Building a Wash Rack

Building a Wash Rack

Post by David & Lynn Scot » Wed, 07 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Would appreciate all ideas and suggestions from the collective wisdom and
experience of this fine group on building a wash rack either indoors or
outside.  Could save making the same mistakes or not incorporating some
great ideas.

Thanks
Lynn Scott and a herd of dirty equine friends.

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Eve Dext » Thu, 08 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>Would appreciate all ideas and suggestions from the collective wisdom and
>experience of this fine group on building a wash rack either indoors or
>outside.  Could save making the same mistakes or not incorporating some
>great ideas.

>Thanks
>Lynn Scott and a herd of dirty equine friends.


The biggest problem with any wash rack is the drain.  No matter how
careful you are, straw, hair mats, etc get swept and washed down them
and unless they are large, easily cleaned and covered with a really
good 'strainer' of sorts they back up in time.  Make sure you can
access the pipe and if possible make it short enough to clean out.  A
friend of mine talked about having it flow out into a gutter (covered
or open) that would solve this problem but we never built one to test.

The only other suggestion I have is to make sure the stall is big
enough to prevent you from getting pinned by a skittish beast.

Good Luck and let us know how you get along.

Ontario, Canada

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Richard Botteri » Fri, 09 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:


>>Would appreciate all ideas and suggestions from the collective wisdom and
>>experience of this fine group on building a wash rack either indoors or
>>outside.  Could save making the same mistakes or not incorporating some
>>great ideas.

>>Thanks
>>Lynn Scott and a herd of dirty equine friends.

>The biggest problem with any wash rack is the drain.  No matter how
>careful you are, straw, hair mats, etc get swept and washed down them
>and unless they are large, easily cleaned and covered with a really
>good 'strainer' of sorts they back up in time.  Make sure you can
>access the pipe and if possible make it short enough to clean out.  A
>friend of mine talked about having it flow out into a gutter (covered
>or open) that would solve this problem but we never built one to test.

>The only other suggestion I have is to make sure the stall is big
>enough to prevent you from getting pinned by a skittish beast.

The wash rack at the boarding barn incorporates a rectangular pit
to allow debris to settle, rather than going directly down a conventional
type of floor drain. It is approximately 3 feet long, 18 inches wide, and
about 2 feet deep. It has a heavy steel grate above it that fits into
a lip area around the pit so it is nearly flush with the floor. A piece
of trailer matting is laid on top of the steel grate also. The water
flows up through a hole in a pipe fitting which faces DOWN, and then
flows sideways through the drain pipe. A crude ASCII side-view sketch
of the system (not including the floor grate in the sketch) is below:

 Floor level_________________________________________________
               |                                     |
               |                  ___________________|_______________
               |   drain pipe -->|
               |                 |       - >- > ->  water flow  ------->
 water level ->| - - - - - - - - |____  ^  ___________________________
   in pit      |                     |  ^ |          |  
               |                        ^            |  
               |                        |            |
               |                                     |
               |                                     |
               |  ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^    |
               |   debris settles to bottom of pit   |
               |_____________________________________|    

This pit is located immediately adjacent to the wall of the wash rack on
one side, and is at the front (aisle) end of the wash rack. The floor is
of course sloped so that the water runs toward the pit. Unfortunately,
the aisle floor should also have been sloped more than it is to direct
any excess water in the aisle (always happens when washing the horse's
necks) back towards the pit.

Because we're at a boarding barn, the wash rack gets fairly heavy usage
in the summer. The pit system works well, but it DOES need occasional
cleaning. If barn staff don't do this, the muck (a mixture of manure and
decomposing hay from people watering flakes down will build up to the
extent that the hole in the bottom of the pipe cannot flow any water and
the pit overflows. However, it's much simpler to just bail out the muck
than getting a plumber to unclog the drain.  We try to encourage everyone
to sweep the wash rack clear of hay, manure, etc. before washing a horse.

The wash rack itself is large enough to leave plenty of room to go on
either side of the horse and also *behind* the horse when on the cross
ties, which you'll need to do when using the hose. The size makes it
possible to lead the horse in forwards and turn him around in the
wash rack, rather than having to back him into it. Our hose is located
in the middle of one of the sides, probably because that puts it on an
interior wall to reduce likelihood of freezing in winter. If that wasn't
a factor, I'd prefer it to be in the middle of the rear wall for equal
access to both sides of the horse. The hose itself is attached HIGH
(about 7 feet from the floor) which makes it easy to use without it
always being in & around the horse's legs. The single-handle water
control makes it easier to select water temperature than a two-handle
system.

The wash rack also has a waterproof light fixture and an electrical
outlet close by, both of which are handy for clipping bridle paths,
etc. The people wash-room is next door to the wash rack.

The walls consist kickboards similar to those in the stalls (in the
lower half of the washrack) with metal behind them to keep the water
from penetrating the wall. The upper half and the ceiling is the same
painted steel siding as the barn is done with. Floor is slightly
roughened concrete for non-slip.

The above serves us well.  Hope these ideas are useful.

Richard and Sun Valley

                                 |

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Jane H. Kilber » Fri, 09 Aug 1996 23:43:00


Quote:

>Would appreciate all ideas and suggestions from the collective wisdom and
>experience of this fine group on building a wash rack either indoors or
>outside.

Start with the basics: the ground. Drainage is important and the surface.
Make sure your water drainage will run away from the barn or other
buildings. If you don't want to bathe on dirt, you can use either asphalt
or roughed up concrete. Make sure the concrete or asphalt is the right
consistency and thickness and non-slip. Many folks will put *** matts
over the concrete to ensure a non-slip surface. Make sure the matts are
heavy duty and sit up slightly off the surface to allow air flow
underneath.

Next is water source. You want the faucet close enough, yet far enough
away so the horse doesn't step on it or hit his head against it if you
have a faucet on the outside of a barn wall. Along with this is a place
to put your horse. A good way to store the hose is on a wheel so the hose
can unravel the length you need it.

Along with water source is whether or not you need hot water to mix with
the cold. Instead of using a standard hot water heater, use one of those
"instant" on heaters, which only comes on when you utilize it rather than
staying on all the time as in a standard gas or electric water heater. If
you are doing an outside wash area, box in the heater against the barn
wall. You can also make the wall box large enough to hold basic bathing
supplies. This way you don't have to lug stuff back and forth.

Next is how you are going to tie the horse up. Single tie, cross tie or
with side & chest bars (stock) similar to what you see in a vet clinic.
If you use stocks, make sure you put this in and anchored prior to laying
down the surface. Poles for tying can be put in just outside the surface
you choose. You can put the poles for tying into the ground then add the
surface, but if you ever should need to replace those poles, you have a
hassle on your hands. Make sure you have room around the bathe area so
you can get around the horse.

Electric. If you want to clip the horse in the stock or while tied, don't
forget to put in a safety outlet that is protected from the weather. It
will automatically trigger "off" if there is a surge in power or an
electric short even before you feel it. This is a must have item anywhere
around water.

Luxury item is a roof over your wash area if outside. This can be added
later as an open cover to protect from harsh sun or a light shower. You
can add in things like shelving, cabinets, and so on for your supplies.
Designs vary greatly pending your particular needs and desires. If you
build a pole construction type cover, do not use one of the poles to tie
the horse, use a separate tie post(s).

As for indoors, it's basically the same except you won't need a roof. Be
careful of drainage.

Good bathing to ya. Hope this helps.

down the sunny trails . . .
jane kilberg and her gang of spotted 4 legged critters at the
rocking double j ranch in the great nation of Tejas
member of ApHC, Sundance '500' Int'l (Appaloosa appreciation society)
Montgomery County *** Horse Committee

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by diane m smit » Sun, 11 Aug 1996 04:00:00



Quote:


>>Would appreciate all ideas and suggestions from the collective wisdom and
>>experience of this fine group on building a wash rack either indoors or
>>outside.

Excellent suggestions, Kilberg!
We poured a 12'X15'x4" concrete pad with a drain in the back right corner.
Pipe was laid underground to drain away from the barn.  And the pit is
towards the back of the barn.  We had too much trouble with red mud last
winter.  I wanted to eliminate water in high traffic areas.

We use heavy *** mats to prevent slippage.

We had one of those freeze proof hydrants installed.  A word of caution, be
sure to leave handle down when away from barn.  We had two different horses
catch their halter on the handle (probably scratching on it) and rip it up
out of the ground.  This caused two vet calls, two broken halters, and $600
to repair hydrant, lines, and concrete.  Now, if we leave water on, we put a
bucket over the handle to hide it from the curious critters.  We also try to
prevent their access to the barn area when we aren't in the immediate
vacinity.  Of course, last time, we were less than 50 ft. away when our
little guy got hooked.  No serious injuries, thank God.  Just a few
abrasions in the mouth and around the head.

We haven't gotten hot water yet, but, it isn't cold yet anyway.  Luckily we
have a roof already.  Soon to be putting up exterior walls.  

This is our farrier's favorite place because it's cool and shady.  The
*** mats help his knees.

I'd like to get a stock built next for medical treatment, shoeing, breeding.

Diane

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Jim & Laura Behni » Sun, 11 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>We had one of those freeze proof hydrants installed.  A word of caution, be
>sure to leave handle down when away from barn.  We had two different horses
>catch their halter on the handle (probably scratching on it) and rip it up
>out of the ground.  This caused two vet calls, two broken halters, and $600
>to repair hydrant, lines, and concrete.  Now, if we leave water on, we put a
>bucket over the handle to hide it from the curious critters.  We also try to
>prevent their access to the barn area when we aren't in the immediate
>vacinity.  Of course, last time, we were less than 50 ft. away when our
>little guy got hooked.  No serious injuries, thank God.  Just a few
>abrasions in the mouth and around the head.

Why did they have halters ON?

Not once but twice. I'm glad neither of the horses was seriously hurt.

Laura Behning

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by jaz » Mon, 12 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>loads of snips<

>We use heavy *** mats to prevent slippage.

>This is our farrier's favorite place because it's cool and shady.  The
>*** mats help his knees.

Hummmm........what's your farrier doing on his knees?  Are into another
*trust* your horse thread now?  Bridling, now shoeing.......gosh he's a
trusting soul.  <BEG>

Sorry, I just couldn't resist!

As to the wash rack.  I only wash in warm months (the horses, that is)
and I just have a *** mat outside lying on a flat place between my
barn and a fence with crossties (yeah, again, with the crossties).  I
use the hose and spray their little hin-ees in the great sunshine of
day.  Works for me.  Inside drains are always clogged and are a pain
most of the time.

regards,
jaz

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Jorene Dow » Mon, 12 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:


>>Would appreciate all ideas and suggestions from the collective wisdom and
>>experience of this fine group on building a wash rack either indoors or
>>outside.

>Start with the basics: the ground. Drainage is important and the surface.
>Make sure your water drainage will run away from the barn or other
>buildings. If you don't want to bathe on dirt, you can use either asphalt
>or roughed up concrete. Make sure the concrete or asphalt is the right
>consistency and thickness and non-slip. Many folks will put *** matts
>over the concrete to ensure a non-slip surface. Make sure the matts are
>heavy duty and sit up slightly off the surface to allow air flow
>underneath.

>Next is water source. You want the faucet close enough, yet far enough
>away so the horse doesn't step on it or hit his head against it if you
>have a faucet on the outside of a barn wall. Along with this is a place
>to put your horse. A good way to store the hose is on a wheel so the hose
>can unravel the length you need it.

>Along with water source is whether or not you need hot water to mix with
>the cold. Instead of using a standard hot water heater, use one of those
>"instant" on heaters, which only comes on when you utilize it rather than
>staying on all the time as in a standard gas or electric water heater. If
>you are doing an outside wash area, box in the heater against the barn
>wall. You can also make the wall box large enough to hold basic bathing
>supplies. This way you don't have to lug stuff back and forth.

>Next is how you are going to tie the horse up. Single tie, cross tie or
>with side & chest bars (stock) similar to what you see in a vet clinic.
>If you use stocks, make sure you put this in and anchored prior to laying
>down the surface. Poles for tying can be put in just outside the surface
>you choose. You can put the poles for tying into the ground then add the
>surface, but if you ever should need to replace those poles, you have a
>hassle on your hands. Make sure you have room around the bathe area so
>you can get around the horse.

>Electric. If you want to clip the horse in the stock or while tied, don't
>forget to put in a safety outlet that is protected from the weather. It
>will automatically trigger "off" if there is a surge in power or an
>electric short even before you feel it. This is a must have item anywhere
>around water.

>Luxury item is a roof over your wash area if outside. This can be added
>later as an open cover to protect from harsh sun or a light shower. You
>can add in things like shelving, cabinets, and so on for your supplies.
>Designs vary greatly pending your particular needs and desires. If you
>build a pole construction type cover, do not use one of the poles to tie
>the horse, use a separate tie post(s).

>As for indoors, it's basically the same except you won't need a roof. Be
>careful of drainage.

>Good bathing to ya. Hope this helps.

>down the sunny trails . . .
>jane kilberg and her gang of spotted 4 legged critters at the
>rocking double j ranch in the great nation of Tejas
>member of ApHC, Sundance '500' Int'l (Appaloosa appreciation society)
>Montgomery County *** Horse Committee

A great list from Jane. I would add good area lighting.  Sure enough
that wash rack will be used at some point after the sun goes down, and
being able to illuminate the area is invaluable.

Consider also that your wash rack in a smaller facility often does
double duty for something the vet wants to accomplish. Again, that
good lighting could make a big difference. Also, that power outlet
Jane suggested might end up with all kinds of interesting equipment
plugged in!

If there is a bit of distance from the power to the wash rack,
consider one of those extension cord reels so you can pull out the
power cord when you need it, and neatly retract when not in use. We
have one in center aisle, set high, and it is perfect to plug in the
clippers without tangling cords around the horse's feet. If this power
cord reel is used outside, it should be in an enclosure of some sort
to protect it from the weather and possible wandering critters that
enjoy chewing on wire.

Our wash rack is outside, next to the barn (power and water) on a mild
slope for drainage.  We chose the u-shaped pipe model. It doubles as
an exam location for the mares and a way to keep a horse standing
quietly when doctoring injuries. Since treatment often involves water,
this is quite convenient. We put mats down on the dirt, extending them
all the way around to have a minimum 2' perimeter non-mud walking
area.

There is a molded "foot locker" nearby containing supplies. At the
moment it holds everything from shampoos to vet wrap because we're
doing frequent doctoring. The daily use vet supplies are in a plastic
tote within the locker so we can just carry it around the horse and
pull out what we need. The tote is replenished from the bulk supply
storage in the trunk.

Jorene
just moseyin' down the trail ... :)

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by diane m smit » Mon, 12 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
>Why did they have halters ON?

>Not once but twice. I'm glad neither of the horses was seriously hurt.

>Laura Behning


Because they are horses!  Geez, you try to benefit people from your mistakes
and all you get is flamed! KMA
 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by TIGH » Mon, 12 Aug 1996 04:00:00

iIf you don't think you'll need to use the wash rack hose for anything
else, run it up the wall in a PVC pipe and across the ceiling ditto, then
let the hose end with its sprayer attachment dangle from the end of the
pipe. (No need to pipe the water, just anchor 1.5 inch PVC to the wall and
ceiling and put the hose through.) The hose end should be long enough to
catch back and hook on a wall or upright so you can get a horse in the
rack and set up without him running into this *terribly dangerous* piece
of equipment. Most horses take a few minutes to get used to the idea of a
hose dangling, but don't mind very quickly. The benefit:  No More Big
Horse Feet Standing on Your Hose. Your hose will last longer, and your
frustration index will go down. If you are feeling rich, a splitter faucet
with a piece of hose with no spray attachment is useful for cold hosing
legs or rinsing buckets. OTOH, if your primary hose is long enough to
*just* touch the ground you won't need the second hose.

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Deborah Stevens » Mon, 12 Aug 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>Laura Behning said:
>>>Why did they have halters ON?

>>Not once but twice. I'm glad neither of the horses was seriously hurt.

>Because they are horses!  Geez, you try to benefit people from your mistakes
>and all you get is flamed! KMA

1)  A question is not actually a flame :-).

2) If you have web access, look through dejanews for postings about
halter safety.  While it's not quite consensus, I would say the majority
of folks around here feel that the dangers of unattended horses in
halters outweigh the convenience aspects by a substantial amount.  While
you may have specific reasons to disagree, "because they're horses"
doesn't really cover it.  To either quote or paraphrase Terry Von Gease,
depending on the accuracy of my memory, you put a halter on a horse only
when you want to tie him to something. Wearing halters at other times
does expose them to substantial risk of injury; there might be reasons
that justify that, but their being horses wouldn't seem to be sufficient.

There are also some really good threads about catching horses in the
pasture and training them to be caught, if you'll pardon the awkward
phrasing.  If you're uncertain about your ability to catch your horses if
you don't always leave halters on them, these might help.


Remembering the old meaning of halter in Champaign, IL, USA

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Dee » Tue, 13 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> sure to leave handle down when away from barn.  We had two different horses
> catch their halter on the handle (probably scratching on it) and rip it up
> out of the ground.  This caused two vet calls, two broken halters, and $600
> to repair hydrant, lines, and concrete.   No serious injuries, thank God.  Just a few  abrasions in the mouth and around the head.
> Diane

A prime example of a story of why NOT to leave halters on horses - ever.

Dee

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by HLCSO » Wed, 14 Aug 1996 04:00:00

For a very quick two cents and remember, this is simply my personal
opinion and I am sure there are those out there in rec.equestrian, like on
any other subject will strongly disagree but here it goes:

I hate those stupid metel stall-type things you put in the middle of the
wash stall to tie your horse.  I dont know what they are called but the
ones where some people put a chain or rope on the back side of this
contraption to keep the horse in this little box.  There are horizontal
poles on either side of the horse.  I hope I am describing this stupid
thing good enough so you can figure out what I am talking about.  I am
sure someone will chime in with the name of this contraption.

Anyways, out of 4 of my horses, 2 will go in with no problem.  The other
2, I spend 20 mintues dancing around this monster trying to get the wash
job done in less than 1 hour!!!  Out of 12 horses at the barn, only 4 go
in it!!!  So why have it?  

The barn salesman said it would make washing easier by limiting the horses
movement while you wash (he hasnt seen my stupid gelding do his 2 step
routine, one step in, two steps back!!)  

I guess the big reason I dont like it is that some horses will not go in
it (like loading in a trailer) and when they do go in it, I cant get close
enough to wash the horse.  It becomes just one more thing in the way.  I
am sure that, just like loading in a trailer, I could spend lots of time
training my dancing gelding to go in, and STAY in, but why bother when I
can just wash him next to the wash rack!!!  A trailer is critical to using
my horse, the wash contraption isnt.

I just had to post this strong opinion because every day I dread washing
this one horse because it has become such a hassle.  A simple  concrete
slab with a hitching post anchored into the ground, as described in other
posts would work perfect!!  There where lots of great ideas on the main
issues of concrete and drainage, I just had to add my 2 cents on this!!

Heather (who is going to take up dancing lessons to keep up with my
horse!!)

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Jorene Dow » Thu, 15 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>For a very quick two cents and remember, this is simply my personal
>opinion and I am sure there are those out there in rec.equestrian, like on
>any other subject will strongly disagree but here it goes:

>I hate those stupid metel stall-type things you put in the middle of the
>wash stall to tie your horse.  I dont know what they are called but the
>ones where some people put a chain or rope on the back side of this
>contraption to keep the horse in this little box.  There are horizontal
>poles on either side of the horse.  I hope I am describing this stupid
>thing good enough so you can figure out what I am talking about.  I am
>sure someone will chime in with the name of this contraption.

>Anyways, out of 4 of my horses, 2 will go in with no problem.  The other
>2, I spend 20 mintues dancing around this monster trying to get the wash
>job done in less than 1 hour!!!  Out of 12 horses at the barn, only 4 go
>in it!!!  So why have it?  

>The barn salesman said it would make washing easier by limiting the horses
>movement while you wash (he hasnt seen my stupid gelding do his 2 step
>routine, one step in, two steps back!!)  

>I guess the big reason I dont like it is that some horses will not go in
>it (like loading in a trailer) and when they do go in it, I cant get close
>enough to wash the horse.  It becomes just one more thing in the way.  I
>am sure that, just like loading in a trailer, I could spend lots of time
>training my dancing gelding to go in, and STAY in, but why bother when I
>can just wash him next to the wash rack!!!  A trailer is critical to using
>my horse, the wash contraption isnt.

>I just had to post this strong opinion because every day I dread washing
>this one horse because it has become such a hassle.  A simple  concrete
>slab with a hitching post anchored into the ground, as described in other
>posts would work perfect!!  There where lots of great ideas on the main
>issues of concrete and drainage, I just had to add my 2 cents on this!!

>Heather (who is going to take up dancing lessons to keep up with my
>horse!!)

Hello, Heather!

There really *are* advantages to using a pipe wash rack, and it isn't
just for safety or convenience during washing!   :)

Our vet sometimes examines or provides treatment to a horse in our
wash rack. Sometimes this is used instead of a tranquilizer if the
horse is only being mildly fussy with objections. And yes, this helps
keep the vet bills down.

I have seen people use a pipe wash rack to confine a horse while
braiding mane. I have seen others - using cross ties or tie rails -
shift their step stool several times because the horse shifts
position. Since the horse stands still in the wash rack, braiding is
accomplished more quickly. Of course, if you don't braid manes, this
wouldn't be an issue. :)

A horse trained to stand in the enclosed wash rack will *stand* much
more quietly for longer periods, which can be a safety factor for the
handler. For example, we have spent several months doctoring a major
foreleg injury. Treatment includes cold water therapy, topical
medications, and bandaging. This takes a  minimum of 30 minutes from
start to finish, provided the horse is standing still. We keep a low
stool next to the wash rack to relieve the stress on the back, which
is something we wouldn't do if the horse was not confined.

In the pipe wash rack, the horse cannot shift sideways onto you
(regardless if you are standing, kneeling, or sitting). Nor can the
horse shift away from you, leaving you to scramble after him. Using
the pipe wash rack increases the handler's safety, and because the
horse isn't shifting around the task is accomplished more quickly.

Consider what safe options *you* would have available if you were in a
situation where you wanted your horse to stand quietly for at least 30
minutes while you work on his leg or other injured area. I hope you
never encounter this type of situation, but if you do you will be very
grateful for a horse trained to the confinement of the pipe wash rack.

If you have horses at your barn that refuse the wash rack, this tells
me that they have buffaloed their handlers. Continued refusal means
they are getting away with activities that should not be considered
acceptable. Even if you ultimately prefer to wash without using the
rack, allowing the horse to refuse the wash rack is setting a bad
precedent.

Every horse at our barn - there are currently 9 here - is trained to
stand quietly in the pipe wash rack. Current ages are from yearling to
20, but our yearlings learned about the wash rack as weanlings.  We
consider this training to be important for both our safety and our
convenience.

I hope this provides a different perspective for you.

Jorene
just moseyin' down the California trails ... :)

p&m

 
 
 

Building a Wash Rack

Post by Linda Lai » Thu, 15 Aug 1996 04:00:00

I have a friend in Portland Oregon who built her washrack inside her barn.
The one thing I noticed that was especially nice was that she added a heat
lamp.  She put the heat lamp way up high and to the side of the wash rack
- so it was well out of the horses way.  The heat the lamp put off was
lovely - she was able to wash horses in the winter and get them to dry
nicely. And that part of the barn was a bit cozier too in the winter.

Quote:
> >>Would appreciate all ideas and suggestions from the collective wisdom and
> >>experience of this fine group on building a wash rack either indoors or
> >>outside.