I’m renting a small 5 acre farmette - split into three paddocks. I have three horses (soon to be down to two when one goes out on lease this weekend). The fields are the low ground and don’t drain well. One paddock has had standing water forever apparently - the landlord planted “water loving” trees to try and help and apparently it has, but it is what it is. I can easily fence that off. I’m in VA so of course the clay doesn’t help the drainage issue. With it being winter, we are of course getting rain and/or snow which then melts and the pastures are soggy. The horses are tearing them up and I want to preserve them as best I can. The area where I’ve placed their trough and roundbale, about a 50 x 30 area or so, is all mud at this point. I am planning to tape that off to make a sacrifice area that the horses can go into while the fields are soggy. My landlord kindly ordered a load (~20 tons) of bluestone gravel (about 1.5"-3.5" for me. I have geotextile fabric on the way and will lay that down this week before he spreads the gravel out this weekend. I’m not in love with the horses standing on the gravel though and am wondering what I can/should do to finish the project out. A few things I’m considering:
- Ordering a load of pea gravel or 3/8" bluestone to put on top
- Placing carpeting on top (this seemed crazy to me, but more than a few people have recommended this?! Has anyone here used carpeting?)
- Placing stall mats in key areas (such as around the round bale).
Can you all tell me what you’ve done and had success with? My budget is limited, but I also want to be smart with the improvements.