Putting saw dust/shavings in a muddy corral - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 04-30-2012, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Question Putting saw dust/shavings in a muddy corral

My shared corral is at the bottom of a slight hill, enough that the snow melting in the bush is still running straight into out corral. The horses have nothing but mud to walk in, and no access to a stall.

For $400 for a 25t load of gravel that won't get us very far, it is going to get expensive quick. But for free, I can have as many loads of wood shavings and sawdust as I can haul away from a local manufacturing plant.

I was just wondering opinions, and concerns, as I am getting concerned about being in a wet environment constantly. I wouldn't be able to do the entire corral but enough that they would be able to have a place to get high and dry.

I worry about the saw dust, but they will turn it in quickly, and my husband has offered to bring his quad out to help turn it and it wouldn't be flying around for long.
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 08:33 AM
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You will find that the horses will mix the shavings/sawdust in with the muck and it will take longer to dry. The "high and dry" won't last long. (been there, tried that). Instead I use a small set of the old steel pronged harrows and drag with the quad. It barely scuffs the surface but it's amazing how it starts it drying. I make a few passes daily.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 11:36 AM
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better off filling it with gravel then covering it with the saw dust and wood chips... that way the rocks allow the water to run off still and the saw dust and chips on top will make it a bit more comfortable for them walk on or stand in that area.

If you just do the chips as mentioned above it will only cause more mess... if you get enough gravel to full in the mud and go over it then top it with the saw dust and chips then you have a decent fix for the time being...
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 12:08 PM
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Agree that the wood chips will make thing worse.

Is there no way to drain the paddock? How about digging a french drain or even just a trench for the water to settle in?
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 03:16 PM
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You need tpo dig the mud out and then put bthe gravel down. If not the gravel will sink and it will still be muddy. I would dig a small channel so the water will run off and not puddle.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 03:22 PM
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Agree with all the above...there is no permanent way to fix without digging it out and fix the drainage problem.

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post #7 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Instead of making it worse it will just have to stay this way for now. I cannot afford the $2000.00 in gravel alone needed to make it doable. Thankfully I have free access to a backhoe ( fuel costs only ) but for a piece of property I do not own, only to move in a month or two. ( we are relocating this summer) I just have to find a temporary place to put my gelding.

Thank you for responding. :)
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 03:34 PM
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I agree about not putting shavings in a place that is always wet. I did use shavings and stall leavings outside, but I put them in my small training area. I train in other areas as well. It does get wet when we have heavy rain. During the summer, however, it dries out and gets compacted and hard. I was tilling it, but I like the shavings and how it feels to walk on and ride on, though right now they are a little bit deep. Look to the left and you'll see the surface.

I can tell you that fluffy pine shavings take 5 full years to break down into dirt. I used to pile but not turn my manure piles, and I would dig through these to use for gardening, so I DO KNOW. Equine Fresh (and the others) turn into powder. If you do NOT turn piles they aren't broken down for one year. Again, I know from my gardening experience. I hope this helps. =D
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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We have a small harrow to drag behind our quad, and will try this once I can convince my husband to take it tonight. It's quite the ride out to the barn. ( no trailer or way to load it into the truck )

Thank you again.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 10:15 PM
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All natural materials (wood chips, shavings, etc) will just break down in moisture and make the problem worse. So no- don't put it in the muddy areas. Plus- shavings will blow away!

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