Driving through water

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Willow Flats

Well-Known Member
Oct 30, 2017
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Northern California
Do any of you have an area on your property where you drive through water? I have a ditch along one side of my property which we use as a trail. When it first rains and the the ground is still hard we can drive through it otherwise we would get stuck. I have also walked my horses through there to test it and nearly got my boots sucked off!

We have another really wide ditch that runs all along the back of our property which was covered in blackberry vines with a tunnel and there were coyotes living in there. We just ripped out all the vines because my neighbor has cattle and it is pain for her to keep them back on her side and the fence needs replacing. Her property is elevated above ours and she floods her pastures from time to time and then the ditch fills with water in the summer time. I want to use it for driving because there will be a really good grade to drive up and down. Is there anything I can do for footing so it might be usable to drive through when it is full of water? My friend suggested putting tarp down and covering it with sand.
You could try an old piece of carpet. Carpet stores generally love giving it away. Turn it jute side up. Of course when it begins to disintegrate, you will have the pleasure of getting rid of it! But meantime it should work very well.
I've gone through boggy ditches, too, and it's amazing the boots weren't sucked off. You could hear the sucking.
Mine don't mind going through a grassy bog, but they hate pools of water on pavement. It must look like a chasm to them.
I thought about carpet but was worried it might smell like mildew since it would be under water for a period of time. I have heard that people use it around their paddocks in muddy areas though. I just don't know anyone who has done it. Have you ever used carpet and was that an issue?
This is the area. I still have some clearing to do. See how I'll have that grade on the right? It's so flat around here! I have the bridge we built and the other ditch but it has a smaller grade.


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I wonder if those rubber mats with holes in it would work? Some are made to interlock. They would last a lot longer and wouldn't be such a mess as carpet or a tarp. I researched them years ago, they have some made for outside and to be driven over, heavy foot traffic, livestock, etc. I don't remember how much they cost though.
I have the carpet in front of my hrose motel. The rain comes off the top and pools there and, of course, it's where the hroses prefer to stand. Depending on the quality of the carpet, it lasts several months. I've never noticed a smell; but then, it is outdoors and I might not have noticed.
The only down side is getting rid of it when it's past its use. I would give it a try.