dry lot cowgirl magazine
Photo by: University of Minnesota……

A dry lot, also known as a sacrifice paddock, is a smaller fenced in space for your horse to be turned out into. Some are dirt, while others have gravel footing. These spaces are used to restrict your horse’s access to their large grassy pastures. There are many benefits to them!

Why Dry Lots Should Be Used

  • They give your pasture a break! If you let your fields rest, then the grass can have a chance to replenish.
  • During the wet seasons, your horse can no longer destroy their larger pastures. While they may turn this smaller space into mud, at least it’s not your whole field.
  • They’re even helpful during droughts when the grass isn’t growing fast enough to keep up with your horse’s consumption.
  • Horses with insulin resistance or past laminitis can be kept off grass.
  • Those with injuries can still get out, but be restricted.
  • Gravel dry lots prevent horses from standing it mud all day. You don’t have to worry about scratches or thrush.
  • They’re also easier to clean. It just takes a few minutes to run your wheelbarrow and pitchfork over the lot.

These paddocks can be built in different sizes, depending on how many horses will be kept in them. Some leave the footing alone, while others add gravel, sand, wood chips, and other materials. Dry lots do take some preplanning, but the benefits definitely make them worth it!