Recently, we have tried different options to deal with areas in one particular paddock that have gotten really soupy. We’ve used all the usual techniques for dealing with mud: daily manure management, gravel footing, diverting rainwater, etc. Yet the soupy messes remained.
This issue was caused by the two horses in that pen spending most of their day hanging out by their feeders, creating a high traffic area. On top of the compaction, they were urinating all day in the same spots—right by the gate and their feeders, ugh! All of this led to an unattractive and annoying mess that wasn’t very chore efficient.
Here’s our trial and error solution: horses don’t like to urinate where urine will splash because urine is mildly caustic. We decided to try putting down stall mats in the areas where they were urinating in the hopes that it would encourage them to move elsewhere. We cleaned up really well (picking up all manure and spent hay), then brought in three stalls mats and positioned them in place. So far, so good! It’s an improvement, and it’s easier to negotiate and clean.
Another option would be to put feeders in different locations in their paddock, which would also draw them elsewhere. We might still try this later!