How much mud is too much mud?

Discussion in 'The Corral' started by lori, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. lori

    lori New Member

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    So... we know a lot of non-horsey people and some authorities think mud should not be in a horse's life. What do you guys think? I know we have a lot of mud, but given the choice, the horses go out in it.

    Last year we brought in dirt and made the low part the high part. So all last winter, there was about 50x100 that was not muddy. And they NEVER went over there. I don't know if they thought the new dirt smelled funny or what, but they preferred to hang out everywhere else. So I don't feel particularly bad for mine. Generally, It's hoof deep at times, maybe a couple of inches above where they tend to congregate, like in front of the barn. But there's also fairly dry spots--like maybe 1/2" of sink in, if they wanted. I don't want to add anything to this to change the footing, because when it dries up, that's our arena. So I don't feel like it's cruelty or anything, but it occurs to me, even some horse owners would think so.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Joie

    Joie New Member

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    I tend to think that the people who think it's "abuse" to have a horse in a bit of mud also tend to think that keeping them in stalls 16 hours a day (or more) is OK. I tend to think that the latter is worse, but am not about to argue the point. Well, I guess I will, if someone wants to, but I digress...

    Generally speaking, I think it's too much mud if they are stuck in it up to their hocks and have no CHOICE. Like the dumbass down the road who never moves her feeders or her water tanks and has horses literally sinking up to their bellies if they want to eat or drink. WTF? Is it REALLY that hard to move your feeders around a bit? Or, in her case, just NOT have a dozen horses and ponies in a teeny dirt/mud lot? It's common sense. Unfortunately, common sense seems to be fairly uncommon.My horses have LOTS of room to move around, but they still end up muddy. My babies are disgusting muddy. FILTHY. Like swine. Worse, even. They don't HAVE to be, but they are. They choose to do whatever it is they are doing to get so muddy. More power to them. If I had to keep them clean, I'd have to keep them stalled. No thanks. Then I'd have that whole "I don't want them to get hurt" issue, like the people who are afraid their horses are going to hurt themselves if they turn them out in the snow or when the ground is a bit frozen. If they had REGULAR turnout and weren't all freaking whacked out from being cooped up they'd not act like idiots when they were turned out.

    OK. Did I even answer the question?
     

  3. lori

    lori New Member

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    Oh here is a story. A girl was telling me about how her horses had been inside for the last 4 weeks and so she decided she'd handwalk them on the driveway (after 4 wks). One of them spooked outside landed on the wet grass next to the drive, and wiped out. Would you even want to ride a horse who had so little of a handle on his feet?

    Sometimes the grounds we compete on can we damp, or even pretty sloppy. It is a valuable skill for a horse to know how to stay upright in all kinds of conditions... not just for the sake of keeping the horse between you and the ground, though that's certainly true too...
     
  4. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    The place I rent has the primary drainage tile for that section of town running through it -- I'm going to be dealing with mud and flooding whether I want to or not. My horses seem to do all right by themselves -- they aren't happy when it's a really wet season, but it's better than having no place to live at all. The only thing we can do is trench the drainage ditch so the water doesn't spread out over the bottom pastures (got caught last year by the severity of the flooding) and build up the lot and stalls and keep them up off of it (which keeps it from being an absolute quagmire).

    The benefit is that even during the dry months our pastures stay fairly green and growing -- so it takes a real drought to not have pasture. I guess it levels out the cons with a big pro, as the horses are pretty damn happy to be out on pasture and getting grass instead of dust.

    To some of the bleeding hearts who think the poor precious ponies should never get their icle hoofies muddy, nor live where they poop or whatever -- perhaps an all expense paid trip to Africa or the Middle East/Central Asia to see how equines and canines fare there?
     
  5. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    Yeah, keeping them in can be as much or more of a problem. My horses tear the crap out of the barn (which can't be good for them) if left in too much (and aren't getting the same amount of excercise, which we have to haul to an indoor, so they aren't).

    Plus, hand walking for brief periods of time (15 - 20 minutes) will not take the edge off of an in shape, cooped up horse -- I'd rather have them in the mud, than have an injury like that gal's or worse yet get loose and get hurt, or hurt someone.
     
  6. whoaboy

    whoaboy Senior Member

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    Speaking of mud, I too have mud in my outdoor runs and was thinking of adding some lime to it, in an attempt to dry it up some. Will this work? If so, when is the best time to add it? I believe the runs have (had) lime rock as a base as I see some pieces from time to time in the mud. What about sand?
     
  7. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    Very mixed results -- it is better accomplished with good drainage; you'd have to shore up the sides of the enclosure, and best to add heavy gravel, then a medium, then put the limestone and/or sand on top of that (actually, if you were using sand, the gravels, then limestone and then sand) and you'd have to grade, roll, and pack it down -- so not an inexpensive procedure (and if you really wanted to get technichal, it would be a good idea to put in some sort of drainage system). Oh, and then you really shouldn't feed the horses on it unless you have feeders that sit off the ground -- impaction colic risk.

    But just throwing limestone down won't in the long run accomplish much, and a limestone quagmire is imho a lot worse than a mud one, same with sand.
     
  8. Imzadi

    Imzadi New Member

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    We are the lowest point in the middle of corn fields, so def do not dry out easily. One by one I put down what my excavator called road rock which has big chunky stones in it, then put aglime down over it. I started from the barn and worked my way out, built it up in some areas and let it drain to the lower mud areas. It is so much easier throwing hay or catching a horse without sinking! Ditto on not feeding over limestone and sand.