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TKButtermilk 12-11-2012 09:24 PM

Making dirt less slick?
 
This might soud completely crazy, but I promise it'll maybe make sense haha. Where we live the dirt is VERY fine and hard packed. My horses stalls (outdoor) are all dirt and when it rains that mud is SLICK! I haven't had any issues but I'm worried someone's legs are going to slip out from under them when they get a little fresh or bicker. Does anyone have any ideas of something to add that would make it a little less slick without creating a massive mess? I was told that because its so flattened out that adding more dirt will actually make it less slippery, opinions?
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Phly 12-11-2012 09:29 PM

Sand. Sugar sand Would be best. 6" deep. It'll get mixed in a lil but be good footing and easy on the hooves and legs.
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Tessa7707 12-11-2012 10:35 PM

Sounds like you might have DG? Decomposed granite? I used to live in So. Cal. too and I think I know what you mean. We just kinda dealt with it. It was a total pain but the rain only lasted a couple months. Sand would work, but you've gotta be careful with sand in the stalls causing colic. Rubber mats in the stall might be your best bet, and add the sand to your arena.

TKButtermilk 12-11-2012 11:11 PM

Yeah, I'm not gonna risk the sand, that was my first thought too. Maybe if I just put mats where they eat to avoid them eating sand? I don't know :/
I'm glad someone undertanda! It's becoming a real problem because although it only rains a Little bit it's been really densely foggy at night and so the ground isn't drying out and is staying slick. We were thinking of rototilling the whole thing but I'm worried about making the problem worse
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Saddlebag 12-11-2012 11:30 PM

Horses are able to adapt to various footings. I watch one go tho mud like a bull dozer while the other tip toes thro like a ballerina in toe shoes. My floor is clay and originally had about 10" of pit run sand. That was over 10 years ago and it could stand some more.

COWCHICK77 12-11-2012 11:51 PM

50 Attachment(s)
A small diameter pea gravel might be an option. Most likely won't ingest like sand but still drains nicely.

Tessa7707 12-12-2012 12:28 AM

Yeah, I definitely feel for you. Rototilling might make it worse if it's too wet. Whenever we would drag the arena with the tractor when it was too wet, it'd be deep, thick, sticky mud and we'd end up with huge clods when it dried. That's if your rototiller can even till through it. We dug a lot of drainage ditches to drain water away from stalls, walkways and riding areas. when it was dry enough, usually earlier in the year, we'd spend a lot of time making sure stalls were even (no dips or holes) with a slight grade so it would drain well. Sometimes that did involve tilling up the whole stall, raking and leveling, and then tamping down with a dirt tamper.
If you can afford it, I think mats would be the way to go. They have mats in all the stalls at my barn in Northern Ca. (where I now live) and it is SO so nice. We don't have DG but we have an overabundance of rain and they help a lot in the stalls.

Tessa7707 12-12-2012 12:29 AM

Yeah, I definitely feel for you. Rototilling might make it worse if it's too wet. Whenever we would drag the arena with the tractor when it was too wet, it'd be deep, thick, sticky mud and we'd end up with huge clods when it dried. That's if your rototiller can even till through it. We dug a lot of drainage ditches to drain water away from stalls, walkways and riding areas. when it was dry enough, usually earlier in the year, we'd spend a lot of time making sure stalls were even (no dips or holes) with a slight grade so it would drain well. Sometimes that did involve tilling up the whole stall, raking and leveling, and then tamping down with a dirt tamper.
If you can afford it, I think mats would be the way to go. They have mats in all the stalls at my barn in Northern Ca. (where I now live) and it is SO so nice. We don't have DG but we have an overabundance of rain and they help a lot in the stalls.

stevenson 12-12-2012 12:46 AM

sounds like you have Heavy Clay soil. Same here, and do not till it up . It will make a horrid mess ! Adding sand does not help, as it will not pack down.
You can put stall mats where they feed, but until you 'treat' soil using gypsum to get the soil to drain you will have the problem. I have this awful soil, and just have learned to live with it. In pee puddle spots, I have put down cheap kitty litter, but still there is a mess

TKButtermilk 12-12-2012 01:29 AM

It's more of a paddock than a stall, so mats arent really an option unfortunately. It's on a grade and drains really well, it's just that the thin layer of mud that's left is EVIL. I guess it's just a gotta deal kind of situation
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