The effects of repeated wet/dry conditions are damaging to hoof structure and can cause general unthriftiness. Mud is a breeding ground for insects, such as cullicoides (“no-see-ums”), filth flies, and mosquitoes. Insects are not only annoying; they can carry diseases and can cause allergic reactions. When fed on muddy ground, horses can ingest dirt or sand particles with hay, leading to sand colic, a very serious digestive order. Plus mud creates a slick, unsafe footing, increasing the risk of injury–for horses and humans!
And every horse person knows that mud is inconvenient and unpleasant. Mud makes everyday chores difficult. Odors, flies and just the sight of mud lowers the desirability of a property for customers and neighbors.
Once soil and manure has mixed with water to make mud, it can easily be carried into nearby streams or lakes. Sediment can smother trout and salmon eggs, destroy habitat for insects (a food source for fish), and cover prime spawning areas. Many pollutants, like the nutrients in manure, are also likely to attach to soil partic