How to get rid of dust/mud in pens - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-10-2011, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 132
• Horses: 2
How to get rid of dust/mud in pens

I keep my horses at a self-care facility, meaning we pay board for the space, but are responsible for all care.
Anyway, my pens are so muddy because we had a couple of days of rain. Every time it rains for even a few hours it gets like this, and forget about it when we have days of rain! We are talking 6" of deep, sucky, gummy, muddy muck that will pull your boots off after only a day of rain. In the summer, it is fine, silty dust.
I don't have a ton of money to spend, but am trying to figure out what I can add to the pens to cut down on the mud. The dust is kind of annoying, but the mud is completely frustrating! I added a bunch of old hay and some sand yesterday just because I felt I needed to do SOMETHING & that was all that was available at the time. I tried to tramp it in so the horses wouldn't try to eat it. I haven't been back yet, so not sure if they vacuumed it up or tromped it in.
Could adding straw, gravel, sand, or WHAT help?? I don't want it to be very rocky, so gravel, unless very fine isn't my favorite choice. Surely some of you deal with this and have answers...
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-14-2011, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Wichita,Kansas
Posts: 7
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I have delt with runs and they are a PAIN! If your not wanting to spend lots of money I would recommend sand. Or you can hire someone to come and pack the run for you with a roller. Now we use a mixture of sand, small gravel and dirt that we bought from the local concrete plant and we had it packed tight and it works really well. It costs a few hundred but its worth it in the long run. If you deal with just sand you have to be aware that the horse might vacum and that might lead to sand colic.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-14-2011, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,779
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Are all the pens like this, or just yours (or just a few)? If so, could you move to a better pen?

It sounds like the underlying ground is like clay and doesn't allow the water to run off or run through it like sand. We have some areas of clay like that here, and you're right, the water puddles and the thick muddy stuff can suck your boots off. We use gravel or crushed concrete. Crushed concrete is great, and less expensive than gravel.

Adding a lot of sand will help. I would be concerned that you're shelling out money to fix up someone else's property. Could you talk to the land owner and ask them for some refund or reduced board if you go through the expense of fixing the footing in the pen?
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-15-2011, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 132
• Horses: 2
All the pens get like this, so no, I can't move to a different pen. How do I find crushed concrete? Call a concrete company? Sand might be the best thing. Our board is awfully cheap, so I don't feel too bad about putting some money toward it.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-16-2011, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2,355
• Horses: 2
I have this problem with my pen. It was suggested to me that I dig a ditch outside the fence on the upper part. I am hoping this will work!! Im not sure if its possible for you if your pen is surrounded by other pens. Its about 6-8 inches deep and like I said it is OUTSIDE the fence, not inside it. If its not possible I would try birds eye gravel or also called screenings. Its a little bit bigger than sand but a bit smaller than pea gravel. It can get a litttle dusty however.... One problem with sand, is that if they live on it they can get it ingrained in their hoof which can lead to lameness. And its quite complicated to get it out.

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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