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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to be able to give my horses baths. I have always just gone to my neighbors and used their washrack, but I don't want to have to do that anymore- I want my own setup.
The problem is, I don't have warm water to the outside, let alone water to the barn in general. (I have my horses in the pasture with sheds, they just get groomed in the barn) My dad would have to install a hot water tank and do quite a bit of other stuff to get warm water to the outside/barn.

There has to be another way the horse community has come up with or products/machines have come up with that I am not thinking of- is there? Any suggestions or products I am unaware of?
Thanks so much.
 

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Yep. You can buy portable propane-run water heaters like this: Camplux 5L Portable Tankless Water Heater (CSA Certified For Outdoor Use)White. I had one, but honestly, always struggled with it staying lit. So I just bought extra hoses, hooked them up, and now run water from the house basement to the barn where I bathe on the side of the barn.

That said, I know someone who uses a similar unit and loves it. The trick I think is to build a box around it because there's a little pilot light that can get blown off by the wind and then your water doesn't come out hot anymore. But if you can get it to work, it's great, and you can carry it anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep. You can buy portable propane-run water heaters like this: Camplux 5L Portable Tankless Water Heater (CSA Certified For Outdoor Use)White. I had one, but honestly, always struggled with it staying lit. So I just bought extra hoses, hooked them up, and now run water from the house basement to the barn where I bathe on the side of the barn.

That said, I know someone who uses a similar unit and loves it. The trick I think is to build a box around it because there's a little pilot light that can get blown off by the wind and then your water doesn't come out hot anymore. But if you can get it to work, it's great, and you can carry it anywhere.
Thanks! I will look into that. Is the water pressure really low with it?
 

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I don't even have a tap at my place. We have to clean the trough and use that lol. If it were allowed I'd get the propane one linked above but you have to have good water pressure to begin with. The one above: Just need 2.5 PSI of water pressure. Works great with Camplux 12V water pump. It is NOT a pump, it is just a heater for the hose water so check that first. I have one for my dogs. Hot water at a yard is a memory for me now. I have become an expert at giving dip-baths. I dip the brushes in plain water and...brush. I shampoo once every few months because getting enough water to rinse is a pain. I have a grey and I assure you she comes out so white I need sunglasses. But I'd die to be able to hot wash her tail....

I also wheelbarrowed boiling water (not safe) to a definitely safe location away from kids/horses etc and then mixed it with the cold water. A bit dicey but I'm sure the idea can be improved.
 

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If you want to have warm water you could do like we do when hunting and tent camping. We take a fish cooker with a 5 gallon pot. Turn it on until the wter gets the right temperature then shut the burner off. Then we use a battery operated Cabelas shower head with a pump that is a $15 dollar item and you can wet, lather and rinse usually on one fill.
 

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I was a professional groom for decades. A horse owner and have done rehab for at least as long. I don't bath with warm water.

IF a horse get sweaty in the winter, something I generally avoid, I have warm water in a 5 gallon drink cooler and only dampen a rag to clean the grungy sweat off, then hand dry, and walk the horse until cooled out.

I use the same drink cooler and clean rags if I'm going to do wound care.

Installing a water heater is just one more thing to maintain. It may increase your insurance cost. Or the cost for whoever owns the property. And don't not notify insurance or incidents won't be covered. 😲
 

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Well said @boots (y)(y)

I also won’t bath a horse in the winter and I only use cold water during the warm months.

You don’t need a wash rack:)

If you have an outside water spigot at the house, just buy 50 feet of 3/4” or 1” water hose, a couple of shower nozzles (they are plastic these days and don’t last long:(, and have at it.

I have 12’ lead ropes and either drop the lead rope on the ground or throw it over a fence - nobody gets tied, nobody runs away. One horse doesn’t even need haltered much of the time:)

I have bathed my horses without benefit of warm water or a wash rack my entire life and we all survived without incident:):)
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate the input from everyone! Cold water might not be the end of the world, I suppose, we actually had a pretty nasty heat wave here recently, got up to about 108 degrees :oops:
Still, I'll see what I can come up with, if I can, possibly something like the propane heater.
Thanks!
 

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In never use hot water either. In winter they don't get bathes, and generally speaking in summer I just rinse off sweat after rides and because it's hot, I'm wanting the cool water to cool off a hot horse as well. So I guess I'm not a bather, just a sweat rinser! ;)

If you are getting up in the 100's or anywhere near it, the horse will appreciate the cold water!
 

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We keep water in black plastic barrels which gets the water warm enough. Just get a few bucketfuls of warm water to start off with, use a sponge to wet them, shampoo and rinse off with cold water. By that time they are used to it and don’t complain.
 

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Thanks! I will look into that. Is the water pressure really low with it?
No, in fact you need good water pressure to use these. You just plug in a regular hose into the unit, the water circulates through heated pipes, then comes out warm/hot through a shower nozzle. I bought an extra-long nozzle so I could get around the horse better. Worked well as long as I could keep the pilot light from going out. Whatever you do, don't leave the unit out in freezing temps because I left it in the barn over the winter, thinking the water was drained out of it, but there was some water left and it froze and caused a leak.
 

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Surprised to see so many bathing in cold water. If your horse is happy with that, then good for you. Two of mine dislike baths, but will tolerate them better with warm water, and Harley loves baths but only when the water is warm. He is very sensitive to cold (in winter, he has to be bundled up or he starts coughing and shakes like a leaf). At 22, I figure he deserves warm baths. When bathed with warm water, he stands there happily, enjoying it. We can take our time and go over every inch, rinsing until the water is clear. When we tried to bathe him with cold water, he would shake and shiver, and fidget, and we'd hurry and never get him completely clean.

Of course we don't bathe in winter. It's way too cold to bathe here, so the horses just get brushed. There aren't any shows here in winter months, so no need to be spotless.

I also prefer using warm water for my own sake. My hands hurt in cold water so I'm probably pretty arthritic too. It is much easier on my hands to use warm water, and I find the shampoo and conditionner easier to rinse out in warm water.
 

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The easiest and most cost-effective way would be to buy enough hoses to reach from the basement (or wherever the water heater is) in your house.

When we still had our horses at home, we had probably 300 feet of hose that we used to fill the water tank from the house in the winter. If we wanted to have warm water for bathing, that same 300 feet of hose was used too. It can be a pain to store, but now that those 'collapsible' hoses exist, I don't think it'd be too bad. Or a hose reel, that'd be a really great option too.
 
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Another possibility is to take lead your horse closer to the house and set up a wash station behind the house so you don't have to run so many hoses. Have thought of this, but since my barn is only a few hundred feet away, it's easy for me to bathe there. I just had two posts put in and a board across them so I have a place to tie them. But you could do the same behind your house. Even one post would do. You just need a safe and solid place to tie.
 

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I boarded at one barn where rain water was collected in a tank above the ground and we used that for bathing the horses. It had a tap and a hose attached. The water wasn’t warm, but at the same temperature as the air. Warmer than well water, for sure. Very eco friendly.
 

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Just use cold water lot easier lot cheaper. My husband absolutely wouldn't let me waste hot water, to wash rinse horses.

My horse doesn't always love the cold water hose off. He gets over it though. He knows I'm going to rinse him off anyway.

Don't need tie posts or wash rack for bathing hosing off a horse. All you need is a faucet a hose an some open grassy area. Teach horse to ground tie both my horse do. I drop rope say stand horse doesn't move. Sometimes I let him eat grass while I hose him off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Surprised to see so many bathing in cold water. If your horse is happy with that, then good for you. Two of mine dislike baths, but will tolerate them better with warm water, and Harley loves baths but only when the water is warm. He is very sensitive to cold (in winter, he has to be bundled up or he starts coughing and shakes like a leaf). At 22, I figure he deserves warm baths. When bathed with warm water, he stands there happily, enjoying it. We can take our time and go over every inch, rinsing until the water is clear. When we tried to bathe him with cold water, he would shake and shiver, and fidget, and we'd hurry and never get him completely clean.

Of course we don't bathe in winter. It's way too cold to bathe here, so the horses just get brushed. There aren't any shows here in winter months, so no need to be spotless.

I also prefer using warm water for my own sake. My hands hurt in cold water so I'm probably pretty arthritic too. It is much easier on my hands to use warm water, and I find the shampoo and conditionner easier to rinse out in warm water.
Yes, bathing in the winter is absolutely a no-no (I'm sure theres special cases with something like thoroughbred racehorses being trained and sweating and they have a high end heated barn and hot water, etc). My neighbors (who I kind of co-own with, long story) would be pretty unhappy, as would my horses, to be bathed in cold water, but I did not want to come across rude or anything on the forum. They are both older, too, and my mare has some mild joint issues (but she started taking msm powder and seems to be doing great :) ). For my specific situation, it's kind of like warm water or no bath, you know what I mean? I am not speaking on anyone else at all, just for me and my experiences with all the horses nextdoor.

My barn used to keep horses and has a long dead small hot water tank, but the water pipes running down to the barn were installed poorly and don't work like they need to, so anything we do would be a project, but my dad is a handy renaissance man, basically, and he will look into it with me. We also have a REAL busy end of summer coming up here, so there is that.

Getting off topic here, but: A sad and interesting story about my barn: A few house owners ago kept thoroughbreds in stalls in my barn (I have a four stall barn, my horses are pasture horses and the barn is currently storage, tractor storage, and has hay and grain in there- I am working on throroughly cleaning out all the dead rubber mats and cobwebs and weeds- don't be under the impression I have been blessed with some thoroughbred racehorse barn like that haha.

Anyways, they kept these thoroughbreds (whether they were racehorses or not, I am not sure) in these relatively smaller sized stalls, and according to my neighbors, didn't get them out to exercise the heck out of them like young throughbreds need. The stalls sit on the side of the barn, and directly across from the stalls are gates to the outside- in between is a covered but still outside walkway, if that makes sense at all. Like, its not the inside of the barn, but rather a covered section on the outside, enclosed by all those gates.

One of the throughbreds got way too agitated, escaped from the stall, and jumped over the metal gate. The gate was way too high, so it didn't make it over, rather landed hard on the top of it, and the result is a huge bend in the top metal bar of the gate, where this thoroughbred's ribs+girth landed, I am assuming.
Pretty sad. Thoroughbreds are so high energy. I remember my neighbor (who owns a huge horse barn/boarding place and cows and stuff, they've got to have 25-30+ horses over there) and I went to her friends house, or the guy she got hay from, or something, and this was a few years ago so I was like 14-15, and he had two thoroughbreds- I think it was a mare and a yearling or so, and she made sure I stayed back from them. They didn't seem intimidating, but very high energy.

To my understanding, thoroughbreds are meant for racing or just really hard work, and most people don't purchase them as casual or even semi-casual horses, especially not to stay in a stall, right?
 

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Agreed @blackrose199 - I am absolutely not suggesting that every horse needs warm baths. I do live in a northern climate though, so hot weather is not that common here, which makes warm baths that much better. But I know lots of people who use a hose and cold water to all their horses, and they do not suffer for it. I just know that when I tried to do that to Harley, he reacted strongly, but when I bathe him with warm water, he loved it. So warm water it is, lol.

Very sad about that thoroughbred. Thoroughbreds are often purchased here as OTTBs (off track thoroughbreds) to have a second career as hunter/jumpers or other such pursuits. The ones that don't succeed in racing can be had at a pretty good price, so maybe that's why they had a barn full of them. However, you're right that they aren't meant to live in stalls, but then again, I don't think any horse is meant to live in a stall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Agreed @blackrose199 - I am absolutely not suggesting that every horse needs warm baths. I do live in a northern climate though, so hot weather is not that common here, which makes warm baths that much better. But I know lots of people who use a hose and cold water to all their horses, and they do not suffer for it. I just know that when I tried to do that to Harley, he reacted strongly, but when I bathe him with warm water, he loved it. So warm water it is, lol.

Very sad about that thoroughbred. Thoroughbreds are often purchased here as OTTBs (off track thoroughbreds) to have a second career as hunter/jumpers or other such pursuits. The ones that don't succeed in racing can be had at a pretty good price, so maybe that's why they had a barn full of them. However, you're right that they aren't meant to live in stalls, but then again, I don't think any horse is meant to live in a stall.
Neither do I!!! I am very lucky to have a very big pasture that my horses live in, and it has a shed (specifically for livestock) that is "split" so there are two pretty decent sized "stalls", and the horses have full access to everything at all times. I don't think the stalls in my barn will ever be used, unless we built another pasture in the large grassy area right alongside the barn, and they could move in and out freely.

My horses are so bonded to eachother and just love the outside- it's not an option for us. However, that is not always a blanketed thing, of course- there are different situations all around.

And yes, I live in the PNW, so weather is relatively hot in the summer depending on the day, but usually mid 70's to low 90's and winter SUCKS here because it is just CONSTANT rain and no snow- I hate seeing the horses seem miserable in it w/ the mud- but then again, they have constant access to two big dry stalls and they STILL choose to stand in the rain- true outdoor horses, I suppose. : )
 
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