Mud = yuck! At this time of the year mud becomes a common occurrence in many horse paddocks until summer when things dry out. If mud is an issue on your horse property you may be under the impression that it is an unavoidable part of having horses. But it doesn’t have to be! There are simple changes you can make to reduce or even eliminate mud on your property.

Before footing addition

In a previous post, Mud Management 101, I talked about gutters and downspouts as your first line of attack in reducing mud Ð keeping clean rainwater clean and not allowing it to mix with manure and dirt in the confinement areas. The next step for getting a handle on mud issues is to use some sort of footing in paddocks and other high traffic areas such as watering points and gates. The purpose for the footing is to build up the area to keep horses up out of dirt and allow rainwater to drain through. Less mud equals less chance of nutrients and sediments running off and polluting surface waters, too. Footings, such as hogfuel (chipped or shredded wood products), gravel (crushed rock) or coarse sand can go a long way in reducing mud. Gravel and coarse washed sand are probably the most useful and most available.

Gravel (crushed rock, no larger than 3/4″) anything larger will be uncomfortable for horses to