Fixing a mistake. Clay muck
So new to the forum, so Hi.
I board now at a small barn, 4 stalls (currently 4 occupants - 3 paint mares, and my lil long yearling rescue colt). With roughly 4.2 acres of pasture.
Its situated in the middle of a neighborhood, the back of the pasture is next to the drainage ditch that runs through my wee suburbanite town.
The barn itself is sturdy, and in good repair, with electricity, and lights.
Two stalls on the left leading into a small paddock, and 2 stalls on the right leading into a larger paddock and hay room. Tack room is small, but has refridgerator, sink, and storage.
The HUGE PROBLEM.
Mrs L, whom I help take care of her two paint mares, decided mid august to get "dirt" from a local construction site and lay it, in her paddock, stalls, and in front of the main gate leading out into the pasture. As well as a few low spots in the pasture towards the back. Her husband and I both tried to talk her out of it because, it was CLAY. She is very strong willed and would not hear a bad word about the "free dirt" she had aquired to improve our barn.
Fast foward to now - rain, some cold (it is texas we don't really get snow or anything really cold) and her paddock is ruined, the horses are constantly covered in mudd, and their stalls are to the point where they prefer to stand on the hay outside in the weather then in their stalls.
My paddock (well mine as soon as the other horse moves out) is so low that its like a swimming pool. There are no gutters and the mare currently residing in it, has worn it down to nothing with her endless pacing.
So I need ideas for the coming spring on how to spruce it up. Mrs. L is down for some time and has realized the error of her decision, so her husband, her friend, my family and I are going to try and work the whole place back into being nice.
Big problem however is the clay. How to move it out, can we mix sand or top soil in it to help loosen it out some or does it need to removed entirely. We have a tractor, with a bucket, disk, and can rent anything else needed.
The drainage plans we have thought up are french drains, Leading out from each paddock to infront of the barn, and then down to the left headed towards to natural slope down the drainage ditch in the back. But not entirely sure of the materials we should use for long lasting and minimal maintence requirements.
Helps and ideas are more then welcome lol.