View Full Version : Speak to me of outside wash rack construction

Watermark Farm
Jan. 9, 2011, 11:42 PM
How do those of you with outside wash racks have them set up? I want to re-build the outdoor one at my farm, which is a private facility with 6 horses.

Specifically I'm curious how you did the 'hitching post' part of it, ie, pre-made metal one, or set your own wood post and build one, OR set two posts and have cross ties instead. I like to straight tie when bathing mostly but would love to have the option to either cross tie or straight tie. Any ideas how to configure so that both options are available?

How large should the area be for having 2 horses (buddies) side by side being bathed?

What type of footing surface is best? I'm considering a thick bed of drain rock topped with rubber mats. Not crazy about concrete.

Ideas and info greatly appreciated. Want something very safe and welcoming for horses.

Jan. 10, 2011, 12:32 AM
Here's mine: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2704583560100789832nyugMc

It's basically just a fence, but with only two boards close together so that the rope doesn't slip up or down the post. There's a few inches of sand under the rubber mats. Nothing very fancy or high-tech, but it works well for me.

Jan. 10, 2011, 05:21 PM
Watermark's looks alot like mine-I have 4" gravel under a few inches of stone dust under rubber mats. I have a 3-sided 12x12 box, the single rail is about mid-barrel (4'?) high. The front is open. I have wood fence posts and 2x6 boards. I have cross ties on the 2 front posts. The gravel and sand have made the whole thing a few inches above ground so there isn't any sinking/puddling. My horses think it is a pretty cool set up and stand like statues in there.

Jan. 10, 2011, 06:00 PM
We went to the local electric co-op and bought broken electric poles from traffic accidents for about 4 bucks each. Then we set 2 poles across from each other about 5 feet with at least 3 feet in the ground and 8 feet above ground. Then set another 2 poles about halfway down from the first poles. We poured about 5 inches of reinforced concrete so the concrete worked around the poles. Then we put a 3 board fence around both sides of the washrack with a gate at each end. Both sets of poles have cross ties with quick release snaps. We took a barn broom while the concrete was setting up and dragged it from side to side to give a light rough surface for footing. We can bathe 2 horses at a time without any problems. The entire setup is about 40 feet long. Hope this helps:)

Jan. 11, 2011, 04:49 PM
I have a 12x12 concrete pad. I have a hydrant with an over head boom for the hose.

The concrete has a good slope for drainage and I used heavy brooming to finish it so the footing is very good.

I don't tie my horses at the wash rack.

Jan. 11, 2011, 04:56 PM
Our wash rack is raised concrete. There is a ramp that goes up into either side (it is configured as 2 cross ties, seperated in the middle with a wide ledge for soaps, various bathing implements). The concrete is slightly sloped towards the covered drain, and has rake marks to add a bit of traction. We rarely use it as cross ties anymore though so just tie them to the back rail. It is all wood, but if you can get pipe I would highly recommend doing that as your supports as guess what happens when wood continously gets wet from bathing, rain, etc....it rots eventually and you have to replace it. Not fun when you talking sunk 3 feet in concrete.

Jan. 11, 2011, 05:20 PM
If you have lots of horses to bathe, I really like the set up at Coldwater rec area. If you extended the pipes at either end to be taller, and connected them over the top, or just had a ring welded at the top of both, then drop some cross tie chains, dont... you could tie a horse 'high' and keep the leadrope dry/up off the ground. What's shown here is three sets of wash 'stalls' one at 12, one at 3, and one at 6...ample room between them all, sloped, rough concrete, and lots of water hoses...

Jan. 11, 2011, 08:43 PM
Specifically I'm curious how you did the 'hitching post' part of it, .

We have a 26ft by 26ft concrete pad and each horse has been taught to ground tie....

Watermark Farm
Jan. 13, 2011, 10:30 AM
Thank you for the great responses and links to photos. It's giving me some good ideas. Please keep them coming!

Jan. 13, 2011, 12:57 PM
Don't have photos but my wash area is 12 x 24 bordered with railroad ties (drilled holes through and pounded 2 ft pieces of rebar into holes and countersunk about 2 inches to anchor the RR ties to the ground and not allow shifting). Heavy clay soil here so dug out about 4 inches and filled with 1/2 minus gravel to within about 2 inches of top of RR ties. Also have RR ties buried 3.5 feet (so stand 4.5 feet above soil surface and about 4 feet above gravel level)...spaced every 6 feet and set inside the RR tie border. Topped with additional RR tie that is anchored to the posts with metal straps about 4 inches wide....goes from post, over top of rail and back to post...held to posts with stout screws with washers to protect from tearing. Several big eye bolts into each section of RR tie railing.....drilled all the way through and are long enough that they are bolted on underneath side. Additional 2 x 6 board at about 3 feet up from the ground to discourage those that want to limbo under the tie rail. Frost free faucet, hose with hand nozzle. Basket at end of tie rail for shampoo, brushes etc...just tied on so it can be moved..lets everything drain/dry. Hoping to get a propane powered water heater this spring. Don't use mats as with about 8-10 inches of gravel the water and manure (someone always has to dump while getting bathed!) flush down into/through the gravel. No splashing on white legs (Paints so lots of white). As a horse is finished getting washed he can be moved down the line further from the faucet and allowed to stand and dry while another is getting washed....can get 3-4 horses on here at a time if necessary.