Mud, Muck, & Monsoon: Tennessee Weather All or Nothing!

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Gorgeous creature right?

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We are really still loving all the wildlife we see here. The hawk above we saw several times this weekend. He is a different hawk than the one  I saw on my fence a few weeks ago. SO MUCH WILDLIFE :). We also have something that is knocking my bird feeders down again (after a 3 week reprieve for some odd reason) but this is stronger than a raccoon. It actually bent the anchor in the ground for the pole. Either it’s a bear LOL or it is a raccoon on steroids??

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I visualize this raccoon knocking down my pole LOL!

We already knew the weekend might be a bust, weather wise. They called for rain all weekend but cooler temps. We got the cooler temps and some rain on Sat but it was saving itself for Sunday when the skies opened up and we were deluged all day long. I ended up leaving the horses up for part of the day it was that bad.

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Thought we might be doing this yesterday…

The paddock has a tendency to hold water and I hate for them to have to trudge through it and back into the stalls as they tend to bring all the mud and muck with them when they do and the stalls get soaked. UGH. I cleaned the stalls like four times yesterday but refused to put more shavings or pellets in till it stopped FREAKING Raining for a few minutes.

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Note this is like 15-16 hours AFTER we had the monsoon conditions. SO water is seeping in but see my dilemma? PS Old hay down outside Remus’s stall to help sop up water…it is a mucky mess there..

This morning it is misty and wet but not pouring. So I tossed the kids out to eat their grain and hay and proceeded to do the stalls. Two wheelbarrows later (I usually only get one wheelbarrow and that is from cleaning the stalls off and on all day) and they had fresh pellets down with shavings on top. I know it will be a mess by midday but it was just so wet out. They seemed happy to get into the stalls and munch on hay.

It was 70 out on Sunday and 60’s on Saturday so it definitely cooled off (Saturday am it was 35 degrees cooler than it was when we went to bed Friday night!!). Today will be in the 80’s and you can feel the humidity but it is not bad out. But it is supposed to rain the next three days. Sigh. All or nothing. It is either crunchy grass or sopping wet mud and grass. I am going to have to haul out somewhere to throw a leg over Remus. There is no way I can even hack out in this mess.

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Me laughing at Remus while he waited for me to finish up…

Remus decided today I was being cruel and unusual making him eat out in the muddy paddock so he proceeded to the back of the barn to hang his head over the stall guard to raise his usual objections (See if you can see Tate behind him waiting too). He is very polite about it but he was ready for getting into his stall again with his hay. I do not have a very mud-worthy horse (though he is a star for getting mud all over him, he just prefers not to be rained on). Tate could care less and stands out in the rain if he can.

So my question today is what do you do to keep your paddocks from swamping? There is water outside both stalls (I need to get the gutters looked at before winter too). I have leveled the ground with my front end loader but I think I need to put a base down and then some fill dirt to level the ground and make it slope down the opposite way rather than just milling about.  I am not sure IF I can do it or if I need professional help. The field is a mess too but it seems to slope the right way and drain better out there.

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Just a big old can of nope…gross 😦

Of course Amanda would just consider it to be a lesson on trotting through water and mud! 🙂 Me not so much….I don’t have a Baby Presto to do all the things with…ha ha.

17 thoughts on “Mud, Muck, & Monsoon: Tennessee Weather All or Nothing!

  1. Your idea of making it slope sounds good to me! lol The pad that they built for the horses is pretty sloped, so that while the middle of the barn is pretty level, it does slope down so the rain runs off outside of the stall. In the few times we HAVE gotten rain, the barn has actually stayed dryer than the house LOL Hopefully you can get some more riding in soon!

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  2. I’m being lazy and just throwing down some gravel before winter in my muddy area (freeze and thaw gets it worse than rain) since it’s fairly cheap here. From what I’ve read how well gravel holds up depends on what kind of ground you are putting it over. We do have rock about a foot down (not so fun for running things like water lines but generally good for drainage) so hopefully it will work for me.
    I did put Ecogrid in my barn aisle so if the gravel doesn’t last well I will add that outside too. I got it on amazon and it’s actually meant for doing things like driveways and parking lots. It went down easily and is working well in the barn. I thought I did a post on it but we did put it in the day before picking up Parker so I must have been distracted by his cuteness, lol.

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  3. The area in front of my paddock gates looked the same. We dug out the loam and put in gravel (a layer of larger rocks and then crushed gravel on top). Had we just thrown down crushed gravel, it would have just sunk down into the mud. It is MUCH better now.

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  4. French drain that shit or do…oh gosh, I forget what my friend was telling me 2 days ago… but it’s deeper and wider than a French drain and drains to “daylight” away from the barn. I have a hunch you have a wet winter, too, so I’d pay a pro and do it right up front. I know people around here who will just dump gravel, but they end up dumping gravel every year or every other year. Why pay again and again when you can just pay a little more up front and do it right?

    With my horses’ situation different this year I’ve been reading up a lot on options, too, and have found this link to be the best with ideas. https://listentoyourhorse.com/which-paddock-surface-is-best-for-a-rainy-climate/ If I’m ever in charge, I’ll pursue one of the “royal” options. I’ve seen too many people with crap mud management here to spend years and money doing a simple thing repeatedly.

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  5. Hoof Grid. It is amazing stuff. You would have to dig out a bunch on the mud/muck put down a layer of grave then the hoof grid goes on top. The area drains amazingly well and it will keep the area level as well.

    I live in Central Florida where it rained almost every day this summer. The two barns that I know used the hoof gird system (one being Disney) in their paddocks around the barn stayed so dry while ton of other barns were unable use their paddocks because they were so wet!

    https://www.barnpros.com/barn-store.aspx?itemid=1173&prodid=5853&pagetitle=HoofGrid%C2%AE—Layer

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  6. ugh mud. it’s definitely the season for it!! my barn is really big into putting gravel down *everywhere* but honestly a ton of it has washed away in the torrential downpours and flashfloods we’ve had recently. which… ya know… is a shame and a waste lol. good luck finding a solution that works for your guys!

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  7. I did a quick google search and there seems to be a lot of variation on the grooved plastic base filled with gravel method of getting ride of mud depending on your budget for it. This is just one that popped up: https://www.paramountmaterials.com/products/horse-paddock-footing-grid-paddock-slab.

    You could just do gravel or try sloping it and adding sand to help with absorption. We added sand to the interior of the shelter we had at the rental last year and it worked great but was covered so no direct rain came down on it.

    I’ve also seen people concrete the worst areas like those right by the barn or the main exit/entrance to the paddock or barn to help with mud but I don’t know. I’m not a fan of concrete and horses.

    Good luck! Send the rain this way please. My pastures need it!

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  8. I made everything sand so I could avoid muck. But that’s not at all ideal since my horses don’t get to graze on turnout!
    I’ve heard good things about that grid stuff mentioned above though. Maybe you could just do that with sand or stone dust for that area right outside the barn, but leave the rest grass? Might still muck up in the other areas though.

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  9. Ohh thats what it looked like here until last week! We are going to have to put a proper drain in the front of our yards, and a gravel base to help our problem. And I am tempted to do some drainage works in the paddocks to to help shift some of the water.

    i feel like Remus and Coolie would get on so well with their feelings about how they should be treated and life!

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  10. You might want to consider filling all the mud in with pea gravel. It sounds weird, but it works and horses like it. Lots of paddocks in CA are filled with pea gravel (or sand, but sand is more expensive). We got fresh pea gravel every year. A few tons is pretty cheap. I’d scrape all the mud out first then put gravel down. It’s my plan for a sacrifice paddock here.

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