Dry Lot base material? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-11-2013, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Midwest
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Cool Dry Lot base material?

I have a horse stabled in a very nice, large dry lot. The only thing that bothers me is that there are areas in the lot that get quite deep in nasty muck when it rains, and then they stay wet for a very long time because they are so deep. I believe those areas should be scooped out and refilled with some sort of material that will not hold water but let it run off. I'm just not sure what that material would be. The only thing currently available at the stable where I'm boarding is sand or rocks, and I sure don't want to use rocks, so I've put some of the sand down, but I doubt it lasts. My horse stomps flies pretty hard, and digs holes wherever she stands. But I was thinking that some sort of very fine crushed gravel might work well. It can pack hard and withstand the stomping and give good water runoff properties. Anyone have any ideas? It is only in a smallish area, but in that area the muck can get 18" deep when it rains, and it happens to be the dry lot entrance and the feed area, which is very inconvenient for me, and bad for my horse's feet. Thank you!
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-11-2013, 12:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
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See a Pattern there? Where the horse is the most, the worse it is?
It's called hard pan, so packed that water can not soak into the underlying soil.
Easily fixed with a chisel plow.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-11-2013, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Phly: Yes, hard pan would be good, and I think you've misunderstood my aim. I would like to get hard pan in those areas, not get rid of it. :) How to achieve hard pan in a dry lot? In a specific area? Use fine ground gravel? or is that bad for a horse's feet? I've heard of it getting up into the hoof and causing problems, so just asking if anyone who runs a barn knows what would fix this.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-11-2013, 01:00 AM
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I think phly meant the water won't absorb (and disappear) unless you chew it up. Regular harrowing after you treat these problem areas might be a good step. We put gravel down at our gate, but first needed to start with larger rock fill to add structure, then filled it in with the smaller stuff.

If you don't grade a slope into the pen before you pack a base, you'll always have bad spots. Perhaps invest into the base as if it were a riding arena?

You don't want your horse eating off sand and placing such a fine fill in a problem area will only get it absorbed into part of the problem.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-11-2013, 03:30 AM
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you do not want hard pan . hard pan stops the water from draining. you need to dig down break up the hard pan and then add materials in. If you have Clay dirt nothing will help ,dig out all the clay remove it, bring in some decent dirt.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-14-2013, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bear Creek, Wa
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Removing hard pan is **** near impossible. You gave to work with it and use it to your advantage.

1) You need to strip the lot down to the hard pan.

2) Grade the hard pan to drain away from the barn and frequently traveled areas.

3) Outside of the fence line at the bottom of the grade rent a ditch witch from Home Depot and dig a trench wide enough for a drainage tube leading away from the turnout area in to a rain garden, cistern or another acceptable drainage area.

4) Backfill the trench with river rocks and cover the trench with geotextile drain fabric.

5) Cover the entire lot with 3-6 inches of washed 1.25"-1.5" rock.

6) Cover the whole lot with geotextile fabric.

7) Cover the whole lot with 5/8 minus for footing.

Don't use sand. It washes away too easily, it gets EASILY moved by horse traffic and movement, and horses like to dig and roll in it. Plus sand is super susceptible to little sink holes after multiple cycles of wet, freeze, dry, wet, hot, wet etc.

Horses dont like to dig or roll with 5/8 minus.

Check with your local county conservation group as they often will help you design a personalized farm plan and reimburse some of the costs.

My county reimbursed 50% of my costs when I redid my turnouts last year, including material, equipment rental etc. it saved me $2000 and totally got rid of my mud problems.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-14-2013, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bear Creek, Wa
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Constructing a sacrifice area
Constructing a Sacrifice Area for Horse Operations*- Fairfax County, Virginia

Mud Management in Horse Turnouts
King Conservation District Mud Management
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-15-2013, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Midwest
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To BigGirlsRideWarmbloods: Jee whiz girl, you make a dry lot sound like rocket science. I just want to keep a couple of key areas from being so deep and soggy. They are very deep in horse doo (from years of horses, not just mine), and get very deeply wet and icky. I appreciate your knowledge of how to design and grade and create a dry lot, but it's not my dry lot, it's a rental, and I'm loathe to invest $2,000.00 in it. Okay, soo not going to happen. But, I was just thinking, like maybe I could put down some Type II gravel (the really fine stuff),and it would be okay. Would it? Or would that fine gravel get in her hooves? Right now there are like a million rocks in her pen, that I have to routinely dig out of her hooves, they are huge, like 2" diameter rocks that have been used as fill in this pen. I hate that. She limps when she steps on one. I don't want to introduce anything else that will she limp on.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-15-2013, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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Hard pan isn't visible. In my area it is down about two feet. When pounding posts we have to watch we don't split them when they hit the hard pan. Installing drain tile with crushed rock is the only way to drain land like this. The name is a misnomer from early days. It is a black flexible hose with tiny holes that is laid on top of crushed, then covered with crushed then then the backfill. The crushed rock prevents the silt from the soil filling up the tile.
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dry lot , footing , mud , sand

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