Dealing With Mud And Drainage In Your Barn

In your horse barn, or paddocks as they are commonly referred to, you may have problems with mud and getting the area to drain properly. This can be a real problem seeing as mud can cause injuries from slipping and falling down, and causing scratches on the skin. Mud also erodes the land and is difficult to remove from blankets and the coats of horses. There are several solutions to this problem, some are more permanent and some more temporary. Let’s start off with the more temporary and cheaper solutions.

In areas that are often trouble areas, you can use pea gravel in places with exposed dirt. This can be paths or worn areas in the barn. Be sure to be aware of where water collects as well, as this can be a problem being that water will erode these areas and create mud. To sum it up; if you have mud you can use pea gravel. The gravel is fine for barefoot and shod horses, however you will need to pick the hooves more regularly. Be sure to be consistent with gravel placement as gravel does wash away and erode.

The next option you have is semi-temporary, depending on where your geographic location is. Placing grass around turnouts and the paddocks can help mud problems. As stated above, grass may be less permanent depending on your geographic region, but if grass can be placed and allowed to grow at the beginning of the wet season, your horses, and yourself, will be much happier. Just be sure to check around at your feed or supply store to find out which grass suits your needs best.

A more expensive solution that can be a permanent fix, is to install drains, particularly french drains, or “weeping tile”, buried in low areas where water collects. These pipes, or drains, will direct the water elsewhere using gravity. Also, installing buried PVC pipes, or trenches, to connect to drain openings can carry water away as well. Just be sure to keep the pipes and trenches away from where horses can damage them.

Another solution, if the space is available, is to dig a drainage pond where water collects and can then be pumped out. This is a more suitable solution if water cannot be drained through gravity.

For those with smaller areas, using rubber mats and bags of shredded cedar can help ward off water and mud. The better choice out of these two, would probably be the shredded cedar bags seeing as the rubber mats may get stepped on, fall apart or become buried in the mud.

Thank you for reading and best of luck with warding off mud in your barn!

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