Fixing my mud issue, NW readers please chime in...
I don't know if horse owners in other regions have as much of a problem with rain and mud as those of us in the NW do but I am looking for ideas.
I have a 3 stall barn with entries on the outside. Even though we are on the top of a hill, due to the soil/clay content, our drainage is CRAP. From October to May/June we have deep mud outside the stalls. This is causing all our horses to get weird fungus stuff on their feet and lose hair because they are perpetually globed up with mud and they often would rather stand out in the rain than struggle through the sloppy mud, in some places as much as 12" deep.
So I am looking for ideas on how to fix this. I have a couple ideas that I am entertaining but I am of course open to anything at this point.
1.Bring in a "Bobcat" and dig out all the mud/dirt down to about 2' deep in an area as wide as the entire stall area and about 15'-20' out (distance from barn doors to outer edge).
2.Dump a truck load of 2"-3" crushed rock in the area and level that out.
3.Put Sand or dirt back on top of the rock so the surface is soft enough for the times of year when they don't have shoes.
Theory:This would allow the water to sink down and move freely through the rock layer and pool there or run off to the edges where there will still be mud but at least it won't be in front of the stalls.
1. Bring in a backhoe and dig trenches approx 1' wide and 2'-3' deep and 20' long, at a 90 degree angle from the barn wall, about 4' apart. From above this would look like a big "comb" with the trenches being the blades of the comb.
2. Take 1-3 lengths of 5" perforated PVC pipe and lay them side by side in each trench running the length of the trench.
3. Fill the trenches with 2"-3" crushed rock and sand alternating layers and cover with dirt.
I thought about just digging out and pouring a cement slab over the whole area but that would be cost prohibitive.
I am open to ideas, thanks for taking the time to read and respond if you are so inclined.