etc?

                    I have an area I'd like to improve for the mud, but unfortunately will not be able to remove the topsoil. It was suggested that once dry (if it ever does) to instead, tamp down as tight as possible, install the geotextile and top with stone/fines. Not a perfect solution but better than knee deep mud?
                    A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                    • #11
                      If you just add more layers on top, you may well get the stone dust or whatever you choose washed/tracked away, then the exposed fabric is shredded/destroyed.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                        How do I deal with mud?

                        A good single malt Scotch, a box of Belgian chocolates, my seed catalogs, and I hunker down and wait for spring.
                        I like your thinking....

                        Also, pray for a hard freeze to firm everything up!

                        Seriously though, see where your water is coming from, where IT wants to go and where you can send it instead will help your problem a lot.

                        I have gutters and draintile and layers of gravel under the run in and beyond. Started with large stone for a base and have stone dust on top. Don't have any mud til you get further out from the barn and I am going to remedy that problem in the spring with a diversion ditch.


                        • #13
                          remember where your muckholes are.

                          In the summer, get a guy in with a machine to pull back the mud, dig a drain channel, line it with drainrock and bury a drain pipe to lead the water away. Then cover it back up, prefereably with something that drains better than mud, which you can package and sell as garden topsoil if you wish, after a season of churning manure into it.

                          I also use my old stall mats- the ones that horses have pawed through, to lay on top of trouble spots until I can fix them as above in the next dry season.

                          My paddocks were laid with drainrock and roadbase, now almost 15 years ago and the mud has not been a problem. Better to do it right. My pastures, which were outright swamps, have had the drainage installed over the years and no longer swallow 4WD trucks whole in the winter.
                          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                          • #14
                            folks- contact your county/area soil conservation officer. They are experts in things like this since heavy use (mud) areas cause manure and soil run off. They can also potentially help you find any grants to help cover some costs.
                            Appy Trails,
                            Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                            member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org


                            • #15
                              When you figure it out....tell me It's been raining here in the DFW area for more or less the last 4 months. The barn that I am renting is a big mudhole. It is the most depressing situation that I have ever dealt with in the 20 years that I have been keeping horses.

                              I have put down mats in the barn which has solved the barn aisle flooding problem but haven't figured out how to solve the mud around the barn problem. I have a feeling the way to solve the problem is to move my horses I would sell an organ for access to an indoor ring right now


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mtngirl View Post
                                foggybok: If you don't mind my asking, about how much $$$ did it take to do the 60x60?

                                With the geotextile, did you do like it recommends and remove the dirt down to the base and then add back with stone etc?

                                I have an area I'd like to improve for the mud, but unfortunately will not be able to remove the topsoil. It was suggested that once dry (if it ever does) to instead, tamp down as tight as possible, install the geotextile and top with stone/fines. Not a perfect solution but better than knee deep mud?
                                I realized it's not 60x60, but 50 X 50... but here are the numbers for that...

                                It's really going to vary with the area, but it wasn't too bad here. We get the crushed rock at $13/yard so I think the total was close to $250 for the gravel. We saved some using a friends truck to bring it in. Otherwise we would have had to pay 100/hour for the truck too. The truck holds 11 yards, so we would have needed 2 trucks and we're 1/2 hour from the gravel place, so that would have added 200.00 to the bill. We got some other gravel delevered for the driveway and they charged 21/yard. Places will charge by yard or by ton, but since it's so wet right now, they were doing by yard...otherwise you pay for lots of water....

                                The fabric goes for $2/foot (it comes in 12 foot wide sheets), but we got the conservation discount so it was only $1.20/foot and the total was somewhere around $250.

                                So probably 500.00 to get it done here. Well worth it!

                                We did not remove topsoil this time, however the area had previously be scraped and graded in anticipation of this work.... I made it bigger than originally planned so part of it was not prepped....We'll see how it holds up....

                                JSwan...still waiting on the single malt selection... my vote is McCallans...
                                Turn off the computer and go ride!


                                • Original Poster

                                  great ideas folks.
                                  I have such an access problem to my barn...no big trucks or trailer can get within 100 feet of it, sigh. So I would have to deliver the rock by pickup truck load LOL. I guess I will go the JSwan method until next summer...

                                  I have a friend that uses the equiteer(sp?) out in her runs...she loves it. Has no mud whatso ever!!! She also put it in her stalls but hates it there. She said the equiteer in the stalls got plugged and her and her hubby had to literally drill them open . I cant remember why she said they plugged up in the stalls and not outside.

                                  I dream of a spotlless barn....


                                  • #18
                                    With lots of cursing.


                                    • #19
                                      My first Winter behind my existing barn was a giant muddy mess. The following Spring I had a french drain put in and covered the entire area with river rock which is prevelant here and cheap, also barn gutters. Never had mud again. Then I put a run in shelter in the front pasture. I had it graded for drainage, lots of river rock in and around the run in but it is a giant mud mess right now. What I think has happened is the river rock has washed away due to the slope for drainage. In the Spring I'll be putting in a french drain and more river rock. Inside the run in is pretty dry and I have mats. It has been raining so much here the water cannot drain away before the next round of rain. I HATE MUD!!!!!


                                      • #20
                                        Gravel. Lots and lots of gravel. But you need to put it down in the late summer when the ground is dry. If there is already mud the gravel will sink in.

                                        I live in the PNW, in an area that has about 36" of clay as top soil. We get serious mud. The first year I lived on my farm it was 2' deep at the gate.

                                        I put down 4" of 1 1/4" clear, spread it and drove a roller over it (fun!), then put down 4" of 5/8" minus on top of that. Did this in the sacrifice paddock 4 years ago and all I've had to do since is add a pickup load once a year in the places where my horse digs herself a wallow.

                                        First I mowed the paddock very close, then used the box scraper to take out the grass roots, then put in the gravel. I did this in late August when the ground was the driest. Including $300 to rent the roller it cost about $1400 to do a 40' X 80' paddock.