Future outdoor wash rack - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Future outdoor wash rack

Come spring I wanted to build a wash rack, and I think I've finally settled on a plan. Since I'm short on room and short on available water sources- it's going to be portable, and right next to the faucet.

Instead of digging and sinking posts (which tend to move/lean with frosts) I'm going to mount poles in deck blocks! I'll use brackets to slide two 2x4s in as rails, have it running along the side of my log house. That way, if it's ever in the way, or winter rolls around, I can just disassemble and store it! It also gives me a place to feed my old mare in peace.

This spot is on a natural very slight incline, giving me great runoff (this is also where the water tub is) is in a spot where water is easily accessible, the door to my house where my tack room is is literally a few feet away, it's perfect. I'm undecided whether I want to have rope/chain guards at front and back, or just one at the back and a couple brackets at the front so I can drop a 2x4 in as a more solid barrier- as the pony likes to duck under ropes but refuses to walk under wood even if it's taller than his head. :eyeroll: I'm going to lay a smooth stall mat down for now, but I want to get a honeycomb style mat because I'm worried about it becoming slippery.

Dimensions will initially be 6 feet wide by 10 feet long, but since it's portable I can add longer rails if needed. I'll be able to tack up here, wash, doctor, clip, my bedroom window is right above it so I can easily run an extension cord for power. I want to purchase a boom for the hose, but I might just make one out of PVC instead, depending on how hard it is to find a boom- as of today they're nearly impossible for me to find locally.

Does anyone have any suggestions to add? Flaws I have overlooked, additions, handy little things to make life easier? Things I should do differently?

I thought about it being tippy, but with the front bracket and rear rope it should be stable, and thankfully I have horses who are pretty chill and religiously respect fencing, so I shouldn't have a problem. If I do, I thought I could bury the blocks to the top, so I could insert the posts and it would be more stable, and plug the holes come cold season.

I did up a few 3D plans to turn my ideas into a visual reality too, so I'll add those. The blue thing is the water tub, where the faucet is.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Wash rack 2.jpg (28.7 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Wash rack 3.jpg (27.9 KB, 1 views)
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File Type: jpg wash rack 5.jpg (37.0 KB, 0 views)
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 07:02 AM
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If it's only 6 ft wide, you're going to be very tight on room to maneuver around the horse for washing and clipping and tacking up. An you make it at least a 10 X 10? And even then..........that's pretty tight. I also didn't see a way to tie or cross tie.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 08:25 AM
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That is a neat looking wash rack, love the 3D aspect.

But, as cool as this looks, it may not be very practical. Horses move around a lot normally when getting washed. I would suggest one post to straight tie the horse to, and several mats on a level surface. That way as the horse moves around, he would still be on mats (so no mud splashing up on him) also giving you room to maneuver around and be able to scrub legs and such.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 11:00 AM
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I like the concept but think it needs tweaking...imo.
Wider...6' is to narrow to safely be kept inside confines when bathing or tacking up...remember you have barriers in place so can't flee a errant hoof aimed at a fly if need be.
I would absolutely put lumber at the rear of the "stall" so a firm barrier is in place if horse decides to back-up, especially as it would also add some very much needed stability and strength to this portable area.
Since you are making it to be taken apart...
I would use 2 boards on side and back as the other side is your house wall... pony isn't easily going to sneak under 2 boards versus the top board only.
You need to secure, sink into the ground what you plan to use for cross-ties as horses wiggle and move, even the best of them at times...and figure out how you will anchor to the house or drop a 4x4 on the house side too...
I would not only put in strong support cross-ties but still have a way to close the front so if you need to turn your back and go for something forgotten your horse is not wandering as they enjoy doing...
You will need to make it longer than 10' too as again it gives you no room to get around the horse when washing, grooming from nose to tail easily and you do not want to be trapped in back so tight...just no.
I like your concept, but would feel safer for you if dimensions were a minimum of 8' wide and 12' long you have wiggle room for your horse who is the bigger animal and the one you must size this for to use and utilize it often and well.
Corner posts need to be 4x4 or larger so they add stability to the project.
I would also place a "centered" side post to give strength to the entire build...12' long fixed to 2 posts that are not solid buried but move...yea, accident to easily occurring to me.

I would look at 1x6 fence boards to use instead of 2x4 cause appearance is more formidable and that pony is going to test this probably more than your horse will I bet.
Bolts, washers and nuts to secure rail to post so it not wobble...
Stall mats have 2 sides...smooth and textured so will work for reduced slippage issue you fear.
I actually like the idea of not having the hose to close to the entire project as when approaching or leaving even coiled on building side a risk for a hoof getting caught occurs if the horse decides he doesn't want a bath today...
Mount your water spigot higher on house side and place a hose hanger and small shelf their too to hold your needed bathing supplies or doctoring/grooming items above feet and entangling.
Not sure how a horse will react to a boom overhead...desensitizing needed for sure.. "Boom" is not something my horses have been exposed to so total unknown to me.
Not to much expense what I just quickly figured for lumber costs, hardware and stall mats...
In fact, your cut-off lumber ends will allow you to make yourself a nice shelf unit to store needed brushes, wash mitts, shampoo right at the "stall" location neatly....

Pictures please when you get the project done.

...
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-18-2020, 12:30 PM
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I feel like it would be too easy for a human to be caught between horse and fence/wall. Even with quiet horses, they move when being sprayed with water. Why not opt for a design where they're tied to a board which is fastened to two posts? Leave it open on the sides and back. That's how we wash our horses. They do move around a bit, but there's no risk of getting caught between a wet horse and a board. I'd also sink those posts as deep as you can. I think that putting them in a patio block is risky.

I do like the idea of putting down a honeycomb mat. We just do it on the grass and it never gets muddy because it's slightly sloped, but mats are a good idea.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-05-2020, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Oh for frig sakes... I had a big old reply all typed up that I thought had posted a great while ago... I guess not! So sorry for leaving everyone hanging then I'll rewrite my replies to individuals and share the tweaks I made according to everyone's input after breakfast is done! Drat!
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-05-2020, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
If it's only 6 ft wide, you're going to be very tight on room to maneuver around the horse for washing and clipping and tacking up. An you make it at least a 10 X 10? And even then..........that's pretty tight. I also didn't see a way to tie or cross tie.
I was originally thinking 8 feet wide by 10 or 12 long, thankfully the mobile aspect of the whole thing allows the length to be adjusted to however long is needed or altered with longer rails/more posts. I compared to the width of my straight stalls and the width of my aisle in the cattle barn and somehow settled on 6 feet. My straight stalls are 5 feet wide and it is a slight bit tight but I can still haul my big western saddle in and tack up in the stall, and the aisle in front of the cattle is 8 feet wide and I can turn a horse around in it just fine. I was worried about going too wide and encouraging movement and fidgeting.

But, I went out there the other day and took a tape measure to the spot I plan to set up and think I will actually go either 9, or 10 feet wide by 10 or 12 long depending on where the ground changes, which I'll be able to see when the snow melts. Close to this area is a change in terrain from hard pack, rocky earth to fertile, soft, fluffy soil, and if my memory serves me right, I'll still be well away from that line but I want to make 100% sure when the ground is visible again.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-05-2020, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
That is a neat looking wash rack, love the 3D aspect.

But, as cool as this looks, it may not be very practical. Horses move around a lot normally when getting washed. I would suggest one post to straight tie the horse to, and several mats on a level surface. That way as the horse moves around, he would still be on mats (so no mud splashing up on him) also giving you room to maneuver around and be able to scrub legs and such.
Thanks! I was worried about the mats, and found a supplier that may be able to get me honeycomb mats cheap, or at least rough textured rubber mats for a decent price (Local is outrageous) so I will be very generous laying mats instead of opting to be stingy to stay cost efficient.

And, on my trip out to the house to do some hands on measuring and mapping, I noticed that above the area I was going to set my Hitch Ring, a log butt extends 3-4 feet out from the wall, 14 feet up, making an absolute perfect spot to install a "high tie" that will add a lot of maneuverability, especially on that solid wall side, where the head and front quarters would have limited space and clearance being attached to that ring. This fixes the horses limited mobility especially at the front end, plus provides a safer tie in case of sudden and extreme pulling, since it's high up. It will be set up almost the exact same way my "patience tree" is set up!
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-05-2020, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
I like the concept but think it needs tweaking...imo.
Wider...6' is to narrow to safely be kept inside confines when bathing or tacking up...remember you have barriers in place so can't flee a errant hoof aimed at a fly if need be.
I would absolutely put lumber at the rear of the "stall" so a firm barrier is in place if horse decides to back-up, especially as it would also add some very much needed stability and strength to this portable area.
Since you are making it to be taken apart...
I would use 2 boards on side and back as the other side is your house wall... pony isn't easily going to sneak under 2 boards versus the top board only.

The idea of 2 boards front and back occurred to me, so this solidifies the idea, it will be done!

You need to secure, sink into the ground what you plan to use for cross-ties as horses wiggle and move, even the best of them at times...and figure out how you will anchor to the house or drop a 4x4 on the house side too...

I will not be doing cross ties, just a single tie. Originally I was going to set a ring onto the house but now, as per above reply, I will have a high tie swivel instead. As for anchoring them to the house, there are brackets at the local hardware store for 2x4s that are actually for fences, they bolt into the "post" flat, and are U shaped allowing you to drop a 2x4 in and secure it with screws or bolts, "easily allowing you to remove a fence rail and providing a flush, clean look instead of overlapping and screwing directly to the post." per description. This works great for my project.

I would not only put in strong support cross-ties but still have a way to close the front so if you need to turn your back and go for something forgotten your horse is not wandering as they enjoy doing...

Yes, that's the plan, having the front and back able to be closed in case I need to use it as a temporary "stall" to feed my old girl for example.

You will need to make it longer than 10' too as again it gives you no room to get around the horse when washing, grooming from nose to tail easily and you do not want to be trapped in back so tight...just no.
I like your concept, but would feel safer for you if dimensions were a minimum of 8' wide and 12' long you have wiggle room for your horse who is the bigger animal and the one you must size this for to use and utilize it often and well.
Corner posts need to be 4x4 or larger so they add stability to the project.
I would also place a "centered" side post to give strength to the entire build...12' long fixed to 2 posts that are not solid buried but move...yea, accident to easily occurring to me.

I would look at 1x6 fence boards to use instead of 2x4 cause appearance is more formidable and that pony is going to test this probably more than your horse will I bet.
Bolts, washers and nuts to secure rail to post so it not wobble...
Stall mats have 2 sides...smooth and textured so will work for reduced slippage issue you fear.
I actually like the idea of not having the hose to close to the entire project as when approaching or leaving even coiled on building side a risk for a hoof getting caught occurs if the horse decides he doesn't want a bath today...
Mount your water spigot higher on house side and place a hose hanger and small shelf their too to hold your needed bathing supplies or doctoring/grooming items above feet and entangling.

Unfortunately I am working with what I have, the spigot is already installed, thus the area I'm choosing, but the hose will be up and out of the way 100% because I absolutely HATE fiddling, dragging and fighting with a hose.

Not sure how a horse will react to a boom overhead...desensitizing needed for sure.. "Boom" is not something my horses have been exposed to so total unknown to me.

This is no problem, since my main gelding, also pretty much the sole occupant of the wash rack, usually has no issues with odd things I present to him. And if he does have an issue, he won't have an issue for long if he wants to act a fool next think he knows that will be our new favorite place, to eat, to drink, to sit and read a book. I like to tackle any spooking/desensitizing/new fears head on and aggressively, he's expected to be a solid, safe, sane example of a respectable citizen

Not to much expense what I just quickly figured for lumber costs, hardware and stall mats...
In fact, your cut-off lumber ends will allow you to make yourself a nice shelf unit to store needed brushes, wash mitts, shampoo right at the "stall" location neatly....

Pictures please when you get the project done.

Of course!! I'll be looking forward to sharing my building process and any hiccups I encounter too

...


I replied directly within the quote to section answers to different statements!
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-05-2020, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I feel like it would be too easy for a human to be caught between horse and fence/wall. Even with quiet horses, they move when being sprayed with water. Why not opt for a design where they're tied to a board which is fastened to two posts? Leave it open on the sides and back. That's how we wash our horses. They do move around a bit, but there's no risk of getting caught between a wet horse and a board. I'd also sink those posts as deep as you can. I think that putting them in a patio block is risky.

I do like the idea of putting down a honeycomb mat. We just do it on the grass and it never gets muddy because it's slightly sloped, but mats are a good idea.
The idea of an escape "door" actually came to mind and to be completely honest I forgot to add it to my plans. I thought hard on something to have "just in case" because as familiar and careful as I am around Trouble, I do know and admit that that is when people tend to get careless and that is the most popular time incidents like to occur. I wanted to incorporate a "triangle" escape gate, which I just recently learned is a twist on what's called a "kissing gate" I guess? The first time I came across one of these was at an angus farm I worked at for awhile, and she had these installed in regular intervals down the fence line in case an overprotective cow decided to charge or the bull got temperamental- as he often was. I left it on the backburner/back page of the idea book and finished my design before I remembered it. I actually went back and did a couple new designs with my new tie ring that included the escape gate. I'll see if I can upload them!

I would 100% just rather build a solid hitching rail to have for all kinds of use but space, water availability, and traffic/equipment route obstruction are huge contributing factors to why I need a portable enclosure that can provide some confinement and containment to a certain level of security, plus, it would be versatile and functional in terms of how often I need/use a portable/temporary stall/enclosure VS how often I need a general tie spot (we have lots of solid ties and hitches, just none where water is readily accessible and convenient)

Seems I'm always fashioning a temporary stall or pen for the luxury lawn ornaments It would be nice to have something more structurally sound than a couple construction pylons with yacht rope strung between them



I will also add that all of my horses, even my semi-feral geratrics, have been housed extensively over many years in straight stalls, and "stall" manners are something that are instilled into them deep enough and seriously enough that even my feral raised, reactive, nervous, arab/draft that is VERY light with his hinds and despises indoor settings stands to attention when he's thrown in a stall. A straight stall in a busy barn is my favorite place for a nasty horse horse, one with no manners or one with stall issues. They quickly learn to respect personal space, they grow accustom to small spaces and confinement- learning not to panic or lash out/crowd, are touched or handled in some physical way every single day multiple times per day, get over food aggression lightning fast, learn to move in different directions verbally as well as back and step up, not to rush or bolt out of grasp, I just believe a straight stall is a fast and effective fix for a lot of incredibly common barn/stall/handling issues. Thus, I am more worried about going too big than I am about going too small, with the exception of functionality, ease of use, elbow room, etc. My horses are used to being squeezed into small spaces (reasonably of course lol!) and have had years of practice to solidify the expected behaviors when tied or "stalled."

Interestingly, most horses I handle, work with or meet nowadays have stall vices or unfavorable behaviors entering/leaving stalls/in the barn in general that are common enough they are considered "normal" or at the lease "annoying." That I couldn't imagine dealing with in my barn or coming from my horses. But, modern stalling opens new windows for behaviors such as those. Alas, that's a debate for another day, I just wanted to explain that if I were building for a boarding barn, if I had horses that were not versed in confinement/straight stalls, such as a horse that explodes out of a trailer, or at a location with various horses coming/going or horses that vary in behavioral expectations per owner, I would certainly build big, build solid, and build with every potential issue and problem in mind. This plan will most definitely not work with most individuals, without some major redesigning and tweaking!
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