A common problem during the fall and winter months, muddy footing in horse turnout areas not only increases the difficulty of daily barn chores and grooming routines for owners, but creates a living environment for your horse that is neither safe nor healthy.
As well as providing an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that cause, among other conditions, scratches (also called mud fever) and thrush, muddy footing in horse paddocks can also lead to lost horseshoes, soft hooves, and injuries caused by slipping on the slick footing. Additionally, feeding your horse on a muddy surface can result in ingestion of dirt or sand particles that could cause colic.
Muddy paddocks can also have a negative environmental impact. 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.