Icy paddock solutions?
I posted a little while ago about how my paddock was snow-packed, but felt really nice for riding. Like sand. Well, that all washed away like a sandcastle at high tide.
We just had three days of unusually mild weather that included rain. So my paddock went from snow-covered to a foot deep sheet of ice. On the second day, I went out and chipped away ditches in the ice to drain as much water as possible, but today, the temps went from slightly above freezing to very cold in a few hours. The low tonight is -19 C with a -27 C windchill.
Riding isn't even a consideration anymore. I just want to be able to let my horses out safely. I've spread out as much of their lightly soiled bedding as I had (I stripped down their stalls to do it and separated out the manure). I use wood pellets and they expand, then crumble into a sawdust-type product. This provides excellent traction, but I don't have enough to do the entire paddock, just some pathways and feeding areas. My husband offered to get some sand for me tomorrow. The paddock does have grass growing, but of course, it's not a food source, it just helps protect against erosion. I wouldn't want to use salt partly because of the effect on the grass and partly because the horses might lick it.
What do you do to provide traction on ice? I could also use my pasture drag with the tines down to try to provide a bit of texture, but honestly, this is thick, frozen hard ice so there will be no breaking it up.