Horse paddocks are a safe way to house horses outside. They have room to move and they can see each other and their surroundings -- while still being safely contained. However, paddocks quickly get waterlogged, especially if the manure isn't removed daily. This is damaging to the horse's feet and uncomfortable for them. In order to dry a paddock and keep it dry -- it is important to improve the paddock's layout. Once completed, the paddock will be much easier to maintain.
Scrape all the mud and manure from the paddock using a bobcat or other equipment that can scoop the paddock and clean it. Remove as much as possible, until the paddock is smooth and empty.
Grade the paddock, so it slopes at a slight angle away from the barn or other structures. Use the bobcat to remove some of the dirt at the lower end of the grade. The slope will help moisture run out of the paddock, instead of building up inside.
Add 4 to 8 inches of stone dust, sand or pea gravel to the paddock. This will improve drainage and prevent the paddock from getting waterlogged. This addition will last for years with regular maintenance.
- Pierce Conservation District: How to Prevent a Sticky Situation
- "Horse Sense: The Guide to Horse Care in Australia and New Zealand"; Peter Huntington, et. al; November 2004
- Pick the paddock daily, to remove manure and prevent it from being trampled into the sand.
- Provide a separate feeding area for horses, so they don't consume the sand or rock that is on the ground.
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