Fifth Element: Mud

Dear stable owners,

Mud – it’s one of the largest problems facing free range stablers. You want to provide your horses with plenty of natural outdoor exercise. But as space for this is generally limited, overuse can quickly turn your paddock into a muddy wasteland.

As neither the horses nor their owners enjoy having to squelch their way across the entire area, you will have to install footings in some places. Books on mud management generally describe how to install an elaborate three-course-footing, which tends to be too costly for most people. The internet offers a wealth of creative suggestions, but it can be difficult to tell in advance how feasible some of them are.

Which is why this book offers a fundamental overview of different methods of mud management, as well as construction materials and dividing courses that can be used.

It explains how to assess your own soil in order to be able choose the most suitable footing. Experts on hoof care have also contributed a detailed look at consequences for hoof health and the book also presents ten examples of successful mud management strategies, including a breakdown of the respective costs.

Table of Contents

Mud – a widespread problem
Footing: why, where and how?
Legal requirements
   What is soil sealing?
   When do I need a permit?
The basics: soil
What kind of soil do you have?
Basic mud management strategies
   Base course, dividing course, surface course
   On-top construction
   No base course
   No dividing course
   No surface course
   Only one course
   Without anything
   Drainage systems
Construction materials and their suitability
   Crushed stone
   Asphalt concrete
   Wood chips
   Bark mulch
   Carpet shreds
Dividing course
   Plastic grids
   Concrete components
   Artificial turf
   Paper screens
   Stone meal and crushed sand
   Wood chips and cement
Footings for special requirements
   Conservation areas
   Steep inclines
   Water fords
Footing and hoof health – consulting the experts
   Jörg Weber, barefoot hoofcare specialist
   Chris Gehrmann, Eifel hoof clinic
   Kati Haas, barefoot hoofcare specialist
   Barbara & Patrick Spieleder, Institute for hoof health, Austria
   Christina Kuenen & Barbara Kelly, Team HUF
Our own experiences
Ten examples of successful footings
   140 m²: Reclaimed crushed stone and pig slats
   300 m²: Wet-mix aggregate with no dividing course
   800 m²: Sand and no dividing course
   166 m²: Grass pavers with a base course and surface course
   360 m²: Various footings
   2.000 m²: One course with construction rubble
   110 m²: Plastic grid directly on top of the mud
   200 m²: Grids with a base course and a surface course
   6.500 m²: Plastic grids with no base course
   150 m²: non-woven geotextiles on the topsoil
A few thoughts in conclusion

Ebook: Fifth element: Mud. Effective mud management for paddocks and trails.
Author: Dr. Tanja Romanazzi. Ebook as pdf-file with 171 pages A5 format, published March 2014, translated from German to English in January 2016, price: €20.47 + VAT