Sand Pit

Olivia   August 29, 2017   37 Comments on Sand Pit

Every year we get fresh gravel for our paddocks before winter starts. As a native east coaster, this seemed like a weird practice to me at first, but it makes sense out here. Our horse have constant access to their paddocks and the rain in the winter would otherwise turn their paddocks into mud pits.

Yes, that’s an actual stream running through our paddocks

You can kind of see in the picture that there are also some mats in the paddocks and the stalls are matted. Last year we also ordered sand and added it to the back of Eugene and Nilla’s paddocks to give them a place to lie down that wasn’t as rough as the gravel, but could still hold up to the rain and keep their paddocks from being muddy. They both loved it.

She’s so freaking cute. #mulesofinstagram

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When we moved Eugene and Levi into their pasture, the one thing missing was a sand pit. Eugene definitely missed his. When we put him in Nilla’s paddock for a few weeks to heal his popped splint, the first thing he did was head straight to her sand pit and roll – multiple times.

so good

In addition to being enjoyable for the horses to roll and lie in, we wanted to add the sand pit so that the boys would have a place to roll that wasn’t in the dirt. They’ve gotten so dusty lately we have to wash our hands after touching them.

so much dust

It took a while to organize, but our barn owner finally had a few tons of sand delivered last week. Then we just had to figure out how to get it from the driveway to their pasture. I found a rentable skidsteer small enough to fit down the path to our pasture and we picked it up this past weekend.

Renting the damned thing was probably the biggest hassle. The rental place was insanely busy and chaotic. It was really hard to get in with our truck and then out with the skidsteer on it’s trailer, but we got it done. Back at the barn, my husband zipped back and forth collecting sand and dumping it in the Mustangs’ favorite rolling spot. I tried doing it once, but it was actually really hard to steer and I was taking a lot longer, so I let my husband do most of the work. I did collect manure (we do our own stall/pasture cleaning on Saturdays) and then went to get lunch for us.

Please note just how completely unphased our “wild” Mustangs were about the noisy tractor

It took a few hours, but in the end, we had a huge pile of sand for the Mustangs to enjoy. They had been in the small arena while we were doing the work. We took them over together and let them lose to check it out and they did not disappoint.

First they had to sniff it and check it out:

Then paw it:

And finally, there was a lot of intense rolling:

So ridiculously happy. #horsesofinstagram #happyhorse #rolling

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Levi was so happy, he flopped over to just lie there after rolling a few times.

It’s really rewarding to see them so happy. Especially when producing that happiness is so expensive and time consuming. But they are so happy, it’s worth it.

Because this is the horse blogosphere, I know someone will feel like they need to comment on the dangers of sand and horses. So I am going to go ahead and pre-address those concerns. All of our horses already get a monthly sand clear treatment. They also eat of of troughs that don’t have sand in them and aren’t anywhere near the sand pit. Could they possible get sand colic? Sure. I suppose anything is possible, but we are aware of and managing the risks.

And our horses are very happy:

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the TSF Girth Giveaway.

37 thoughts on “Sand Pit

  1. Sara

    Those are two happy mustangs. I’d think the risks of sand colic would be very low given that you don’t feed them in the sand pit. Having a comfortable place to lay, roll and relax is important for health too. Happy horses are worth it every time.

  2. Emma

    Aww I love it! They look so happy! And let’s be real, just about anything can pose a risk to horses these days – I think managing the risk while focusing on high quality livelihoods for the ponehs is where it’s at 😀

    1. Olivia Post author

      I just go with the assumption that horses are injury/illness seaking missiles of self-destruction and try to manage around that.

  3. Dom

    I’m so glad they got their sand back 🙂 They all look so happy. All the horses in South Jersey live in sand full time and seem to do finer!! I have a picture somewhere of Ozzy passed out in a sand pit in the Pine Barrens. Pure bliss.

    1. Olivia Post author

      They love the sand. When we take them to the beach it’s an effort to keep them from rolling until we can get their tack off.

  4. Calm, Forward, Straight

    The boys look happy and Nilla is adorable. 😀

    Val lives on sand 24/7. He loves it. It’s the best for napping, especially in the winter – kind of like an equine tempurpedic lol. I feed on mats + give psyllium monthly – no problems in eight years.

    1. Olivia Post author

      Yeah, I’m really not at all worried. But I get a lot of weird commenters so I’d rather just stop them in their tracks.

  5. rooth

    They look so happy! Our paddocks are garbage and Mae loves to roll and always gets scratches on her back. I took her out to a grass field last weekend and she rolled twice because the grass was so soft and nice

    1. Olivia Post author

      The sand and the gravel are probably going to follow us back east. I could see having a gravel sacrifice paddock and putting gravel at gate areas instead of just having mud.

  6. Sarah (threechestnuts)

    They look so happy! Makes me want to put in a sand pit for my boys. I have some grass, but I have to limit it so it lasts (and my mini has his access limited as well since he gained a little too much weight eating air) and right now the boys are having way too much fun rolling in mud… I’d love for them to have a nice, clean(er) sand pit to roll in. Subi used to LOVE rolling in sand in the indoor in our old barn years ago.

    1. Olivia Post author

      I think in the future even if we have pasture, I would have a sacrifice paddock with gravel and sand instead of dirt. It’s so much nicer.

  7. Kat

    Its funny, growing up West Coast, I never realized how different we do some stuff until I started reading blogs from other areas. We always have to go into arenas or the round pen to give the horses a good sand roll.

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