Well, it’s not currently “mud season,” but we appear to have made some serious headway on the mud situation. We’ll know for sure when winter comes – when it’s never warm enough outside to dry out the mud – but for now I’m cautiously optimistic. The entryway to our barn, formerly a quagmire of hoof-sucking, boot-stealing, horseshoe-swallowing mud, is a nice flat expanse of plain old dirt. The winner in this fight: SAND.
Originally, we tried two different techniques, straw and sand. We used straw exclusively in one section, sand in the other. When it became apparent that sand was having the most effect, we expanded the area in which were were using sand. Now, the best way to have done this would have been to buy a dump-truck load of sand and shovel it over the whole area; but since we didn’t know for sure it was going to work, we just periodically bought 50-pound bags of sand and put them in the worst areas. Over time, the whole barn-entry area was treated, and it is so much better. We’ll keep adding to it as winter approaches; in fact, we will probably go ahead and get that dump-truck load now that we know how effective it is, and probably expand the treatment area to include where their water trough is.
One cool thing we did, that combined mud abatement and our unabashed sentimentality: last time I went to visit my family in Arizona, I drove back here with my dad and The Kid. We stopped in the desert on our way out and filled two buckets with Arizona sand. When we got home, we spread it over the remaining muddy spot by the barn. Now our pasture has a little piece of Arizona, AND it’s helping with the mud. Yay, sand!
The entire mud abatement series: