Best Footing to Keep a Paddock Dry - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-14-2019, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2019
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Best Footing to Keep a Paddock Dry

I just got a mini horse a few weeks ago and unfortunately his outdoor stall is already very muddy with puddles. Thankfully the adjoining indoor stall has stayed completely dry, so he has a big dry area to lay down, roll, stand and eat. He spends almost all day in a separate, 1 acre big field that he shares with a few goats, so it's not like he stands in this mud for much time, but I am still very concerned about him getting thrush. I'm looking for suggestions about what kind of material (gravel, crushed rock, mulch, etc) that I could try putting down in here to help it drain and keep it from getting so muddy. Any advice would be helpful and appreciated. Thank you!
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-14-2019, 09:19 PM
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Location: Sierra Foothills CA
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3/4" Gravel with Fines (road base) covered with Decomposed Granite. Not soft or comfy, but well draining with optimum footing in large areas. It'll cost you a fortune, but strategically place it in low lying areas or high traffic areas. Pick up manure, leaves and left over hay/feed in your pasture...all of it!
A little coppertox in the clefts and heals will ward off thrush, as well as regular rims, and daily hoof picking. Also, look around and see if you can shovel drainage trenches in areas that pool water....get the moisture out of there! Stay away from organic material...mulch, shavings, muck buster.. they just make the problem worse. And if there are mud bogs in the pasture, scrape them up with a flat edged shovel or picking fork, and remove them to the crap pile or place it in areas where your mini rarely goes. Then fill the hole with gravel or DG. Slick is better than Thick when it comes to mud bogs
Horse husbandry is a "you fill in the blank" in the winter...try to preempt the mud issues by proper maintenance and upgrades when the weather is nicer. Easier for you, and better for the critters when the rain hits!

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post #3 of 5 Old 12-15-2019, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice. I'll look into that gravel... I don't mind investing some money in it now if it's a long term fix that will keep him healthy, but I've heard that gravel can be a problem because it could get stuck in his hooves or cut him? Have you ever had a problem with this?
Thankfully the pasture drains very well and miraculously there isn't even any puddles in there, so it's just the smaller paddock that needs work.
I've been trying to pick out his hooves, but he's 21 years old and was never properly taught how to give his feet and how to tolerate being tied up, so it's pretty difficult. I'll definitely get some of that medicine to fend thrush off... thanks for the tip
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-15-2019, 10:00 AM
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Depending upon how large a area you are referring to...
Just having someone with equipment to properly grade your property may be all you need...
Sounds like you do not have mostly "pitched" level ground and instead some dips/valleys that trap the water and moisture not allowing run-off and drainage.
A few loads of clean-fill dirt also can do wonders to raise the ground elevation so again, grading of land for run-off and drainage happens.
If your mini paces or walks a fence-line often, that will also compress the ground and create a pooling spot...a utility rake and pulling dirt back in to the walk-track can undo some of those potential water accumulation spots.
If you own a tractor with bucket or know how to grade with a box-blade you are well ahead of many doing this dirt moving by hand labor for smaller areas..
Sometimes it is just needed the ground tilled so it can seep and drain easier...hooves and weight continually on it have a habit of packing the ground tight and reducing drainage.
Some other things to consider and look at and into.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-15-2019, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2019
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Unfortunately we don't have a tractor right now... We are hoping to get one within the next couple months, but for now I've been moving mud out from in there and dirt into there by hand with a wheel barrel. It's slow going and frustrating because it's still raining so much, so it's like one step forward and two steps back. I'm thinking that the compacted gravel may be a better long term solution... I'm going to look into what kinds are available in this area and for what price. Thank you for your advice
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