here's the deal. when i moved to this place, i had a 16 x 24 barn with a loft built. wasn't really planning on horses, so i left it as a dirt floor. basically it was intended to be a place to separate the bucks from the does during kidding, and hay storage. also has a chicken coop tacked on the side, and nest boxes under the loft stairs. it has some drainage problems, which i have been filling in by building up the floor with layers of shredded paper. in a kind of vague way i thought if the chance ever came up, i'd be willing to take in an old horse, looking to live out his days in comfort, and to help the goats keep some acreage cleared. ended up with two aged mares, and for the most part we are getting along real good. however, this is my first full winter with my own horses, and my word!! the MUD!! mud i've been in before doesn't even come close to what these two old girls can churn up. it's way beyond what some paper can absorb. it's so deep in front of the barn doors, it is well over my ankles, and sucks my boots off. the horses don't like to walk in it either, and i don't blame them. it's even worse in the morning, when all of it is frozen into solid ruts. the horses are using one side of the barn as a run-in, and where they stand all the time is getting pretty muddy too, inside the barn. up until now, i took great pride in my neat and tidy barn. oh well. so, what's the best solution?? been reading storey's horse book, and they say sand or gravel. should i get a load of gravel to make a built up road from the gate to the barn doors, where the worst of it is? can i put a thick layer of gravel on the barn floor too? if i do, how do i clean it without digging up all the gravel too?? or should i consider a concrete floor in the barn? that would probably require a water source nearby for cleaning, and i don't have that. and sand? seems like sand wouldn't even come close to being a solution. sorry about the rambling length. am open to any and all suggestions, and thanks to all who reply!!