Improving the High Traffic Areas of Horse Paddocks and Pastures
Recently I wrote a post on steps to take to reducing the sloppy mud in turn out areas on horse farms. One of the steps I mentioned was to redo the footing in these areas.
So how to go about doing this and where to start?
There are 2 ways, depending on your budget.
One way that is inexpensive and a quick solution is to put down gravel, crushed stone or sand in the extremely muddy areas. This will allow drainage of the water which in turn will help keep it drier and cleaner. This is only a short term solution. Eventually the materials will be churned into the ground and now it is back to square one.
Another solution, which is more of a longer term fix, is to remove the top layer of the ground in the muddy area, then putting down a non-woven geotextile. What is a geotextile? It is a water permeable fabric, woven or non-woven, used to stabilize the weight of the base layer under the roads and any construction project. The non-woven material is tends to be less slippery. These materials work great for drainage issues.
Once the material is in place, then gravel, crushed stone or sand can be spread over it further improving the drainage. This works well in small paddocks, gate areas, anywhere the horses tend to congregate. The surface material may need to be added from time to time.
Either of these steps will help control the sloppy mud areas in your horse paddocks and pastures.