Topics

Footings for turn out area


Susan
 

I'd like a recommendation on the type of gravel that I should top my turn out paddock with. There is already a 1 foot base that had some bigger pieces of stone in it and some finer gravel. Most of it was placed by the previous owner of the property. It's a bit muddy around the edges in the winter when we get lots of rain. The mud is probably from organic matter that has collected over time.  About 3 years ago I added 1/2" minus crusher dust  (manufactured fines) over a lower section on the advice from the quarry owner that this is what he sells to all the horse people.  Over the last 3 years the bigger pieces of the crusher has come to the surface and they have sharp edges - like crusher products will. My 2 horses can be tender footed on it in the summer, but they seem fine in the winter. Except that my younger mare got a stone bruise on her back heel last winter from running around and playing on it. My older horse is probably pre-cushings (he tested in the normal range, but has a lot of the symptoms). He walks tenderly on the current surface at this time of the year and he can't go out on grass  right now (too much sugar) so he's in boots.

I have 3 options:

1) 3/8" minus crusher dust - which I'm told will pack hard. I looked at it and it seems to have a very low percentage of the larger pieces and is mostly the "fines". But I'm worried that the bigger pieces will work their way to the top like the 1/2" minus did.  They use this stuff for topping bicycle/walking trails in my area and those trails look uniformly smooth.
2) 1/8" crusher sand - this stuff won't pack. I think it's a bi-product of  stone crushing, but it looks like course sand. It will have sharp edges, but the pieces are small.
3) Birds eye gravel - this is the really small rounded stones that comes from a river bed. I'd guess that the biggest pieces are no more than 1/4". It won't pack either.

My main criterion is that the horses can walk comfortably on it all year and that it's good for their hooves. But it would also be nice if it drains well, although there is a slight slope from one end of the paddock to the other, so the rain can run off the top.

Oh - my older gelding has been barefoot for about 3 years now - since he first started showing signs of laminitis with the seasonal rise. My younger mare has never had shoes.

Thanks,
Susan


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Susan,

For the horses' feet, the best thing to use is 4"-6" of 3/8" pea stone.

Generally, horses' feet will adapt to whatever footing they spend the most time on. That they get tender footed points to a problem with their feet rather than the footing. They both may be IR, which is different from having PPID (Cushings), as that is what causes problems with sugars in the grass. Your older boy may also be early PPID, which can mean he tests "normal" during non-seasonal times of the year but has an exaggerated ACTH rise in the fall.

Creating a case history for each of them would help us to help you parse out those possibilities.

--
Lavinia

Moderator/ECIR Support


Susan
 

Hi Lavinia,

Sorry - I had forgotten to  set up my signature for this group. I've already posted  case histories. There have been a few changes to their diet in  the last 2 months that I need to update in the CHs.

I've been taking hoof photos since I started trimming them.  Do I need  permission to post a few or can I upload them myself to my files folder?
--
Susan in BC 2020
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Susan%20and%20Copper%20and%20Ella


 

Susan, I added some birds eye to my pipe corrals over the existing compacted footing.  I also have crusher run in parts of my turnouts where I need to supply traction during muddy weather. Larger pieces of gravel are noticeable when the crusher run gets thin and is less than 3 inches deep. If the layer is thick enough, they cushion the larger gravels, which just sink in. Birds eye is not grippy. I worry about my horses slipping on it where it covers hard ground  anyplace they race, cut and slide. 

I agree with Lavinia about the benefits of larger pea gravel, especially in a level loafing area. It's hard to come by here but one landscape supplier has started to carry it for horse facilities. I keep it away from the racetrack portions of my turnouts and have it in a small area where I feed out of bins. It's large enough that you won't find pieces of gravel embedded an any small hoof wall separation, the central sulcus or the depths of the collateral grooves. It's less likely to fly up and land inside any hoof boots you may need for your tender-footed horses when they're playing rodeo. It's supposedly very soothing to sore feet because the horse can dig in and adjust her feet to exactly where she feels most comfortable. And it may be less abrasive on those hooves that wear easily. Not sure on that latter, as my horses have very different horn quality from one another, and it's hard to know with different footings in different places.

--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse Case History                Cayuse Photos
Diamond Case History              Diamond Photos 


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

If the horses are/might be IR/PPID, you can create an album in the Photos section of the case history sub-group yourself and upload photos there. Since you already have the case histories for them, I'd just put the photos there. The discussion would also take place on the main group as that's where all the topics are covered for IR/PPID horses.

If not IR and/or PPID, then the album would go here, which is Moderator upload only. You'd need to send the pix directly to me and I can create the album then upload for you.

--
Lavinia

Moderator/ECIR Support


Susan
 

Thank you Case and Lavinia,

I hadn't thought about the traction. When I first laid the crusher, it wasn't as course. So maybe some of the finer stuff has washed off as there is a slope to the paddock.
I do notice that I sometimes have to dig small chips out of the areas where there is a bit of wall separation. Does that mean that the crusher pieces that were laid the last time are too small?

I guess I'll go with the crusher over most of the area and see if I can get some pea gravel for areas where they are fed.

I trim my own horses and have been learning what to do and what works for them for the last 3 years.  Since they are both a bit tender now, maybe I can get some feed back on anything that should be changed. But I'll post that when I take some current pictures.

--
Susan in BC 2020
Copper and Ella's Case History


 

On Sat, Jun 13, 2020 at 08:33 AM, Susan wrote:
I do notice that I sometimes have to dig small chips out of the areas where there is a bit of wall separation. Does that mean that the crusher pieces that were laid the last time are too small?
Not in my opinion. Gravel is a very effective mulch to hold down weeds. I'd rather focus on no hoof wall separation, whatever the cause.  Green things grow, for which I'm grateful except along the edges of my dry lot, where I spend hours and hours in every season trying to keep the dry lot dry, never with complete success. 

 I don't have gravel everywhere, btw. I have dirt rolling areas where I maintain a sand pile. I do pick up larger gravels in the dirt parts of my turnout, especially after I harrow. I use a fine tine manure fork. https://www.amazon.com/Fine-Tine-Pitch-Fork-Junior/dp/B004ZQ5VR2/ 
 
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse Case History                Cayuse Photos
Diamond Case History              Diamond Photos 


Trisha DePietro
 

I did the pea gravel and was very very happy with it and the horses feet looked great! However, over time, organic matter deteriorates and combines with the pea stone and retains moisture, making it very hard to separate the pea stone and just get rid of the organic matter....any suggestions on how to separate it without losing tons of pea stone? Thanks
--
Trisha DePietro
Aug 2018
NH
Dolly and Hope's Case Histories 
Dolly's Photos 
Hope's Photos 
Ω


Deborah Ide
 

I saw a video lately where a woman "sifted" the soiled stones through hardware cloth. She used a piece about 3 feet  by two feet and rolled up the edges so she could hold it. She dumped the "clean" stones into a pail(not filling it more than 1/3  or so before dumping it so it would not be too heavy). She put the "dirt" that sifted through a separated from the stones, into her compost pile. It would take a while to do a paddock but she was working on a largish gravel driveway and it seemed to go well. That's the only idea I've seen. Maybe other people have
good ideas on how to clean the gravel.


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

I have this problem too where I have a hay feeder on pea gravel.  The hay fines get mixed into the pea gravel.  I've used a little metal garden sieve to separate them, but it is very time consuming even for a VERY small area.  Online you can probably find plans to build a homemade "compost screener" that sits on a wheel barrow that would also work.  Some are designed to swing so you don't even gave to shake the screen.  Just make sure your screen is a good size for separating pea gravel, and no smaller than it needs to be otherwise it will be slow and will leave more organics behind.

Best thing is probably prevention.  Pick up manure as often as possible, and minimize the amount of hay or feed that falls on to it by adjusting how you feed or how your feeders work.  I have a home-made collection tub below my hay net on the pea gravel, and the hay net is fastened tightly top and bottom so my horse can't shake the hay out all over the pea gravel.  He still makes a mess but much less than otherwise.

--
Kirsten Rasmussen
Kitimat, BC, Canada


pdmcnichols@...
 

I pick my runs every day and use a leaf blower once a week. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the correct angle so you don't blow away the gravel but once it's figured out the leaf blower does a great job of getting rid of all the little bits of organic matter that are too small to be removed with a manure fork. 


regina bruno
 

Trisha DePietroJul 27 #11189  
"I did the pea gravel and was very very happy with it and the horses feet looked great! However, over time, organic matter deteriorates and combines with the pea stone and retains moisture, making it very hard to separate the pea stone and just get rid of the organic matter....any suggestions on how to separate it without losing tons of pea stone? "

I know I'm a little late to the conversation but I have an area that was outside the stalls where shavings land and they like to pee. ( If you have access to a tractor with a loader) I dug the area out, piled the gravel in the middle of the paddock, and replaced the area with some bagged pee gravel.  The gravel I removed was washed over time from the rain at which time I was able to use it again.

Regina and Smokey
Ohio


Cindy Giovanetti
 

Lavinia said:  "For the horses' feet, the best thing to use is 4"-6" of 3/8" pea stone."

I am getting ready to do my dream-come-true grading, footing, and surfacing project.

Can anyone direct me to specific instructions on surfacing material?  I do plan to have a pea-gravel section, and will use Lavinia's instructions above.  But I also need advice on the track portion and the riding area. 

Thanks in advance.
--
Cindy
Denton, Texas
Joined 2/19, but I was a member of the old Yahoo group
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Cindy%20and%20Oden/Oden%20case%20history%20%287%29%20%281%29.doc
Photos:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=91125


 

I used to have a book on arena footings.  I will try to figure out if I still have it..

On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 3:38 PM Cindy Giovanetti <Cindyg@...> wrote:
Lavinia said:  "For the horses' feet, the best thing to use is 4"-6" of 3/8" pea stone."

I am getting ready to do my dream-come-true grading, footing, and surfacing project.

Can anyone direct me to specific instructions on surfacing material?  I do plan to have a pea-gravel section, and will use Lavinia's instructions above.  But I also need advice on the track portion and the riding area. 

Thanks in advance.
--
Cindy
Denton, Texas
Joined 2/19, but I was a member of the old Yahoo group
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Cindy%20and%20Oden/Oden%20case%20history%20%287%29%20%281%29.doc
Photos:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=91125


 

This is a great tip, Regina.  Thanks for the suggestion.  As hard as I try to keep my pea stone clean, it’s nearly impossible.
--
Martha in Vermont
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)
July 2012

 
 
 


 

When I put my arena in, 20 plus years ago, I used a USDF booklet.  I found this link to it.  Not sure if you can still order it from the USDF.  An important point is to use manufactured sand rather that river sand.  River sand is round and will roll while manufactured sand has tiny flat sides which keep it from rolling.  A friend and I Installed our arenas the same year and she used river sand.  She ended up having to replace it.  A proper base is extremely important as well.
--
Martha in Vermont
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)
July 2012

 
 
 


Barbara Henry
 

I still have my book on building the proper dressage arena I bought years ago.

--
Barb Henry