Mud patch fixes

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Any ideas for preventing muddy areas, not a gateway but that kind of scenario.

The entrance to my barn gets muddy. It is shaded on east, south and west sides, so in winter never gets any sunlight to dry it out. I have some paving slabs down the middle but the sides get very messy, especially as the horses avoid walking on the slabs and the hay delivery also backs in there monthly to drop off.

I thought I'd try and get a jump on it while it is level and dry, so any cheap fixes?
 

Jane&Ziggy

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The only good long term fix I know of is stoning/pebbles, then rubber mats, not very costly.

Bags of gravel are a help but still cost, ditto wood chip.

If you have any forestry nearby (I know your neck of the woods is quite like ours with the forests) you can sometimes pick up good care wood chip for nothing when they've been felling.
 
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Jessey

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The only good long term fix I know of is stoning/pebbles, then rubber mats, not very costly.

Bags of gravel are a help but still cost, ditto wood chip.

If you have any forestry nearby (I know your neck of the woods is quite like ours with the forests) you can sometimes pick up good care wood chip for nothing when they've been felling.
I would never put woodchip down again unless it was that specially treated stuff after the mess it made of my paddock the other year...
The wet winter before
53117864_10157035794227246_9079159499050188800_o.jpg

May
53030501_10157035783142246_8747598314540630016_n.jpg

November.....
53899631_10157035782747246_1434650601647505408_n.jpg

It cost me more to remove it than to add it :eek:

I forgot to say in the original post, getting anything brought in is difficult, we cannot physically get a lorry into the field, they can't make the turn and if they did get into the driveway they can't fit through the gate (and posts are steel girders set in concrete so widening it isn't an option) so I can't get any bulk aggregate.

I'm not fussed if it only lasts 1 winter and needs fixing, as long as the fix isn't costly or too labour intensive (like putting down straw then digging it out).
 

Pete's Mum

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I was going to suggest mats and aggregate, but I see that is not an option!

What a brilliant, but awkward space.
 
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Trewsers

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I tried loads of things at our old house and there really was no fix apart from going the whole hog and having hardcore put down by a contractor. I spent a fortune on wood chip which disappeared after a very short time (but you know that already). I tried field mats (expensive ones that were really heavy duty) but they disappeared into the mud - never to be seen again. I tried membrane with spare paving slabs on top - again just sunk and disappeared. As a last resort one particularly bad time I emptied about six bales of shavings down so the farrier could shoe J and trim Storm that day - but they went pear shaped very quickly. Sorry, not very helpful! I'm surprise nobody has come up with a short term fix that is cost effective, doesn't require planning permission and is easy to do!
 
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Jessey

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Not unhelpful @Trewsers, at least I know to avoid some things. Mud control mats are popular and seem effective but it would be over £700 to do and I would have to get them delivered to home and move them bit by bit in my VW polo!
All I can think to do it to move my slabs to one side and make a long narrow path for me, then lay a heavy duty membrane with stones on top, but I'd have to shift the stones in small bags in the polo unless I can find someone who delivers bulk with a tipper transit size vehicle (no luck yet).
Thankfully its not deep sucky mud, the horses don't mind going through it but it does bug me as I get caked before work, and for foot cleaning it makes the daily job tougher and Jess is susceptible to thrush so it needs to be done thoroughly.
 

Trewsers

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Not unhelpful @Trewsers, at least I know to avoid some things. Mud control mats are popular and seem effective but it would be over £700 to do and I would have to get them delivered to home and move them bit by bit in my VW polo!
All I can think to do it to move my slabs to one side and make a long narrow path for me, then lay a heavy duty membrane with stones on top, but I'd have to shift the stones in small bags in the polo unless I can find someone who delivers bulk with a tipper transit size vehicle (no luck yet).
Thankfully its not deep sucky mud, the horses don't mind going through it but it does bug me as I get caked before work, and for foot cleaning it makes the daily job tougher and Jess is susceptible to thrush so it needs to be done thoroughly.
Yes even if it's not boot sucking mud, it's still more of a pain for things like feet. And of course for you going on to work afterwards. Grrr.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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I have used lots of stuff over the years and none of them worked. Had a huge track and yard done in hardcore and rubber mats and in two years it was 2ft under mud. I put these Mud Control mats down last year in the gateways to the field and also a track across the field from the garden to the yard. they have been very good, they are sitting on god knows what mud underneath but they haven't sunk or submerged or moved all winter and this summer which has been wet as well, they aren't cheap but they lock together and are easy to fit in grids. so far they have been excellent.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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009.jpgI found these mats from Mud Control have worked the best, been through all the other stuff including £5K on hardcore track and yard which was 2ft under mud in two years. These lock together and seem to stay in place. we put them in last summer in all the gateways and made a track across the field and it has been passable ever since, sure it muds up a bit beyond but where they are coming in and out they seem to float on it. they aren't cheap but they are dead easy to lay and if you filled in that entire space it would probably solve it fine.001.jpg001.jpg
 

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Huggy

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Love your donkeys! Too busy looking at them to take in the mats.
 
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chunky monkey

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I've read reviews on the mud control mats. Expensive but most reviews are good.
The rubber field mats with holes sink if the ground is soft and uneven. I had one small one in my gateway at the yard and every few months I would lift it and place it again.
Wood chip has to keep being redone. You've shown the results of that. But take that second picture and add road plannings. Youd had a good surface.
Could you get hold of some road plannings. That's what we have on our yard. We put some down directly onto the mud we had in the yard last year just after I moved the horses home and it is perfect still almost 18 months on. You put it on quite thick. We had several loads a few years ago so had a pile in the yard but we gradually used it up. All our yard drive is mad up of plannings. We drive on it all the time. Early last year we did a renovation on some of our old buildings and the yard got trashed. Mud everywhere. They were redoing some road resurfacing a mile away. So the first morning they were there I stopped and asked what they were doing with the planning they were taking off. Fortunately the were only to pleased to send it my way. So the mud was instantly sorted. Brother just spread the piles with the tractor.
We went from this. Sorry not the best pic but the only one I have. But that's mud and puddles right outside my tack up area.

IMG_20180311_094310801.jpg


To this. No mud in sight. For us this has been perfect solution.
IMG_20180515_205146856.jpg

If you can work out the logistics of getting it in. How big is your gateway. Can you drive in with your car. Or get it tipped near your gate entrance. If you could get a small load would be a start. How far is it from the gate to the bit you need to surface. Two barrow loads every day, start now perfect by winter.

Also you dont want the stuff they have from pot hole filling. It can have fine stuff or soil in. Ideally stuff is from a road section resurface.
Its alot cheaper than buying aggregate and better draining.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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I've read reviews on the mud control mats. Expensive but most reviews are good.
The rubber field mats with holes sink if the ground is soft and uneven. I had one small one in my gateway at the yard and every few months I would lift it and place it again.
Wood chip has to keep being redone. You've shown the results of that. But take that second picture and add road plannings. Youd had a good surface.
Could you get hold of some road plannings. That's what we have on our yard. We put some down directly onto the mud we had in the yard last year just after I moved the horses home and it is perfect still almost 18 months on. You put it on quite thick. We had several loads a few years ago so had a pile in the yard but we gradually used it up. All our yard drive is mad up of plannings. We drive on it all the time. Early last year we did a renovation on some of our old buildings and the yard got trashed. Mud everywhere. They were redoing some road resurfacing a mile away. So the first morning they were there I stopped and asked what they were doing with the planning they were taking off. Fortunately the were only to pleased to send it my way. So the mud was instantly sorted. Brother just spread the piles with the tractor.
We went from this. Sorry not the best pic but the only one I have. But that's mud and puddles right outside my tack up area.

View attachment 99425


To this. No mud in sight. For us this has been perfect solution.
View attachment 99426

If you can work out the logistics of getting it in. How big is your gateway. Can you drive in with your car. Or get it tipped near your gate entrance. If you could get a small load would be a start. How far is it from the gate to the bit you need to surface. Two barrow loads every day, start now perfect by winter.

Also you dont want the stuff they have from pot hole filling. It can have fine stuff or soil in. Ideally stuff is from a road section resurface.
Its alot cheaper than buying aggregate and better draining.

we put this down at a previous place it all started out looking like that, on the gateways we put down the rubber field mats with holes etc. it looked great to start with in 2 years it was sunk covered in mud and unusable plus we can't use road planings with donkeys as they got right up the white line all the time, We put down the very big type whatever first and covered it with the smaller stones and even then it sank and didn't work. We had lorry loads of the stuff brought in, about 9 inches deep and it still failed in time. We were there from 2007 to 2012 and did all the work in 2008 and by 2011 we could hardly use the fields in the winter as the gateways had failed and the mud was 2ft deep - we had to haul spencer sheep out of it as he got stuck
 

Jessey

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That's about the review most have give on the Mud Control Mats @diplomaticandtactful, I just really can't afford to do it just now after all the vet bills this year for Jess.

Road planings would be ideal @chunky monkey, my gateway is only 9ft and you can't get a straight shot at it, I can get a truck and ifor 505 in, with some jiggling. The road is also a dead end with no turning point and I'm about a mile along it :(
Its easier to draw the gateway than explain it...
Gateway.png
Black is permanent fences, green is trees, brown is the driveway, grey is a pile of concrete block the land owner dumped there. You come in the road left to right.

The muddy patch really isn't deep (maybe just above hoof deep), there is an old roadway under it, there is a layer of limestone, then gravel on top, just had mud traipsed over it over the years. I tried putting in posts and the best one I managed I dug down through 10" before the stone absolutely was not going to budge (hence some of my posts are wedged in old wheels!).

I know everyone who keeps horses on clay is probably thinking WTF is she complaining about ;) I've kept horses on mud up to our knees, I know this isn't bad, but that's no reason not to make it better :)
This is the area, it gets a bit worse than this from the blue bucket (where the block weave starts), to roughly where the red ball is.
67902567_10157437672732246_6876173942894100480_n.jpg
 

diplomaticandtactful

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That's about the review most have give on the Mud Control Mats @diplomaticandtactful, I just really can't afford to do it just now after all the vet bills this year for Jess.

Road planings would be ideal @chunky monkey, my gateway is only 9ft and you can't get a straight shot at it, I can get a truck and ifor 505 in, with some jiggling. The road is also a dead end with no turning point and I'm about a mile along it :(
Its easier to draw the gateway than explain it...
View attachment 99427
Black is permanent fences, green is trees, brown is the driveway, grey is a pile of concrete block the land owner dumped there. You come in the road left to right.

The muddy patch really isn't deep (maybe just above hoof deep), there is an old roadway under it, there is a layer of limestone, then gravel on top, just had mud traipsed over it over the years. I tried putting in posts and the best one I managed I dug down through 10" before the stone absolutely was not going to budge (hence some of my posts are wedged in old wheels!).

I know everyone who keeps horses on clay is probably thinking WTF is she complaining about ;) I've kept horses on mud up to our knees, I know this isn't bad, but that's no reason not to make it better :)
This is the area, it gets a bit worse than this from the blue bucket (where the block weave starts), to roughly where the red ball is.
View attachment 99428
access is a pain isn't it. shame about the mats I know about the cost, we have had two poodles with stem cell therapy at £3000 and £5000 respectively this year and I am waiting for Buddy's bill, Spencer the sheep bill, 3 vaccinations etc. Empathise. If in time you can, the mats fit easily into the boot of a car, we carted a lot of them in the sirocco across the fields to where we wanted to lay them. I am having water put into the small paddocks this summer and if I can afford it will get another palette of them and do around the waters and also another bit that is vulnerabile. Having said that I have brought our lot onto the yard today as the weather is just utterly foul and flooding everywhere.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Copy (3) of P1010120.jpgCopy (3) of P1010121.jpgCopy (2) of P1010124.jpgDSC00574.jpgDSC00575.jpgDSC00576.jpgDSC00577.jpgThis is the yard which had about 9 inches of stones laid on it, and this is it a year later, the following year it was under mud. The track was a proper road put in, with edging, and again the very heavy stones at the bottom and smaller on top to fill the gaps, this is it a year later, by the time we left it was pretty much wrecked. It lasted longer than the yard as it was elevated and the water ran off to the side. One year when we couldn't use the fields the horses and donkeys used the track during the winter and ate the willow. You can see the ground we were on, reedy, heathery, it was good in terms of weight control as it was poor grazing but useless for horses in terms of under foot conditions. You can see how it started out.....
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Unless you put down a solid base of hardcore or concrete, any fix will be temporary unless you deal with the water - land drains / soakaways.
we did all that and it still failed, we put down loads of hardcore, lorry loads of it, and pipes draining into burns to run away but we just couldn't solve the gateways, no matter what we put down in a year they failed and we were back to 2ft deep to get in and out of the field, the more we put down we just shoved the problem further up the field. We dug 5 large drainage channels at the edges of the field and then horizontal ones, but never got it workable. in the end we moved!
 

chunky monkey

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I am probably lucky as I'm on limestone rather than clay, but even the limestone goes yuck. We have clay bands in the field though. Weve tried putting down stone to dust in the past on the drive, which is fine in summer but over winter it goes muddy. The scalpings for us have been the answer.
I was tired last night so I forgot to say that the loads we had years ago we just used a bit here and there to top up the drive way if it developed the odd puddle.
My main gateway into the field got a bit muddy last winter I used some small in the gate way and spread with a shovel and it kept me going enough to get into the field. I'm going to be driving into the field more this winter as we will have the cows home so one of my jobs will be to put some more out there but I haven't got to it yet. I should get some pictures or document for future reference.
I know everyone who keeps horses on clay is probably thinking WTF is she complaining about ;) I've kept horses on mud up to our knees
I would not put up with the mud either. I saw for myself when I was on the yard the difference between someone who looked after there gateway (me) and someone (yo) who didnt fence off there gateway or if they did there horse went through the silly flappy piece of tape they put up unelectrified. They waded through mud. They fed there horse just inside the gateway rather than taking hay across the field. Some people never learn. Some of there mud is there own doing. I also saw this happen when I worked on a livery yard which was solid clay, before I even owned a horse. As a farmer you look at things differently. Not saying you dont look after yours jess. But it just really gets me with some people as alot of its self inflicted. As far as I'm concerned you manage it all year round not just in the winter. Prevention is better than cure.
 
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