Winters in Western Washington are a sopping mud fest! Our soggy season brings an average of 36 inches of rain. But November’s featured farm shows us how even the wettest part of the USA can remain mud free.
Creekside Farm is perched on Patterson Creek, a King County stream system that is habitat for many species of salmon and trout. Because of the location, it’s especially important that Creekside operates mud-free. The smart management strategies that prevent this equestrian facility from contaminating the creek also keep the resident horses and humans healthy and happy. “The Lighthoof installation project, by far the biggest change that has been made at Creekside, took place in November 2013,” explains barn manager Emily Wilkinson. A year later, the dozens of paddocks on the property remain free of the bottomless puddles and boot-sucking mud that Western Washington farms are so famous for.
When she assumed the responsibility of managing the facility, Emily turned to the King County Conservation District and Horses for Clean Water for help saving the Creekside horses and the Patterson Creek Watershed from the nightmares of surface water and mud runoff. Because of the hilly terrain, Lighthoof was the only sustainable solution to keep the horses’ paddocks from turning to mucky sludge nine months out of every year.
Hot wire keeps horses from leaning on or getting tangled in the wood fencing. It also protects every fence rail from cribbers and chewers.
Resident horses take turns enjoying the lush grass at Creekside. Apple trees provide delicious treats in the autumn months.
An efficient and attractive barn houses the majority of the boarders.
The barn’s aisleway is wide and airy with no-slip footing for safety.
Each stall has its own automatic waterer and a slow-feeding manger to encourage healthy digestion of hay.
The hay loft stores over 3 tons of hay, keeping it dry and allowing easy drop feeding.
Creekside’s feed room is a paragon of efficiency and organization. From supplements to grain to blankets, every item has its place and is easy to access.
Who can help but drool over Creekside’s full-sized indoor dressage arena? The team regularly harrows and waters the Equiloft footing to maintain perfect riding conditions. The walls are angled to allow more space for the rider's leg.
The happy, healthy residents of Creekside Farm enjoy safe footing both when they’re at work and when they’re at play. Every horse has his own paddock with Lighthoof panels securing the gravel and sand.
Just ask this happy resident! Mud-free is the only way to be!
Lighthoof Equine’s featured farms are homes and facilities that exemplify enlightened horsekeeping. If you’d like some help in becoming a happy and mud-free facility, just let us know! We’d be delighted to discuss ideas with you.