Winter Paddocks Save Your Pastures Too

Read the Low Mud Winter Paddocks Article   


Winter paddocks keep your horse more comfortable during the winter but they also save your pastures for spring.

Paddocks are one of the tools that I use to keep my barn working well and keeping horses safe. Pastures can be mud pits in the winter and horses can loose shoes, pull tendons, slip and injure themselves. By using paddocks are horses come in with turn outs sheets layered in mud.

Shadysprings. Under Construction.

Less Mud Means Cleaner & Healthier Horses

The Cadillac of Winter Paddocks


Layers of geotextile fabric, gravel & footing on prepared site holds up best:

  • Your site should have good drainage. My goal is to not have any water enter the site except from the sky.
  • This may mean a ditch around parts of paddock, drain tiles to lower water table, gutter on a shed attached to paddock, etc.
  • Add a slight slope to sight so precipitation will drain off of paddock.
  • Lay your geotextile material so that you have a 12 inch overlap where pieces meet.
  • Add a 6 inch layer of 3/4 or 5/8 minus gravel.
  • I used a track hoe to pack gravel in. You can also rent a compactor
  • I have used different footings for the top layer. I usually start out with a sand layer which will cushion the gravel layer.
  • As paddocks age, the sand layer will hold moisture along with disolved manure during heavy rains. I usually scrape this layer off every year or two and add some 1/4 minus.

More Paddock Ideas


Less expensive or time saving ideas:

  • Limit your horses to only one pasture during the winter months, also known as a sacrifice area.
  • I have built paddocks that were sand only or gravel with sand layer. I have used 1/4 minus gravel or a heavier rock base. These paddocks only work if there was good drainage and top soil was removed.
  • Always try to remove manure from your paddocks like you would clean a stall.
  • I could not afford good fencing when paddocks were first built. I used electric rope fencing until I could afford permanent fencing.
  • I like to leave a buffer strip between paddocks. Horses won't damage your fencing as much if they can't have physical contact.
  • Design your paddock so several pastures attach to it. You can then have shade, water and hay centrally located and just rotate gate openings to pasture.
  • Don't forget to gravel your path leading to paddocks.

Directions To Farm

Click on Directions to go to Mapquest. Once you turn left onto Rock Creek Rd, you will go 1/4 of a mile and turn left at end of round wood rail fence.


Contact Shadysprings

Reasonably priced lessons, training & board for the horse owner wanting great service. Come visit & take a tour or watch a lesson.

Address: 16340 NW Rock Creek Rd. Portland, 97231
Barn: 503-621-6932
Mobile: 503-799-7082

Contact Trainers

Lee Jorgensen: Hunter/ Jumper/ Equitation

Phone: (360) 904-8626

Courtney Reid: Hunter/ Jumper/ Equitation

Phone: ((503) 314-4708