I'd just like to put in my 2 cents about the poop, snow, frozen ground and muck. I know that I have tried to stay ahead of the poop in the winter time, going out to the worst areas and trying to pick it up, but honestly, when it freezes, and snows and the horses don't stop defecating just because it's snowing, uh its darn near impossible to get the poop. This year I consider myself to be very luck because we know have an excavator and I can use that to help with at least putting the frozen poop combined with the snow, ice and frozen pee into biggish piles in the paddock. But doing it that way also results in the ground being torn up and well, no matter what you do, it's just not pretty. Even when I was a kid and my mom would go out and walk the paddock twice a day, by the time the snow started to melt there were still poop piles.
And the soil type makes a huge difference in what you can do. I could put 3 loads of gravel in front of my barn and it wouldn't make one bit of difference because it's clay and the frost heaves up here just push it all out again. I've never seen frost heaves like this until I moved here: literally 3 and 4 feet highs and lows. It was really shocking to me. It is completely unrealistic in many situations to consider digging out the native ground cover and replacing it with gravel.
So, Spirit, I hear your pain and to the doubters: sorry, but it's just not an ideal world and some things just aren't possible.