Battling the Mud: How to Keep Hooves Happy in the Spring
As winter melts into spring, the landscape might be a bit too muddy for your horse. Even if your horse is in great shape, too much water can be harmful. Excessive moisture exposure can lead to softened feet, sensitivity and infection. If you add that tot he list of problems that are associated with mobility, you can see that your horse would prefer to live and trot in a dry space.
This isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially this time of year. Keeping your eye on mud levels in the pasture ensures your horse is healthy throughout the spring.
MINIMIZE THE MUCK
To keep the paddocks dry, you can install rain gutters. If your horses have access to bodies of water or other wet areas on the property consider fencing them away until the weather dries up. You'll have less mess around the streams and ponds that way.
Some horse owners use wood chips, gravel or sand around high traffic areas like feeders and gates for better footing. If rock or gravel is used, make sure the rocks are not too big or sharp, as this kind of footing can be really uncomfortable for your horse. Place the material on landscape fabric for the best results.
Trees and plants will help stabilize the soil and soak up excess moisture that leads to puddles and mud when the rain comes. Use horse-friendly shrubs around the paddock to make a dry place for your horse to live.
It's a muddy and mucky time of year for your horse, but it doesn't have to be completely uncomfortable. Keep an eye on the amount of moisture in and around your horse's home and do what you can to ensure they have a dry, safe place to stay this spring.