Whether you are operating an outdoor equestrian arena, a stable, or perhaps both, you already know how much of a nuisance mud can be.

Not only is mud unsightly and unpleasant, it can it make life difficult on your horses, making it harder for them to move, but did you know that mud can also reduce grazing areas for your horse and even lead to erosion.

Muddy paddocks can also be hard on the environment. Water runoff containing soil and traces of manure can contaminate local waterways and, if it leaches into the groundwater on your property, can also contaminate your well water.

Mud is one of the biggest issues facing horse barns and equestrian riding arenas all around.

There are some effective methods for erosion control in your horse barn and/or arena.

Proper Drainage

Mud happens in high traffic areas when the soil gets compacted, and water no longer flows down into it, but forms pools instead. Ideally a paddock is situated on higher ground with plenty of drainage, but barring that making sure there are drainage routes for water away from your paddock or barn is important.

Using Proper Footing

Sand and gravel are the best when it comes to deterring the mud. Clearing out your muddy area, and laying down either sand or gravel (or a mix)  onto an erosion-preventing grid will give your four footed friends a break from the mud and muck.

Redirecting Water

While drainage is essential, stopping water from flowing into your paddock in the first place is also important. Divert clean rainwater away from the paddocks by installing rain gutters and downspouts on the barn, shelters, and outbuildings. Make sure the roof runoff system empties downhill of the paddocks and barn area in a location where it will not become contaminated with manure.

Daily Manure Maintenance

The more you clean up the manure in your paddock, the less opportunity there will be for mud creation. Keeping your paddock clean is a pain, but nothing makes mud like manure.

Give Your Paddock a Rest When You Can

If you are managing both a riding arena and a stable/barn area, then it’s important to keep a delicate balance between the two areas.

  • Be sure that you take it easy every once in awhile, meaning that you allow the ground to take breaks from that heavy foot traffic.
  • The more relentless foot (or more accurately, hoof) traffic there is, the higher the chances of erosion, wear, and tear.
  • This is particularly important in the event of a rain storm — be sure to let your arena properly drain and dry before trotting around the area.

Consider Erosion Control Matting

Capable of holding up to all weather conditions, heavy foot and hoof traffic, and just about anything else thrown at it, Ecoraster erosion control matting is ideal for protecting against the elements — both natural and man- (or horse-) made.

Ecoraster geogrids are environmentally friendly, made from 100 percent recycled materials, and provide sustainable, permeable ground support for areas that need it most.

That includes equestrian barns, riding arenas, and just about any other area that may otherwise be susceptible to the effects of mud and/or erosion.

How do erosion control grids work? Simple.

  • Just dig to create a sub-base layer beneath where your arena will exist and install your erosion control matting (pro tip: the interlocking system makes installation a breeze).
  • Then, cover the Ecoraster grids with your preferred top layer and start riding on a sustainable, permeable, and reinforced surface.
  • This state-of-the-art erosion control matting not only helps remove mud from high-traffic areas, it also acts as an insulating base to keep your horses comfortable in all climates.

Learn more about permeable ground reinforcement and erosion control for horse arenas and contact B8 Ventures today.

For a step by step on how to install an erosion and mud control grid click here.