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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a muddy paddock.
It was a forest/peat soil.
We are in Mass.
What can I add to firm up the soil so it's not so muddy?:frown_color:
 

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Sand. A couple of big dump truck loads. Ideally though, before you do, have it levelled, then add a layer of pea gravel.

But if, like me, adding proper drainage to your paddock isn't realistic, at the very least, level it and bring in sand. In my area, it's pretty cheap to get a couple of dump truck loads and spread it around. The only real issue with sand is that you cannot feed hay on it. Use hay feeders or feed hay elsewhere if this is the case.

My barefoot trimmer says that if you can afford it, putting pea gravel in your paddock would be the best thing for hooves, drainage, and to avoid sand colic. The kind they use for children's playgrounds is the perfect size.
 

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Not sure if it's available in your area but I use chert in my round pen. It compacts in rain so it doesn't get sticky and squishy like mud, but soften up once it dries. I think it would work good in a paddock as well. It's a little bit like sand and gravel, and the best part: little to no dust. Should also allow to great drainage too.
 

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Here in Kansas the quarries have what is called Screenings and it is a mixture of buckshot (small pea gravel) and rock dust. I have it for my entire barn and stalls. Once you smooth it down and wet, it becomes very firm and makes an excellent surface for horses. A lot of stables around here use it and best of all it is cheap. Both the others above are giving you great advise too.
 

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Following what is being said...no idea about what to use other than have the land graded carefully by a pro.

Don't you want the gravel to not pack so it allows drainage? :shrug:

I would intentionally not purchase products that form a base that is not porous for seepage in to small degree or seepage out to a large degree..
I would also be cautious since most of Mass. deep ground freezes in winter and packed soil can heave, not something you want necessarily with horses...

There are different sizes of sand particle, some with a more rounded edge or angular...I know it exists but don't know which is the one to use...or exactly what it is called.
Guarantee though it will be the more expensive to purchase. :icon_rolleyes:
:runninghorse2:...
 

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When you say muddy what do you mean? Why is it muddy? Is it muddy year around, is there a wet spot that isn't draining? Is it the entire paddock?

The problem is going to matter when you are talking about how you fix it.
 
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Wet weather and horses trampling over ground is always going to equal mud unless you are on the side of a hill and a chalk soil!

As farmpony84 says it all depends whether it is just in the gateway or all over.

If it is just the gateway then have a layer scraped off and a hard standing put down.

If it is all over than adding anything is never going to work as it will just get trodden in.

How many animals are out there and what acreage?

To fix the problem the. You want to have a way of allowing the water to escape. Have the field mole drained (do not know what you call it in the US.) it is a single Tyne on the back of a tractor that goes into the ground up toma foot deep and dragged through the soil with lines about 6 feet apart. There is no need to reseed after as it is not turning the soil over. This allows the water to penetrate through and drain away faster.

With the wet winters we have in the UK I always had two sacrifice paddocks that were trodden up in the winter, they were a mess! Come spring they were well harrowed and rolled and allowed to grow grass again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This happens after rain and we are currently have rain almost daily..it does dry out eventually .
I have seen locally a sand with 3/8 stone mixture..
 

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You might consider some type of geo grid system for paddocks. There are a lot of companies on the store to look at their products. I have a feeling it’s pricey but if you deal with mud all the time, a good quality product and installation would pay for itself:)

I ran across this “cow carpet” website.

https://www.usfabricsinc.com/products/cowcarpet/
 

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Is your paddock still mostly heavy tree covered or have you thinned/removed trees and stumps?
Do you have a thick canopy of trees, foliage overhead...yes, I know trees are just sprouting leaves up their {I grew up on LI}
The ground needs sunlight to also nourish and change the composition of the soil, dry out the damp...
This might not be just a "dump in" solution but far reaching of remove trees, remove soil or turn it to break the "peat" effect, replace/add soil and then periodically having the paddock aerated..but it starts with drainage and simplest drainage to do is changing the direction of runoff of water = grading.

I don't think this is a simple fix...
What is your "earth" like in surrounding areas?
Clay, dirt, sand, heavy granite underneath and where are the hidden streams in relation to your paddock that Mass is known to have...
Not surface, but down 2' - 3' or more is where drainage matters with natural layers of soil materials of good leaching or not...
Some things to investigate..
:runninghorse2:...
 

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For some reason my pasture never getting affected by the rain. It turns really fresh and cool which makes my grey horses want to roll. But my outdoor stalls sure do get affected. Whenever that happens, we get a truckload of sand and spread it out about 4 inches thick.
 
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