Best Footing around barn to help with Mud? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-05-2014, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Question Best Footing around barn to help with Mud?

We just built our barn last fall. We built it on a base of 1" crushed limestone at the recommendation of the builder. This is fine inside the stalls becuase there are matts over the top.

However, under the lein-to part of the barn it has the 1" crushed limestone as well. Builder said it would pack down solid and it has done everything but especially since my horses feet act like and aggitator to the rock. It simply won't pack! We have bare clay dirt in front of the barn just past the limestone, outside the lein-to area. This will for sure turn into an ankle deep mud hole in winter.

My farrier suggested putting down 'crusher run' or 1/2" and down limestone to bond the larger limestone pieces under the lein-to but also create a firm footing for winter in the dirt area just outside the lein-to area that won't be muddy like clay.

The landscaping company who would haul the crusher run or 1/2" and down said that either would work good to create a firm base and would not require anything underneath. He said that we may have to add a truck load every couple of years but it really won't sink that much as long as we make our base of crusher run at least 4" thick. (which is line with what the farrier said as well-minumum of 4" thick.)

Does anyone have experience with this? Would you agree? Does this type of footing hold firm in wet wintery conditions? Thoughts, ideas, concerns, pictures of your own footing? I have also heard of people using wood chips as a base to keep the mud at bay?....
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-06-2014, 01:23 AM
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No on the wood chips, they act as a mulch and doesn't let the ground dry up as well.

No matter what anyone tells you anything you put down is going to churned into mud pretty fast for the first couple of years. What we did around the water tanks, entrances to the lean tos, and gate areas was put down a layer of #53's with dust. Replaced as needed and then eventually you build a solid base. Once that solid base was created we then put ag lime, lime screenings, lime dust (seems like everyone has a different name for it) over the top. Water, pack it down and then keep watering it down every day until it sets up good (I'm thinking that it takes 3 or 4 days, it's actually hubby's job so not positive). We still have to add another layer every now and then but not often except inside the lean tos because a lot of it gets scraped up along with the poop. We also keep a load of gravel and ag lime in the barn lot so it can be added as needed.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-06-2014, 11:39 AM
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The landscaping company seems to have a good idea there. The only way to make it last longer would be excavating the area, laying down geotextile fabric (NOT the same as landscaping fabric) or a geo grid. Then putting the footing over this.
If you have a lot of precipitation, gutters are a must! You can divert the runoff into a greywater garden or even ito a rain barrel to use for irrigation in the dry months. French drains can also come in handy to help get water out of the area so it doesn't sit and make mud. Manure management will be important regardless, since the organic matter will turn even sand and gravel mucky.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-06-2014, 09:06 PM
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We put 6-8" of stone screenings on top of our clay soil in our shelter. It's like extremely coarse sand.



However, when you have clay soil like we do, you absolutely must grade the area so that NO water runs into the shelter. If you don't, you'll still have a muddy mess or you'll be constantly adding rock to replace what sinks into the ground. We put a pretty good slope in front of our shelter that channels all the water down hill, and it is never muddy, even with severe thunderstorms that dump 1-2" of rain. The dampness you see in this picture is from slobbers (it's clover time here). It just pools on top of the stone until it dries, but doesn't make "mud".

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-12-2014, 11:38 PM
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Kinda old post but, few words of caution. 53's= yes. But asphalt 53's. Concrete 53's will have steel in them.
It's all about diverting the water. Even clay will be dry after rain if the water has somewhere to go. Dig a pond, give the over burden away. Water goes down hill. And goes somewhere. You control that and you won't have a mud puddle on your place.

Ever seen people who are looking for clean fill dirt? Most of them built their building up, above natural grade and now need dirt to backfill.

Got a creek, pond, river? Make water go there.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-14-2014, 11:36 AM
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Don't use any organic products, wood chips, mulch, straw, shavings, etc, they just break down into more mud. The best product is a plastic grid, one brand is called hoof grid. It's pretty pricey, but works well. You put it down, fill in the holes with gravel, then put a couple inches of gravel on top.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-14-2014, 03:57 PM
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i will need to look into those stone screenings. i got some free dirt to fill in holes pawed under the covers, and some heavy duty stall mats for a couple of the pens. But still need a lot more stall mats for all 14 pens. i wanted sand for the walk ways etc, but hubby was not so keen on the idea. I would plant grass but cannot afford to water that much grass .
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