Freezing winter temperatures introduce a new danger to sloppy horse paddock mud. In soft mud, horse hooves create endless deep, narrow holes surrounded by small mud mountains. When the mud freezes, these peaks and valleys harden to become a hazard to your horse and a major hardship for farm maintenance.
Mud peaks are hazardous for horses.Frozen, rough footing can cause your horse pain and trauma:
- Hard, uneven ground can bruise the frog or sole of your horse’s hoof.
- Tripping or knocking on peaks can chip or crack the hoof wall.
- Hoof injuries from hard, rough footing often lead to abscess, which can escalate to more serious internal infection.
- Your horse can misstep, trip, and even fall on the frozen terrain. The resulting pulls, sprains, and fractures are painful for the horse and expensive for you.
Horse Paddock Mud peaks are a hardship for farm maintenance.Removing manure from uneven paddock footing is a nightmare:
- Pitchfork tines break when they snag in jagged mud-ice.
- Wheelbarrows stick and sometimes spill on uneven ground.
- You leave behind manure that has sunk into the pits.
Also, walking on peaks and valleys isn’t just a hazard to horses; people on your farm can trip, fall, and hurt themselves as well.
How to Conquer the Peaks
Prevention is the key to keeping your horse safe from mud-peak injuries. Eliminating mud and creating an even, but not slippery, paddock surface before the ground hardens is crucial if you want to create a safe and enjoyable outdoor winter living area for your horse. In most regions, it’s not too late: Install a reliable horse paddock mud management solution on a sunny day when the temperature rises above freezing and the ground softens enough to be workable. Improving farm safety is quicker and easier than you might expect!
What is the Lighthoof paddock base solution?
Lighthoof’s patent-pending mud management panels quickly and effectively solve a challenging issue that most horses and farm owners experience for more than 7 months out of the year: deep mud in paddocks, pathways, and gate areas.
Our easy-to-install panels are an instant and long-lasting cure for moderate to extreme mud situations. The innovative design prevents mud and erosion caused by hoof traffic and wet weather. It’s suitable for every farm, from high-end professional facilities to the modest home ranch.
Due to its unique flexibility, Lighthoof is by far the easiest paddock base material to install. It conforms to uneven or oddly shaped areas and to sub-base grades. This allows you to work with existing terrain or to crown or slope areas for better drainage, reducing the time and money spent on sub-grade preparation.
The flexible panels are lightweight and easy to cut on site. Even so, Lighthoof is strong enough to hold up to tractor and equipment use as well as regular equine wear and tear.
How does it work?
Due to their weight and the shape of their hooves, horses exert unique force on the areas in which they are confined. An un-reinforced base is prone to deep mud, even with gravel or sand footing.
The plunger effect of horse hooves on wet ground punches the footing into the base and churns it into unstable, wet ground that can cause injury or infection from mud-born bacteria.
Lighthoof’s flexible high-density polyethylene (HDPE) panels confine the gravel footing material in a series of 3” deep interconnecting cells. This limits the displacement of gravel from the downward action of the hooves and holds the footing in place against erosive forces such as heavy rainfall or runoff from other areas.
Paddocks and high-traffic areas with Lighthoof remain even and safe for horses and humans through all seasons.