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Yes, another post about geotextile

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  • Yes, another post about geotextile

    Ok, since the horses couldn't make it home before winter, we've decided to get the small paddocks off the barn fenced in and mud-free. My COPD horse needs to be out as much as possible so I'd like to have these so they can go in and out at night, but not out by the busy road and a little more confined. BUT... I'm in Indiana with bad clay and lots and lots of mud. He destroyed his stifle years ago and is permanently lame so I need to make sure it's safe footing or else he ends up staying in him stall for days on end, which with his new COPD is a big problem. Questions...

    1.) HOW do I find someone to do this? I've called people who have done excavating for us in the past and they acted like I had 2 heads.

    2.) Is it called something else? I've heard it called geotextile and cow carpet (when I said that they acted like I had THREE heads)

    3.) What good documents/sites are there for guidelines as for how to do this?

    4.) What footing do you have over yours? How many inches?

    5.) I feel like an idiot, but I don't understand how much you are supposed to remove off of the top.

    6.) Lastly... (and depressingly) do I need to wait until the mud is gone to do all this? It's a muddy mess here now and there will probably be some awesome times where the ground firms back up before spring from freezing (but then there will most likely be snow also). Once spring comes though... yikes.

  • #2
    I'm not sure I can answer all your questions, but maybe I can help a little.

    The first time we had geotextile installed it was in our barnyard/barn driveway, so it's possible you would get further with non-horsey contractors if you explained that you wanted geotextile or road fabric as is often installed underneath a newly built road or gravel driveway?

    But it would seem reasonable that any contractor who has done roads/driveway type of excavation would "get it" if you said you wanted to construct an area for your horses to be kept that wouldn't get muddy. So you'd want to grade the area, install geotextile fabric, and put crushed gravel/screenings and/or sand over the top. If that wasn't enough to explain to them, I guess I'd keep looking!

    We have two areas that have geotextile. The barnyard/barn driveway...our barn has a 60x60 paddock surrounding it that the horses are able to use as a dry lot when we don't need to have the gates open (99.9% of the time). Because we need to use it as a driveway as well, it is made of stonedust (screenings, crushed bluestone). It was first graded and really not too much was removed, then I believe we did geotextile, 3" of gravel, then 3" of stonedust. It will and does compact very hard so it's not a good place to ride, but can be used for walking or some light trotting if necessary. I will say that in some places the 3" of stonedust has eroded and exposes the gravel (a wash out area near the fenceline, for example) so you probably would not want to go with less than 3" of stonedust/footing if you have gravel underneath.

    My arena also has geotextile and it was a much bigger project based on location and drainage -- I think we removed 18" of clay and then put geotextile, 12" or more of gravel & drainage pipe, another layer of geotextile, stonedust and eventually sand footing. But with any luck you will not need to go to that extreme for a dry lot/turnout area.

    I would ask around....the guy that did our work doesn't advertise anywhere and has a full schedule for about 2-3 years out. So there are a lot of experienced contractors out there who may not advertise that they do equine/farm work.

    Comment


    • #3
      I always order mine from the factory, US Fabrics. http://www.usfabricsinc.com/

      The people there are super helpful and help with how much, weight, and set up shipping.


      The rolls are huge though....14-15' long and pretty heavy. I think the smallest roll is a 300' roll. About 18" thick.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you have heavy clay, you may want to lay plastic tile in the ground after leveling it. Then your fabric, then your fill. I would agree that you want to start with about 6 inches, it will compact and need refilling in some places after several month of use.

        I also would call a construction company or two, get bids for the grading and fill. May be cheaper to buy the roll or rolls of fabric yourself, than get it thru the contractor.

        I would have my paddocks graded for drainage, not leveled. Then put the tile down with a trencher or rent a machine to dig the ditches. We get tile wth a fabric cover, prevents sand build up so fast. Refill tile ditches with peastone if affordable. Better drainage.

        Husbands, fathers, brothers or male friends OFTEN love running those machines, so you get lots of help at that time. Renting machines is usually a great way to have the power needed for jobs, send it back when done. Ask for a driving lesson if you want to do it yourself, rental place guys explain pretty well. Practice a little, you should be good to go.

        You might be able to put in the tile yourself, fill the ditches, then turn the construction guys loose with fabric and fill over fabric. We didn't find the fabric heavy in rolls. We rolled it out for length, overlapped about 2ft, and pinned it down. Fabric stays pretty well in place with machines, trucks driving over to dump fill about. Fabric has sure helped us reduce mud problems on the driveways, parking areas, lane to the field.

        Mark your tile lines PERMANENTLY (maybe with decorative boulders, paint spots on the barn side at ground level) if you do the whole space at one time. Then you won't puncture tile when putting up fence posts, electric or water lines. Doing everything at once on a big space, will be easier to work with the bigger machines and truckloads. Cheaper to order MUCH fill at once, because each truck run, hauling, is what costs you. You will always find a use for extra dirt, rock or fill. So buy a full load for each run from the gravel pit. Things can get done quicker, faster, with bigger machines and trucks working for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
          Ok, since the horses couldn't make it home before winter, we've decided to get the small paddocks off the barn fenced in and mud-free. My COPD horse needs to be out as much as possible so I'd like to have these so they can go in and out at night, but not out by the busy road and a little more confined. BUT... I'm in Indiana with bad clay and lots and lots of mud. He destroyed his stifle years ago and is permanently lame so I need to make sure it's safe footing or else he ends up staying in him stall for days on end, which with his new COPD is a big problem. Questions...

          1.) HOW do I find someone to do this? I've called people who have done excavating for us in the past and they acted like I had 2 heads.

          I hired a "side job" type excavator who knew his sh!t concerning dirt and leveling and I told him how to do it for horses

          2.) Is it called something else? I've heard it called geotextile and cow carpet (when I said that they acted like I had THREE heads)

          I don't think so...
          3.) What good documents/sites are there for guidelines as for how to do this?

          Try this

          4.) What footing do you have over yours? How many inches?

          I put stone dust over mine, dug up the top soil (down about 6-8 inches) and then put stone dust so it's above ground level

          5.) I feel like an idiot, but I don't understand how much you are supposed to remove off of the top.
          take off all the organic material, usually 6-8 inches

          6.) Lastly... (and depressingly) do I need to wait until the mud is gone to do all this? It's a muddy mess here now and there will probably be some awesome times where the ground firms back up before spring from freezing (but then there will most likely be snow also). Once spring comes though... yikes.

          it depends. I did mine now but I made some sacrifices. I HAD to do it while the ground was frozen cause the ground is SO wet in the fall/spring that the tractors and esp trucks with stone wouldn't be able to get in. However, I paid way more for time/labor because the ground was so hard that it took a long time to dig up the frozen top soil. It would have been easier to wait till a dry spell in the summer but I wanted it now!
          hope that helps!
          http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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