Without the proper preventative measures and maintenance, mud can become an absolute nightmare to any horse owner. Not only is it unpleasant on the eyes, un-addressed mud can become a serious hazard to your horse’s health. When horses are living in a muddy area they are more likely to suffer from joint pain, thrush, abscesses and rain rot. The management of mud is critical in maintaining a comfortable living space for your horses. It’s best dealt with before it gets out of hand and becomes an issue to begin with. Here are a few steps you can take to get ahead of the problem, before it starts to negatively affect your horses’ well being.
Solutions to this problem fall under the categories of inexpensive, expensive, temporary or permanent. A great inexpensive option to add to your list is gravel, specifically something like pea gravel. This small gravel is great for placing in muddy areas to help level out the ground and to keep it from getting wet and even more muddy. Due to how tiny the gravel is it is imperative that you pick your horses hooves regularly, but pea gravel is great for barefoot and shod horses. When using pea gravel you must be consistent with the placement of the gravel. Make sure you are placing it in places that need it and that you are spreading it out to create an even layer over the ground. You could also use grass as a semi- permanent form of mud management, although for some regions grass is an unreliable choice.
A great option when it comes to managing mud in the barn would be having flooring installed. This is a more permanent and more reliable source for helping manage mud in your stables. Pavers are a great option for the barn isle, along with stall mats for inside of the stalls. Sterling Equine has their own pavers and stall mats that you can read about on the website. Our stall mats come with a 12 year warranty and are guaranteed to hold their shape and durability. Stall mats are not only great for maintaining mud inside of a horse’s stall but it also gives the horse extra stability for their joints, along with keeping the horses’ hooves nice and dry. Pavers are great for indoor and outdoor pathways, they can help prevent a horse from slipping and getting injured. They are also great for easy clean up when you get mud in your barn isle, a simple wash with a hose or power washer and you have a beautiful clean barn isle.
Sterling Equine has another great option for managing mud in your barn. PermaGrid is our hexagon/honeycomb shaped flooring, it can be used indoor or outdoor. Installed on top of the base and underneath the topsoil, it is perfect for arenas, feeding areas, paddocks or stalls. With a lightweight design, they’re easy to install and allow for fast water drainage. What makes PermaGrid a great option is that it is durable, non-rotting, weather resistant and it reduces the carbon footprint and is completely recyclable.
Don’t let mud get the best of you this year! Hopefully this has helped you feel more prepared when you find yourself in a muddy situation. Your horse will thank you for the nice clean and safe living space during the rainy season, and you will have a clean well maintained barn.