Muddy Pastures and How to Deal with Them

In an ideal world our pastures would never be muddy, but especially here in Ohio that just isn’t the case. It’s a pleasant 74° today but the pastures aren’t going to dry out in a day. We’ve thought up some ideas to solve some of the bigger muddy pasture dilemmas.

Muddy Pastures - Dry Lots

Dry Lots

Now not everyone can excavate and change the footing in their pasture or paddock, it’s expensive and can be a huge undertaking, but it is the most sure-fire way to rid yourself of muddy pastures. Keep in mind though that limestone footing and other alternatives do require maintenance and care that you may not be used to with a mud lot or grass pasture.

Muddy Pastures - Alternative footing in high traffic areas

Alternative Footing in High Traffic Areas

If you don’t want to swap out your current footing to limestone in smaller paddocks, or you have a larger grass pasture, you may consider adding certain types of footing to high traffic areas. Usually the muddiest places in any pasture are by the gate, water trough, and hay feeders. Adding large grain sand or pea gravel to these areas can help with water drainage, which will decrease mud.

Muddy Pastures - Grooming Horses when Muddy

Grooming when Muddy

Even with either of these footing options, it’s still likely your horse may come in with muddy legs or on days like today, their whole body. While bathing a muddy horse is sometimes an option, let’s say it’s not. You’ll need a good curry comb or grooming glove like the HandsOn® Grooming Gloves. You can use these to remove dried mud or for bathing. After currying you’ll need a hard brush to remove any loose hair and mud left on your horse. You may notice negative changes in your horse’s legs or overall haircoat in mud season, and grooming can help to reverse those, but you may need to implement other strategies.

Muddy Pastures - Topical Treatments

Topical Treatments

If your horse is suffering from mud fever or rain rot, grooming might not be enough. Treating mud fever with an ointment or spray may be necessary this time of year. There are a wide variety of options ranging from traditional ointments to sprays and lotions. These will help to rid your horse’s legs of mud fever or rain rot and restore normal, healthy skin and hair.

Mud may seem inescapable this time of year, but it is manageable with the proper tools.