Questions/Suggestions on Mud Control...

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Questions/Suggestions on Mud Control...

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  • Does clay get muddier than topsoil
  • Best mud control

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    03-19-2012, 05:23 PM
Questions/Suggestions on Mud Control...

Hi All,

We are redoing the area by our barn this summer because it's a complete muddy mess with it rains/snow is melting. We have clay underneath the topsoil/dirt. Right now I am taking our tractor and digging all the mud/pee/poopy mess that on the top and I'm getting into the clay. It's already looking much better. It's also a fairly large area so it's going to take time and money to make this work.

We have an auger and are going to drill 2' holes that will be about 3-4 feet deep which will help with the water draining due to the clay that's there. Those holes will be filled with rocks and then whatever we decide to put down ontop of the rocks. We did this a few years ago and the results were really good for about 2 years, but we never went beyond that for the mud control.

We were planning on doing a 1 foot layer of pee gravel, and then 1 foot sand ontop of the gravel. But would it be better to put the sand down first, and then gravel on top of that? Or use just sand? Or use just gravel?

Will my horses eat the rocks if they are laid down ontop? My horses are barefoot, and the only one that occasionally has issues is my mare. The 2 geldings have very hardy feet. I've heard that pee gravel can help strengthen hooves. Is that true?

The area by the water through is one of the muddiest spots, so would it be wise to put the gravel there?

Do you have other suggestions?

I'm open to just about anything so let me hear your opinions? I can also get pictures of the areas today if anyone wants to see what I'm dealing with.

Thanks in advance!
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    03-19-2012, 05:33 PM
Green Broke
I've never had experiences with the pee gravel but I would wonder about the little rocks getting squished up in the frog area..I am a HUGE believer in sand..We have TONS of red slick clay and we added a lot of sand to our arena just mixes well with the clay and helps it dry faster..So I'm also just subbing to see what others are mixing with the clay..and the opinions on the pee gravel..
    03-19-2012, 10:47 PM
Now, while I have nothing informative to add, and I question my logic in posting this, I really must say... PEA gravel! XD

Not... urine gravel. XD

Sorry, could not contain myself!
Wallaby and CLaPorte432 like this.
    03-19-2012, 10:50 PM
Green Broke
We have pea gravel in some areas and it seems to work well. All three of mine are barefoot and never had a problem with it. We also have larger 3-4 inch rock down in some areas. It sinks down in while wet, but creates a firm base.

I would worry with sand about an increase risk of sand colic.
    03-19-2012, 10:52 PM
My mom has used pea gravel in her muddy area, and her barefoot horses are just fine with it, but she didn't take out the mud, just added the gravel, so it mixed in. I'd do sand/gravel if it were me.
    03-19-2012, 10:54 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by mudpie    
Now, while I have nothing informative to add, and I question my logic in posting this, I really must say... PEA gravel! XD

Not... urine gravel. XD

Sorry, could not contain myself!
Laugh!! In my defense I've never heard of it or used it..I just copied what she said..I've seen WAY worse when it comes to spelling errors..
    03-19-2012, 10:56 PM
Sand can increase the risk of colic. Personally I wouldn't use it. As for gravel I used some myself around the barn, but eventually it all disappeared and I just let it be. I did read that walking horse on gravel for some time every day indeed strengthen the hoofs. However I'm not positive how good it is if they'll run on it.

We have heavy mats around the hay rack that helps us to keep that area dry.

This is from the person I know (from my local forum):

Well, I'll tell you what I did and my "lot" actually is dry 90% of the season...

Put down a good base of No. 1 or No. 2 stone, cover with a landscaper's cloth and then pack down about 6" of stone dust on top. For my run-in, I added an interlocking rubber mat floor and put wood boards at the base of my entire fence with a couple drains to keep my stone dust from washing out in the rain. The only mud I have is right at the paddock gate, and that's only because the contractor that I hired didn't account for drainage there - and even that is minor.

Although the paddock can become slushy, it has never gotten deeper than hoof-deep. It makes it very easy to clean, and if you keep it raked will not become mushy at all, the rain either runs off or drains out. Even in the worst of rainy weeks, my paddock has nice footing, the worst coming after a snow - but usually within 3 days of a week-long rain it's dry and back to nice again.
    03-19-2012, 10:57 PM
I just saw this stuff at a horse expo. It is a great idea. My parents are building a new barn and are planning on using this system.

    03-21-2012, 02:14 AM
The first thing to figure out is where the water is coming from. If you don't have gutters and downspouts on the barn/sheds and the water just ends up in the runs, that's a huge source of extra water. A G of water is 231 sq inches of water. A 10x24 shed will produce 150G of water in a 1 inch downpour. Does water run down the driveway and end up in the pens? Build berms to redirect water away from the pens. Throw in a French drain outside the fence or under the eaves of the barn so the water goes down instead of out. (like what you're doing with the holes and rocks but the entire length)

A foot of gravel and sand is unnecessary as well as expensive. 1 ton of sand will cover 220 sq ft 1 inch (less coverage with gravel). So to cover 100 sf ft (10 ft x 10 ft) in 1 ft of sand, you would need 5 1/5 T. The gravel would be another 6 T. You wouldn't be able to walk in a ft of sand either. I have heavy clay soil as well and what works best for me in the high use areas is 3-4 inches of packed roadbase. The water can not penetrate the roadbase so the water is shed. If the water can't mix with the soil, you can't get mud. Add a couple of inches of gravel over that. It will last longer than sand. The best thing to do is to spend the money and do a small area well (like the runs if you have them). When the weather is bad, lock them up and limit them to just the area with the great footing. If the ground is frozen or dry, than let them use the other areas. Once they walk around and churn up the mud, it takes forever for things to dry up where if they didn't have 24/7 access to it, it would firm up in 2-3 days with no mud.
    03-22-2012, 01:36 AM
Originally Posted by mudpie    
Now, while I have nothing informative to add, and I question my logic in posting this, I really must say... PEA gravel! XD

Not... urine gravel. XD

Sorry, could not contain myself!
LMAO. I wasn't even thinking about the alternative spelling for "pee"

I'm still considering my options and I really appreciate the input from everyone so far! Thanks!

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