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Tips For Keeping Winter Mud Out of Your Turnout Pens

Filed under: Health & Training |     

Edited press release


Winter, and the mud that comes with it, is right around the corner. Getting your dry lots as “mudproof’’ as possible helps to keep it manageable as the season gets wetter, according to Laurie Cerny, editor and publisher of

“We just got three inches of rain in 24 hours. You would think my pens would be mud pits, but they’re not. I attribute this to being diligent about picking up manure daily and raking up any uneaten hay,” Cerny says.

“I’ve also learned that if you don’t stay on top of these two tasks, you’ll regret it once we get into the winter,” she adds.

Here are some other tips for keeping mud under control in your pens:

  • Don’t feed hay in pens, or if you do: feed only your best hay. When horses eat all of the hay it won’t get mixed in the dirt, which contributes to mud.
  • Consider feeding hay pellets in pens; horses don’t waste these.
  • Position your feeders on the highest spot possible in a pen (this will help drainage away from the spot) and move periodically (this will give the spot a rest).
  • Pick up manure daily. Manure mixed with dirt instantly creates mud when it rains.
  • Clean up hay and other bedding that gets drug out of run-in stalls and into outdoor lots.
  • Create drainage pits in your pens and fill with sand in any other low spots (in front of doors and gates).
  • Monitor eating patterns. We have a horse that likes to push his hay to the run-in opening and then outside. Moving his hay to another spot in the run-in shed prevents him from rolling it outside and into the lot.

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