Paddock Cleaning - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 12-01-2019, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Paddock Cleaning

Ok, this is probably a stupid question - like, a really stupid one - and if you laugh I will not be offended.

Is there any way to encourage horses to poop in certain areas??

I had a super muddy dry lot; knee deep, horrible. My husband and I spent $2000 and an entire weekend to dig it out, lay drainage and gravel it (with the proper gravel). At the time I had a mule and a filly; the filly did whatever the mule did, and the mule only pooped out of the way so they didn't walk through it. It was so easy to clean every day!

Now I've brought back my Arab mare, and she poops EVERYWHERE. THEN RUNS THROUGH IT. I clean the dry lot daily because it will never get that bad again, but my nice firm neat piles are now scattered bits of manure sometimes buried under gravel. I'm doing my best, but it now takes me 3x as long for it to be half as clean as it was.

Is there any way to encourage her to poop somewhere else, maybe off the beaten path so it's not trampled? I know it sounds so stupid, but I figured it was worth a shot. Thanks for any helpful feedback!
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post #2 of 33 Old 12-01-2019, 05:06 PM
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I don't think it's a stupid question.

I've heard of people training a horse to go in certain areas by discouraging them from going in any other. They claimed they could spray different things that their horses didn't like. I'll be seeing a friend's who leases paddocks and ask her if she remembers what they used.

Anybody here know?
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post #3 of 33 Old 12-01-2019, 07:34 PM
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Not a stupid question. My horse does poop in certain areas naturally. As in...when we free-lunge in her pasture...she will suddenly veer off, go make a pit stop in her manure area, and then continue onward after. Usually horses do this because they don't desire eating near where they poop. And I do feed my mare in her pasture. Perhaps that is something you can use? Place her food wherever you don't want her to poop? You can put hay in a slow-feed hay back, tie it up with baling twine, and flop it on top of a rubber mat or "clean" (as can be) surface.
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post #4 of 33 Old 12-01-2019, 10:31 PM
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If you figure out anything that works let me know!
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post #5 of 33 Old 12-02-2019, 05:31 AM
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For those who want to avoid this problem who've not yet bought a horse, stallions are usually lovely and neat in paddocks, leaving their manure in mounds, so you can just pick it up from a couple of piles instead of scattered all over. Some late-gelded horses retain this characteristic to an extent.
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post #6 of 33 Old 12-02-2019, 07:19 AM
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I wonder if using a strong scent, like mare in heat urine, would help? Hunters use it, so you should be able to buy some easily at a hunting supplies store. It would likely get them sniffing the area at least, and maybe it would trigger something...
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post #7 of 33 Old 12-03-2019, 01:11 PM
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I am also curious if anyone has any ideas about this. Fortunately, I do not have this issue as my mare is very tidy about where she poops, and refuses to step in it. If I'm riding her through the pasture and we happen upon one of her favorite poop spots, she WILL stop and poop. Even if she doesn't need to poop when we get there, she'll stop and raise her tail. She also goes out of her way to poop into or within a couple feet of the manure pile in the far corner of the pasture as often as possible.
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post #8 of 33 Old 12-04-2019, 09:16 AM
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I’ve found that some will always use one spot and others couldn’t care less where they go. I find they’re the same in the stable.
Not sure how much room you have but you could maybe try having a small sacrifice area where you always leave a few piles of manure and see if that attracts the horse to use the same spot all the time?
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post #9 of 33 Old 12-04-2019, 09:33 AM
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I'm not sure if it is possible, because I tried for years with an appendix QH that not only consumed groceries at an alarming rate, but scattered the results everywhere and stomped them too.

An overnight stay in the stall resulted in complete deep cleanings nearly every time...

If one has a horse that eats a normal horse amount, and thus makes a normal amount of horsey poo, one can sometimes teach them to be a little more clean, but it is not failsafe...

I have done this with stalled horses, don't know that it translates to outside.

1) start with clean stall, including (if matted) cleaning off the mats with bleach along the front of the stall. Put the water and feed buckets along the front wall, and the hay net in the front corner.

2)After horse poops, place it in the back corner, straight behind the hay net.

3) this is hard to explain, but when cleaning stalls, do not mix up the shavings. Make sure to clean up every bit of manure/urine in the front areas, but continue to leave the poo in the back corner, or at least some of it.

If the horse notices, sometimes they can learn to go only in the back, but some just don't notice or don't care.

IME, stall raised babies are messy, and pasture raised babies are neater.
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post #10 of 33 Old 12-04-2019, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
IME, stall raised babies are messy, and pasture raised babies are neater.
I have noticed this too. At the stable I most recently worked at, we had a pony that had never seen a stall in his life before being bought by the barn owner, and he was incredibly organized and neat both in his stall and in the pasture. (He was also a total butthead that would bust through fences to eat the metabolic ponies' safe starch and then kick anyone who would try to catch him, but that's a different story.) They also had a gelding that was born and raised on their heavy-stall-user farm, and my gosh did I dread cleaning his stall every day. He would also grab any and all items hanging on his door - halter, blanket, lead rope - and drag it into his stall, poop everywhere, and then stomp and mix it all into oblivion, sometimes such a homogenous mixture that we couldn't find his halter at all until we dug for it!
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