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Old 04-14-2010, 05:58 PM  
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Location: Schwenksville, PA
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Dry Lots

Does anyone here have a dry lot for their horses? I'm talking about a real dry lot with footing, not a sacrifice paddock that is dirt (or more likely mud).
I need to create a dry lot for my QH gelding. He is the classic "easy keeper" and when I bring him home (hopefully in june!!!!! ) I want to be able to keep him out of the grass (which is about as green and lush as it gets) but not have him in a stall. I'm interested in using slag (byproduct of steel) which was recommended by my farrier but I'd like to hear other people's opinions. I have slag that is safe for horses avilable in my area and it's fairly inexpensive too. The reason I don't want to just leave dirt because of how bad the mud can be for the horses hooves (thursh). Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!
Also, what size would you recommend? I want to put my gelding, plus a 2 yr old filly that I might be getting for free, plus at least one other horse.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:04 AM  
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My three sided shed is attached to 2 paddocks or dry lots. There is no grass in them. I then turn the horses out to our arena when they need more room to run or when pasture isn't ready or needs a break.
If I remember right, my paddocks are 27 wide and 100 long ..I'd have to double check. I have my 16 h horse in one and smaller mare and 2 yr old in another. They are fine in this amount of space.
Our footing is dirt on top of gravel. It's this way naturally and seems to drain well enough..but I to want to get something else in there, it wasn't a big problem until it rained for 3 wks straight last year, then it was pretty greasy... I was thinking 'hog fuel' as I heard it's great for the mud. Since no one around here sells that, I just bought regular mulch (make sure it's a type that won't make your horse sick if he ingests any). I need alot more mulch though.
I have also heard of people using sand and also pea rock.
As for the thrush, usually they won't get that from mud- they get that from urine/manure. So, as long as it's 'clean' mud, I wouldn't worry to much about thrush. But, it's still not great for them to stand in mud all the time. I worry more about 'mud fever' if they were in mud 24/7 for large amounts of time.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:17 AM  
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I've heard pea gravel works super awesome for footing. I'm putting in a dry lot this summer for the pony and that is what I'll be using.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:18 AM  
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Check this out it looks pretty neat. http://www.hoofgrid.com/ I hope it is helpful.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:48 AM  
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qhluvr, I was going to post that stuff but I couldn't remember for the life of me what it was called! I've seen this stuff in action and its great!
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:28 PM  
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slag or pea gravel..... either way you need to put landscape cloth underneath to keep it from sinking into the soil; and have good drainage. I would save your money, skip the slag or pea stone and just work on good drainage.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:03 PM  
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We can get slag for the cost of trucking or less. I dont think that you can use it here unless it is covered by top soil or concrete. Having worked in a foundry I cant see how it is safe for horses.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:21 AM  
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Why wouldn't the slag be safe for horses? My farrier has been using slag for about 5 years and has never had a problem with horses on it. She feeds and hays on rubber mats though. I guess it could be a problem if they injested it, but I feel like if a horse injested something like stone dust, pea gravel, or sand, it would have the same effect. My farrier confirmed that it has been tested and is safe for horses, but if you feel like it still might not be safe, please let me know why.
Pea gravel works great as well but in my area it's around 5x as expensive as slag and it has to be a fair amount deeper than the slag, if the horse's feet don't have something to sink into a little bit w/ the pea gravel it can cause bruising, especially for barefoot horses. Oh, keep in mind my horse is barefoot.
Pippy, you have a point that clean mud won't cause thrush, but the mud is wet and because of that any bacteria already in the hoof has a perfect breeding ground. I suppose it's more about drainage then anything. But thanks to weeks and weeks of rain, even areas with the best drainage still get pretty muddy, especailly when there's no grass.
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Sundance Solo-my much loved, spoiled rotten 1999 red dun QH gelding competing in eventing and jumpers

Sport D' Hiver-my lion hearted, dark bay, 1992 model TB, retired turf champion with winnings totaling over $500,000
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:46 PM  
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We use grit at the farm in our paddock.
I think some people call that pea gravel.
real fine stone chips.

packs nice and no mud. It drains well too and dries pretty quick after snow/rain.
The only thing that drives me is when we put hay out and then we have to clean it up all the time. We started using hay nets tied to the fencing and put in a hay rack, but the mini can't reach the rack.

You could probably call the Perkiomen Quarry up on rt 29 and get a price on it w/ delivery.
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