Horses are a common site in the rural areas of Multnomah County. In the pastoral setting of Sauvie Island, they just seem to fit. However the silt and clay soils, coupled with 40 inches of rain a year, make any horse barn in western Oregon a potential setting for a muddy mess. The McMahon’s, who own several horses on 18 acres of Sauvie Island, had just that – a muddy mess. That is why they came to West Multnomah SWCD. Using District staff expertise, they designed a heavy use area also known as a sacrifice paddock.
With a little geotextile fabric under layers of gravel and sand – they were able to provide a large area for their horses to exercise even in the wettest winter months. In addition, the winter sacrifice paddock takes the pressure off of their pastures when the fields are most valuable.