I know, things are drying out, and we all seem to have conveniently forgotten about the soupy mud we had a few weeks ago in our horse pastures. I for one am sick of it, and have decided to address the issue now before the rains hit in the fall again. Here are few things you can do now to make your life (and your horse’s) a little more pleasant next winter:
- Identify the main source of your water-besides the rain of course! Do you have a lot of run off from a sloped area that creates a pool? Or does your barn have gutters and downspouts to redirect the water from stall or barn entrances?
- If gate areas to your turnouts are the biggest problem, excavate the compacted areas to get down to the base soil, roll out the road felt, fill in with large 2″-4″ rock, followed by a layer of 3/4″ crushed rock. Compact the rock, and then top off with a thick layer of sand. Word of caution, don’t feed the horses on this sandy area. Throw their hay in feeders or several feet away from the sand.
- Till, rake and plant grass seed on the compacted, muddy area. You will want to keep the horses off of this area until the grass matures to at least 6″ high.
- Evaluate your pastures-are they sloped? Try to use the sloped areas for spring and fall turnout only.
- Rotate, rotate and rotate pasture grazing.
I would love to see before and after pictures of your projects, so send them in and show off your hard work! firstname.lastname@example.org