that there are a million and a half things about running and maintaining saints in my head that no one else knows. and why do they not know? because i haven't thought to sit down and download information from my head into other heads.
so..i am going to start a series of saints 101..the how's, the why's, the wherefore's...
let's start from the ground up...download from my head is about to begin.....
there are 4 basic ground covers at saints...grass, hogfuel, sand and gravel...each area is specifically set out in a particular area to meet a different set of needs. grass is to eat, hogfuel is to be soft and dry for their feet, sand is for them to roll in, and gravel is for high traffic areas to cut back on the mud.
each of those areas has to work in conjunction with another area...ie...the hog fuel area drains out in to the gravel area which is shallow trenched or even just mildly graded to drain into the sand areas or out onto the grass.
if we put gravel onto grass areas..the grass will not grow. if we put sand onto gravel areas, we lose the hard pack high traffic zones, if we put hogfuel, gravel or sand into trenches or graded sloping areas to make everything even or fill in the muddy drainage area...the water has no where to drain to and all areas get and stay soaking wet. and then our barn animals feet start to rot.
if hay is left on grass, gravel sand or hogfuel..it starts to break down...each layer of decomposing hay creates another layer of mud. grass can't grow in the spring where there are layers of decomposing hay. it messes up the soils PH and with no grass comes more mud and nowhere to graze. and since the barnyard is full of grazing animals...this becomes a real drag. hay on the gravel areas does the same thing, except instead of grass not growing, its decomposing ruins the hardpack and turns it into mud and then we have lost and have to re-build the roads.
so to avoid barn animals with rotting feet and no where to graze, and to avoid high traffic areas that become a muddy mess.....we have our specific ground covers...grass, hogfuel, sand and gravel with shallow trenches or mild grades....they are not interchangable. each product is unique in it's make up to accomplish a unique set of goals.
a word about trenching and grading...this is done to drain excess water into preplanned and limited areas...so...there may be a shallow muddy trench in the riding ring..but it has done its job in draining the greater expanse of the riding ring...and usually when the rain stops the properly graded trench eventually dries up. we should maintain this trench or graded area by occasionally raking the top muddy layer out, it defeats it's purpose if we grab any handy ground product and fill it in to the top.
now most folks are probably bored to tears with this...but this info is important in barn yards and fields everywhere but especially in rescue. every year a lot of time and money goes into repairing grass, hogfuel, sand and gravel areas....we could cut back on this if we maintain each area with the proper product in the physical way it was designed and built. good, knowledgable maintenence keeps our little barn yards functioning efficiently and well.
ok...download complete..if anyone has any questions or would like some more information, please let me know.