One truck load was more of the crusher-run gravel that I put around the barn. This is a mix of crushed stone, stone dust and sand. It is what most of the gravel roads and driveways in the area are made of. It will pack down tight and become a fairly solid surface.
I've had several people ask me about what kind of gravel to use. This varies so much depending on your region that telling you that I used crusher-run may be of no use to you. However, if you are battling mud, you will need some kind of crushed stone mix that will pack down. If you want your gravel to pack in hard, then you need finely crushed stone or stone dust. If you want it to remain loose, you do not want it crushed. Unless you are trying to fill deep ditches, you want small stone, not a bunch of baseball sized rocks rolling around under your feet and hooves. Generally, look for #1 or, at most, #2 stone, no larger.
The very best thing for hoof health is a 3-4" layer of pure pea stone, which is nothing but very small, pea-sized stones:
Pea stone has a polishing effect on hooves that helps keep the walls short while the depth of the stone layer encourages sole growth.
If you are looking to install some gravel, call around to the different gravel pits in your area and find out what is available at each. They will vary a lot in price and product even in a fairly small area. The loads I brought in cost about $240 each, but I had one place quote me a price of $850 for the same thing. I told those folks to have a nice day and got off the phone real quick.
I put down a layer of crusher-run to combat mud and a layer of pea stone to the drier area to help with hoof health. The two loads have made a sort of runway that is about 250 feet long. I will narrow the fence along the runway so that the herd will have to use it to reach the rest of the pasture.
More important than the kind of gravel you use is what you put underneath it. If you put the gravel over bare dirt it will mix with that dirt and simply disappear into the mud within a year or two. If you happen to have a bulldozer lying around and can afford to truck in lots of gravel, then you can peel the topsoil off with the dozer and replace it with gravel as long as there is solid hardpan under the topsoil. This is a big endeavor beyond many of us and isn't necessarily what you want in a pasture.
A better option for most equine owners is to put down a layer of heavy landscape fabric and put the gravel over that. The fabric prevents the gravel from mixing with the soil so that the gravel stays in place instead of getting sucked into the void. They say that a layer of fabric is worth 20 inches of gravel. I'm not sure about that, but if you want your gravel to last, this is a must in wet areas.
Pea gravel that I will spread out into 3-4" Layer to form a hoof-i-ciser:
The models scoping out the runway...
Ready for takeoff...
We're expecting heavy rain tomorrow so I guess we will get to see how it all works fairly quickly.