This time of year mud can quickly get out of control. It can take over your entire field. Not only does it cover your horse’s legs and hooves, but mud can make it harder for them to walk. Mud-management begins before you even bring a horse to your property. It’s essential you set up your facility to eliminate soupy fields. Here’s some tips!
1. Special footing in high-traffic areas
Certain areas like the gate, run-in shelter, water trough, and hay feeder should have special footing. This can include geotextile fabric, gravel, and sand. These materials can handle heavy traffic from your herd. Find out more here: ‘Muddy Horse Fields? Put An End To Them!‘.
2. Gutters and downspouts
You’ll water to divert rainwater to specific areas away from the barn and paddocks. Don’t forget to regularly clean and maintain them!
3. Pick up your horse’s manure
Manure can quickly turn a paddock into a mess. Make sure you get into a habit of picking it up on a consistent basis.
4. Rotate your fields
Allow your pastures to rest, so they don’t become overgrazed and trampled. This will also help with mud control!
5. Manage your numbers
A general rule is that you should have one to two acres of land per horse. The more horses you put in a field, the more strain it takes on.
6. Create a dry lot
Also known as a sacrifice area, dry lots are smaller than your average field. They are usually graveled, but other types of footing can be used. Many owners utilize these spaces to rest their fields.
7. Analyze the soil
It’s a great idea to take a soil sample from your field and have it tested. There are many laboratories that will tell you if your pasture is in need of lime or other minerals.
If you don’t want your horse to live in a muddy field, then make sure to plan ahead of time!