>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
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
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
I hope this provides a different perspective for you.
just moseyin' down the California trails ... :)