Outdoor wash stall / grooming rack - Horses

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by rilly10, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    I am planning on building an outdoor wash stall this spring and would love some ideas/input.

    We are thinking we don't want to do a cement slab since it is so permanent, but that the footing would be stones or stones with mats overtop. I will use this space for bathing, grooming, tacking up, and if needed for wound care. It will not be used by the farrier or vet (unless needed for the vet but we have gotten by without it for over a year so assume we won't need it).

    Does anyone have a set up they like? I was thinking of just 6x6 posts for crossties or maybe doing a 3 sided fence (open to the front) and making it 8ft x 10ft.

    If you have one pictures would be much appreciated for ideas!!!
  2. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    We had one like that once.
    We used cobblestone pavers, but first you should smooth the surface out really really well (you can even just use a rake if you put some time into it) and you should put down a perfectly even layer of sand underneath the pavers. Then when you have laid them out, you spread sand heavily all over them and use a broom to sweep it about until it's *packed* into the crevices. That keeps them from going anywhere. Ours held up pretty well for the year we lived there :)

    We did the posts for crossties. They have to be set deep and in concrete. If you do the fence, I maybe would leave it on just two sides so two sides are open. That way if some kind of accident happens you or the horse have another option for exit without going through the fence.

    Why not have the farrier or vet on it? Probably easier on the farrier to have a good surface :)

    Rather expensive... but there is a product out there made and sold by Classic Equine (the most expensive barn stuff ever, LOL) but since it's for a small spot it might be reasonable.... It's cobblestones made of compressed rubber with traction on them. They looked quite nice and easy on the horses feet :D

    I've also seen nice looking set-ups that are open on all sides and have a hitching post type rail going down the middle. Those are attractive.
    You should also think about places for putting stuff. You don't want to have to bend over every time to pick each item up from the tack box on the ground. Then it gets tripped on, ect.

    Don't forget to taper the sides from where the cobbles end. You don't want it eroding. I think you could use cobbles in a way to help that and also use some sand?

    Also think of hooks for hanging bridles while get the horse ready. And think about the hose arrangement pretty hard. That can be so irritating, to have to drag a hose a gazillion feet every time to do your bathing/rinsing.
    You might get some kind of faucet put in at the wash stall... then you could just hang a short hose right there... or even use one of those hose wand from above thingamajigs.

    For ours, my mom actually did it as a project, and it worked pretty good, LOL! We dug a trench in a straight line from an outdoor faucet on our house, about 8 inches to a foot deep. Then we conjoined many many feet of PVC pipe so the whole thing was water proof... then we put a very long hose through the PVC pipe and laid that in the trench the whole way along. The hose attatched to the faucet at the house. Then we made a nice PVC contraption right at the wash rack, with the other hose end right there, and put a shorter hose on that. We had one of those valve things so we could keep the water on at the house end and turn it off at the wash rack.
    What the pipe accomplished (it was a later addition and was very needed) was protected the hose from being stepped on, ridden over, bent up, kinked constantly, or driven over (we had to take our hay loads back there somehow, LOL). As well as making it available to bury the hose so it was completely out of the way and not unsightly. Best of all, no un-helpful family members could commision the hose for one of their outdoor projects.. they had to find their own, LOL!
  3. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    Thanks so much for all the info! Our set up is kinda different. I have 2 fields. The first houses my stallion and "his" two goats. He has a huge shed (16x16) with a hay loft and tack room off the back. Right behind it is out non-freeze spicket. The wash stall would face the tack room and spicket for easy access while bathing/tacking up. below is a pic of the back view when we were making the trench for the spicket. The tack room door is on the right side of the shed, so the wash stall would be facing the spicket if that makes sense.

    I then have the girls to the right of this with a run in shed and their field so this location is central to everyone and easy access. I was thinking of it being 3 sided since my one mare is a rescue who does not tie well or else I would love a hitching post set up. Of course the crossties would be break away plus I only use leather halters for safety reasons.

    I may use this for the vet or farrier, but I am always there and usually hold them any way. We do have level stone areas in both fields around the sheds which is where we do them now (and also to keep it easy to clean and not muddy-yes I am a crazy person and clean out the sheds like stalls and pick around them too).

    I am also attaching a pic I found on the net of one I like. I would not do the designed post toppers, or the bottom row of boards as they seem low for safety to me. I am gonna pass the paver idea by hubby. They are gorgeous. I was originally thinking a cement slab, but if we build a barn with actual stalls one day that is where it will be so we were thinking something a little less permanent like mats or pavers![​IMG][​IMG]
  4. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    I like your set-up :D

    Just a personal preference.... but I personally would not do that particular 3 sided fence set-up. Reason being... many horses are so claustraphobic, having the fence behind them and to the sides as well would easily make many act nervy. Mine is very good been there done that type, but I wouldn't expect him to hold still if I put him in a set-up like that, he's silly but he'd keep turning his head to look behind him.....

    At first I was thinking it would be 3 sided with the open end toward the back... that would allow the horse to look at what is confining him....
    But especially for your rescues I would think a more open design would be better. You do not want to get trapped between a nervy horse and a fence and need the extra time to climb over.. you know?

    But you do know your own horses better than anyone else of course :)

    Mine also crossties better than the hitching post thing... they do look pretty though. I have seen crosstie set-ups where it looks more like a hitching post but the crossties are attached to it (from posts up higher on either side)... I do like the idea of those a little as they give the horse something to rest his head on if he's tired.....
    Just throwing more ideas out there..... :p
  5. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    For the one you posted though.... if you really like it... I think it would be good IF...
    you swapped the crossties with the tall posts over to the other side, so the horses bootay is facing the open end. As you said, take the two lower boards off the design. Then I would, personally, on the left side section and the right side section, cut those in half, you know, with little posts, and make a human sized walk-through opening.

    That would free up a lot of your movement so that you could enter and exit at either side depending if you need something, different horse w/ different issues, an emergency escape, ect.

    I would also make the whole stall at least half again bigger all the way around. It's way too tiny the way they have it, no room to move or wash a horse.
    The concept is good though if you want to add on a shelf or something of the sort to hold your stuff. I think I would personally put something like that at the front or the front corners, so the horse isen't siddling into it and it's not in your way, but convenient... plus then it would look even. LOL!
    I'm sure a saddle could hang on the fence :)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012

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