Monday, June 8, 2009

Mud Control for Horses - oh those muddy paddocks!


Behold - the MUDDY Horse Gate

You know what's rather funny? I'm so allergic to horses I can't get within about 10 feet of them... but then I'm not the horse expert. I leave that to the pro - JX.

JX's the horse guy... and if you think of the word, "cowboy", and imagine someone from those old Marlboro Ads (sans the cig) - then you're probably thinking of JX. Just tuck a blackberry in his pocket and give him a couple of Catahoula Leopard Hound mutts... and there he is. When he's not cowboying he's probably working with grid.

And this guy knows more about horses and mud control then probably anyone in North America. When we get a call about someone with muddy paddocks, someone looking to fix up their farm or ranch, someone who wants to talk to a horse expert - they'll get probably end up talking to JX. Last week it was a fella designing a show ring and a woman who was building stalls.

There was also a guy who wanted to put down grid around the barn and still be able to drive a tractor through the area. He was in North Carolina - and had a few horses, a bunch of dogs and a small "farm". I'm not sure what he was farming but we spent a while talking about the mud issues. Even small tractors can compact an area around a barn pretty well, and the pathways sounded like a disaster.

The problem with compaction is pretty simple. The soil gets harder and more compacted as we walk, drive, trample on it. A lot of people throw down gravel which works fine for a while.... but then that gets compacted. So they put down more gravel. And so on and so on...

That's what makes the permeable paving so brilliant... and so simple. Put down gravel. Put down some grid. Put down more gravel. Drive over it, walk on it, ride your horses over it... and stop worrying about it. For the guy I spoke he's getting the heaviest product - because he needs to back up the tractor - so he's going with the e50. He said he's going to put in some gravel in one area and put down a sand soil mix in the rest. Maybe plant some grass along the edges.. sounds like it will be clean and stable - and get rid of the mud problems too.

The grid product basically stops your walkway from becoming one muddy, mucky mess.

Anyway, it looks like the equestrian side of the grid business is really starting to catch on. Its great that people are looking for long-term enviromental paving solutions.

I guess I can show up a BEFORE and AFTER photo of one of the projects that JX did, because it really doesn't look like much - lol. It looks actually kind of boring - until you realize what it looked like before. And then you think about what it looks like years later - and then its more obvious. :D

The rather Boring but much cleaner, unmuddied horse gate.
I think there might be some more photos and stuff over on the Equestrian Web site - Equestrian Solutions
Since i'm no horse expert - I'll leave that to the professionals.

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