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Thursday, 13 December 2018

5 Ways to Avoid Muddy Fields This Winter


Electric Fencing


Electric fencing is great for managing mud around the gate area.  It is important to set the fencing up before you put the horses in the field as letting them make muddy areas before setting it up defeats the purpose.  I personally set up electric fencing around the gate area which stops the horses wanting to stand nearby.

Bay horse wearing a rug covered in mud, standing in a field


Rotational Grazing


You should already be using a rotational grazing routine to help with grass growth and worm management but it also helps with the mud.  I usually try to get two fields at my yard for the winter to swap back and forth but I know this isn't possible for everyone.  Another option is to rotate between your field and an outdoor school or sacrifice area.

Black cob grazing in a grass field


Sacrifice area


This is traditionally a paddock which you allow to get muddy while your other fields stay clean but I don't think anyone wants to have their horses standing in mud.  Instead, I use the fenced in area around my stables that is concerted.  Another option is using an outdoor school, a round pen or temporary pens.

Two grey horses, turned out in a outdoor school


Grass Mats

Grass mats or stone dust for horse paddocks are probably the best way to get rid of mud in a field.  If your field is already muddy you can put down a layer of stone dust then put some grass mats over the top.  I have used quarry dust in my sheep's paddock, it goes rock hard and dries up mud.  It is not good if you want a temporary fix as it is permanent.  Grass mats by themselves need to be used before there is mud and they are temporary so you can use them for the winter only.

One chestnut horse and one bay horse standing in a muddy field


*disclaimer* 

I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  

TheRider'sReins 

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