The poor horses ended up not having a single bit of dry land for the entire duration of mud season. Even the shed was wet as it proved to be a very low spot with a 4 inch deep puddle across the opening. I dug trenches and did my best, but it was a complete lost cause.
The thing that was really bad about this, is what all that mud does to equine feet in an amazingly short time. Both Tessa and Gabe went from having nice, tough feet to having soggy, flat feet, battling terrible thrush. All in just a couple of weeks. I swore I was going to get the problem fixed this year, but I didn't think I would be able to do anything until July, which is generally the only time a truck can get near my barn. However, after a stretch of freakishly dry weather, the ground was solid and I hurriedly made arrangements with a local gravel hauler to bring me a couple of loads of crushed stone. He still almost got stuck once, but he made ot out, thank God, I really don't want my very own dump truck...
I never did take any 'before' pictures of this mess, but you can get an idea of the problem. This is dry and I have already filled in the worst of the puddle...
So, I spent a good portion of my "vacation" moving stone.
I put 4-6 inches in the entire shed area and I am still working on spreading the rest around the barn.
What an improvement! We have had a lot of rain since and no puddle.
The really amazing thing is that, after just one week of walking across this stone (it is #2 crushed stone if anyone is interested. Past experience has taught me that this is the greatest stuff), the horse's feet have improved dramatically. Their shape is already improving, the frogs have gone from horrible, spongy, nasty things to tough callus and all signs of thrush are completely gone with no effort on my part (aside from shoveling umpteen tons of stone that is). It just goes to show how a horse's hoof will heal itself if given any chance at all.