Horse Pasture Mud Management
We recently moved to a small farm 6 miles east of Corvallis. We have two horses and three pastures for rotation. Because our time has been taken up with moving and getting our house finished, we haven't focussed as much as I would have liked on mud control in the pastures. The gate area of one pasture has become quite muddy and we would like to minimize this problem in the other pastures. The horses have stalls with runs and don't spend a lot of time in pasture during the winter, but I'm not willing to keep them in during the entire wet season. I realize that the best long-term solution would be a well-drained sacrifice paddock for winter turnout, and we may do that some day, but probably not for a few years. In the meantime, we are thinking of putting gravel in the gate and water trough areas. Do you have any thoughts or recommendations about the effectiveness of this approach? I've read that it's advisable to put down a layer of some kind of hoof grid or geotextile fabric under the gravel but am not sure it would be feasible to get that done in time to prevent more muddy gates this year. If we just put down gravel, how long can we expect it to keep down the mud? For the hoof grid/fabric approach, do you have any suggestions for materials to use for this purpose? We would also appreciate any suggestions about how to locate appropriate service providers who do this type of work. Thank you!
On February 11, I replied to your email message that was sent directly to me on and am happy to visit with you about your property. Please contact me at (541) 730-3538 or Melissa.Fery@oregonstate.edu