Fixing mud in the sacrafice/paddock area

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Fixing mud in the sacrafice/paddock area

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  • Keep mud out of the paddock
  • How to fix a muddy horse paddock

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    11-17-2011, 10:05 PM
Fixing mud in the sacrafice/paddock area

So we're just starting the very wet winter and already my horses turn out areas are muddy.

I know the only *real* solution is wait untill it's dry, use a front loader to remove the top layer of dirt and then build it back up with french drains, a solid drain rock base and cover the whole thing with washed 5/8ths.

But realistically it's November in Seattle, it's not going to stop raining till June, and there's no way I'm getting a tractor in to scoop out mud.

Is there anything I can do in the mean time to keep my horses out of the mud, and solidify the mush ground?

Or am I stuck emptying a yard of hogs fuel in the muck every month till summer in the hopes of building an island made of hog fuel?

Thanks in advance!
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    11-17-2011, 10:17 PM
I'm having the same issue in Maine. Here's what you do.

Do you know those guys that have the trucks and cut branches and clear downed trees during storms and such? Ideally you can ask someone if they'll bring you the wood chips from their trucks. BUT you can also buy wood chips... I just stopped one day when they were cutting down branches and said "hey what do you do with all those wood chips?" They were right down the road, and brought them over for free. I dumped them into the really muddy areas and TA-DAAAA! You might need to add more come March or April, but it will definitely help.
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    11-18-2011, 09:16 AM
Wood chips are a temporary fix as they break down. A friend had several loads of sandy gravel dumped but not spread. The horses would often stand on this to get out of the muck. They spread it a bit but not a lot. That was 3 years ago and the mounds are still working.
    11-18-2011, 09:22 AM
In the long run wood chips will actually make it worse instead of better. Unless you are truly planning on scraping it all out do not toss wood chips into the mix. Wood chips hold the moisture and things will stay wet longer.
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    11-18-2011, 11:56 AM
They've worked perfectly fine for me for w few years now. Occasionally we add a little more, but not that often. We are planning on eventually digging trenches so that the water drains off into the woods and not into the paddock. So yeah. It is temporary. But isn't that what the OP asked for? Something to do in the "mean time."
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    11-18-2011, 12:50 PM
Yes I really am planning on scraping it out. I have a grant from the county and local conservation district to help pay for it next year. I just need something to get through the winter.
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    11-18-2011, 12:52 PM
Wood chips will get you through winter. Definitely. And they are relatively easy to come by... Good luck!!
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    11-23-2011, 12:39 AM
We put -- and don't quote me on this -- what I believe was crushed limestone. I am not sure what it was called, but it helped a lot. One of those things with a thousand names. But it was muddy when we put it in. We did scrape some of the mud out, but mainly manure. We put it in the high traffic areas and it still his holding quite well. In between the gates I have rubbet mats so there is some hard ground.
    11-23-2011, 01:12 AM
I think its pete rock? I don't know its like large gravel that they use on railways we use that its awesome, its best to get an inche or two then once pack add reg gravel on top. We have just started with it
    11-23-2011, 03:15 AM
Beware of those free wood chips. The variety of trees that are cut are random, and many are toxic to horses and will founder them.

If you put the gravel down on the soft ground, much of it will disappear in the mud and be wasted. Even red clay (county road gravel) and commercial base crushed limestone.

I think the best way to cope at this time of year is to try to get the water to run off and drain by use of slopes and ditching.

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