Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We've got answers!

Whether you're unsure where to use Lighthoof, how to install it, or have a contractor that is new to our product, we're here to help. Our Lighthoof mud management panels are easy to install as a ground stabilization grid for horse stalls, barn aisleways, paddock gates and entryways, and offer a superb and safe alternative to concrete barn flooring.

In addition, Lighthoof ground stabilization grids plus gravel when properly installed makes a great base for barns, as well as excellent underneath shedrow stalls to prevent muck from building up in front of the stalls and under the overhang.

No matter where you have mud, Lighthoof is there to help with a permanent, mud-free ground stabilization solution for homesteads and horse farms everywhere!

  • General FAQs

    Q: What is Lighthoof?
    A: Lighthoof is a ground stabilizing panel that helps keep the ground beneath your horses’ feet and your feet, solid and safe. These panels help you turn muddy pastures, paddocks, and drainage areas into solid, dry, and walkable pieces of land.

    Q: Is Lighthoof and HoofBase the same company?
    A: HoofBase was our original name, but it was later changed to Lighthoof. We are the patent holders of the flexible equine/livestock mud management panel system and the current Lighthoof product is the newest and best version of the original HoofBase product.

    Q: How large is each single Lighthoof panel?
    A: The panels are 6’ wide by 12’ long when expanded. Each panel covers 72 square feet.

    Q: Where can I buy Lighthoof panels?
    A: You can easily order Lighthoof online! Even better yet, we ship for free within the continental U.S.

    Q: How much does it cost?
    A: Each Lighthoof panel costs $199 and comes with 40 Envirolock connectors for joining adjacent panels to each other. That works out to about $2.76 per square foot.

    Q: How much does shipping cost?
    A: Shipping is FREE anywhere in the continental US on any quantity of Lighthoof panels! Contact us for prices on shipping to other countries and regions.

    Q: What makes Lighthoof different from other ground stabilizing panels?
    A: Lighthoof is a soft and flexible panel, while many other competitors use a hard plastic. These flexible panels make for easier installs, safer surfaces, convenient shipping options, and for a more environmentally friendly product.

    Q: Do I have to worry about Lighthoof poking through and hurting my horses legs?
    A: No! The best part about Lighthoof is that it uses soft, flexible plastic panels unlike other hard, plastic permeable or semipermeable panels on the market. These flexible panels are durable and stay put, filled with crushed rock and covered with any footing material.

    Q: Where can I buy these mud management panels locally?
    A: Check our local retailer listings to see if a feed store near you stocks Lighthoof.

    Q: What if I need help installing Lighthoof panels, do you have installers that can install it for me?
    A: Lighthoof works with contractors all over the country who can provide Lighthoof installation for you. Find an Installer near you, or let us know if you have a favorite builder or landscaper and we can train them to install Lighthoof for free. No contractor near you? Contact us and we will help you find someone qualified to do the job and train them on installing Lighthoof.

    Q: My horse likes to dig, will this damage my Lighthoof panels?
    A: No! Lighthoof is the digging horse owner’s best friend. You know how even the most compacted bases will quickly develop all kinds of potholes when horses stand around stomping flies or digging? Lighthoof eradicates this problem. Properly installed (which is easy to do), the panels will be filled with compacted rock that horses will find difficult if not impossible to dig into. The top loose layer can be easily moved around, but we recommend only 2 inches of loose gravel on top, so this is exceedingly minor. If the horse uncovers the top of a panel, Lighthoof’s flexible cells simply fold over, which keeps the panel from unearthing and is safe and gentle on the horses’ hooves. Only the corners and edges are vulnerable to digging horses. This can be easily managed by installing flush to a fenceline or building, or by using lumber to create a solid border around your Lighthoof panels.

  • DIY Installation FAQs

    Q: Can I install the panels myself?
    A: Yes! Lighthoof panels are simple to install and most sizes of projects can be completed without any heavy equipment or serious earthmoving. Watch our installation video to learn more. If you love Lighthoof as much as we do, you should also check out our ambassador program which lets you earn money with Lighthoof.

    Q: Do I have to level the area prior to installation?
    A: No. You can lay Lighthoof down over the existing slopes and grades in your property, making it one of the most friendly ground stabilizing DIY projects out there! Simply remove any large stones and you can begin your mud panel installation process. If you are planning any drainage or grading for your area, you will want to complete this first because Lighthoof will lock in your terrain and stabilize whatever ground you’ve got.

    Q: How much and what type of gravel do I need?
    A: Each Lighthoof panel uses 1-2 yards of gravel. That’s significantly less gravel than needed for a successful hard plastic grid/tile installation! We strongly recommend a ⅜”-½” minus or similar angular crushed rock with fines for the most stable installation. A pea gravel or rounded drain rock doesn’t firm up well. You can put any material over the top as footing once you’ve filled and compacted the cells with the appropriate angular crushed rock.

    Q: How much does it cost to have Lighthoof installed?
    A: While every project is different, on average the cost of materials used to complete a Lighthoof project is:

    • Edging Lumber OR Railroad Tie: $5-$26 per piece (optional)
    • 6-8 oz non-woven geotextile: approximately $0.25/sqft
    • Lighthoof Panel: $199 per 6' x 12' panel
    • Fine, crushed angular gravel: typically $20-$40/yard delivered (1-2 yards/panel)
    • Optional top gravel or sand layer: variable depending on depth and material used

    Q: Do I have to remove the mud before installing Lighthoof?
    A: No! The Lighthoof panels can lie right over your existing mud with a layer of geotextile fabric underneath. You may prefer installing in summer to avoid sinking in while you are working. But, if needed, you can install over your existing wet mud. If you can walk in your mud without sinking in past your ankles, then you should have no problem installing over the wet mud. The system will settle a bit as it compresses the mud, so plan to end up a few inches lower overall in the end. If you’ve got shin or knee deep mud, we recommend waiting for it to dry and then installing over the dried mud.

    Q: Do I need any special tools to install Lighthoof?
    A: No and that is what makes it so DIY friendly. If you have a rake, shovel, and a hammer you can install Lighthoof panels. A small farm tractor makes the job even easier. You can learn more about the installation of Lighthoof with our downloadable instruction guide.

    Q: Can Lighthoof be used for ground stabilizing in my horse's stall?
    A: Yes, Lighthoof isn’t just for horse pasture management, it also works as a ground stabilizing aid for stalls, pathways, and more. If your horses spend a large amount of time in their stalls or your farm is in a flood prone area, Lighthoof can help keep the ground beneath your horse's feet solid and stable. Do not, however, expect them to provide permanent permeability in a stall. For example, if you are hoping the urine will drain through and disappear. This is impossible because hair, dust, hay scraps, manure particles, etc over time will clog between the gravel (or between the edges of the mats, if you are using mats) and it will no longer drain through. This can be the case with any stall flooring. The best way to deal with urine is still just to use an absorbent bedding and remove it daily. Another thing to think about is that Lighthoof raises the surface by 3" so when using in a stall it may be necessary to dig down in order to provide clearance for doors to open and close. The panels are sized 6' x 12' to cover a stall area precisely with only two panels.

  • Contractor FAQs

    Q: I'm interested in selling Lighthoof through my business, how do I become a distributor?
    A: We have several great ways that you can make money and help horses get out of the mud with our horse pasture management panels. Learn more about becoming a Lighthoof distributor by contacting us.

    Q: While my company is installing Lighthoof can they be driven on with a truck or tractor?
    A: Once the ground stabilizing panels are filled with gravel and compacted, they can be driven on by any size vehicle. In fact, the army uses similar technology for creating firm passageways for tanks and other large equipment. Just make sure they are filled and compacted and you are protecting the edges/transition point with a border of some sort. If installing over deep, wet mud, use caution with equipment until the ground has a chance to firm up, because the panels will flex a bit more than normal when driven on during installation over very unstable ground.

    Q: Many of my customers want an environmentally friendly product, is Lighthoof environmentally friendly?
    A: Yes. We understand that having a safe product is a concern for many customers. Lighthoof is chemically inert so it can’t seep into the soil or groundwater. The material is also certified by the EPA for a minimum of 70 years. You can be confident when you tell your customers that these horse pasture management panels are environmentally friendly! Not to mention the environmental benefits of eliminating mud! Many conservation districts provide cost sharing for this product to protect the environment via improvements to the health of land used for farming.

    Q: Can Lighthoof be used for residential projects?
    A: Yes, while we created Lighthoof originally as a horse paddock mud management product, but it can also be used for other residential projects. Lighthoof can be used anywhere. You can use these panels for your new permeable driveway, patio, walkway, and more with the same ground stabilizing benefits!

    Q: Many of my clients need slope and driveway bank reinforcement, can Lighthoof help?
    A: Yes, Lighthoof is great for all ground stabilization applications. It’s especially suited to the high impact needs of horses, but it works very well for all drive and path applications as well and can be driven on by any size vehicle.

    Q: What kind of upkeep can I advise my clients will be necessary after I've installed Lighthoof panels?
    A: Upkeep on our mud management panels is minimal and low cost. Over the course of time, a well kept paddock using our mud management solution may need to have a thin layer of gravel applied in areas where regular manure removal or runoff have exposed the tops of the panels. Your clients can do this on their own, so they’ll see savings long term. They should also plan on taking steps to keep their new mud-free paddocks clear of manure or other organic matter build up, such as hay scraps or leaves, on a weekly basis.

    Q: Can Lighthoof panels be used as a drainage solution?
    A: While our panels create a semi-permeable layer of footing, you’ll still need to ensure that runoff and precipitation have a place to go. Our mud management solution works best in conjunction with proper drainage direction to prevent soil erosion and keep your clients from losing their valuable paddock or arena footing. Lighthoof conforms to most grades and open drainage features such as swales or berms and protects them from being degraded by hoof traffic. However, since it locks in the terrain, it’s important to plan and complete any grading prior to installing Lighthoof.

    Q: What kind of resources does Lighthoof have to provide support if I decide to utilize this product?
    A: The best way to get started is to download a planning kit from www.lighthoof.com. Once you’ve downloaded the planning kit, you will have access to all of our guides and resources including new ones as they become available. You can also call 800-279-4716 or email mud@lighthoof.com any time for personal support, answers, and assistance.