Continuing with my theme on dealing with mud and preventing mud-related injuries, here is an article with some strategies for dealing with mud on trails and in horse facilities. In addition to creating hazards for people, mud is a health hazard for horses. It can cause foot health issues, increase the risk of falls, and is generally unpleasant for them. Many of the strategies listed in the article such as installing gutters and berms and putting buildings and outdoor arenas on the highest ground possible are good advice for any animal facility. Pay special attention to high traffic areas since they tend to accumulate mud more easily and because the exposure happens more often. Click on the link below to see an article from Equus Magazine on preventing mud in stables and arenas.
Another important area to consider mud when you have horses is on trails. Mud makes it much easier for horses to loose their footing, and mud can hide other hazards for your horses’ feet like rocks or other objects. Horses can even become stuck if the mud is deep enough. Anything that creates a hazard for the horse also creates a hazard for the rider. I found a second article from Equus gives some advice on dealing with mud on trails. Also if you have students or boarders that are less experienced, make sure that they know how to deal with mud before they go out. Riders with less experience are more prone to getting their horses or themselves in trouble even in ideal conditions, and according to the regional rural injury study, riding is the top cause of ag injuries for girls under the age of 18.