Do you want an inexpensive way to stop your walksways from becoming boot-pulling, squishy, wet mudways? Well, visit your local floor-covering store and ask about carpet scraps and remnants. Long, narrow pieces are usually priced cheaply as there is little demand for them. (We obtained ours from the dealer’s dumpster, who encouraged us to take all we wanted.) Try to find a solid color. Horses may only see in shades of gray, but they’re going to get bug-eyed at stripes and patterns on the ground.
Lay your carpet at your gates or along muddy paths, any high traffic area you’d like to protect. You might want to start with short pieces initially, gradually adding to the length and width. Your solid citizens will take a few tentative steps, but soon stride right out. Most horses seem to enjoy the cushioning and stability, which is a big improvement over slippery, shoe-pulling mud. It will take patience to convince your Nervous Nellies the carpeting is a good thing, but they’ll get there. Let them sniff it, encourage them to step across a few times before asking them to travel the entire length. Be safe. Take your time introducing the carpet.
Once that spring sun gets things turning green, shift your pathways every few days so the grass underneath has a chance to grow. When the ground finally dries out, knock the mud off your carpet and roll it up for storage until the next muddy season.