View Full Version : WHat size should I make my wash stall

Jun. 14, 2012, 06:53 PM
I'm going to be putting in a wash stall that is also going to serve as a place for my horse to get shod. I am on very limited space property wise. What would be the smallest sized wash stall I could get away with that would still be safe for a person and a 16'1 TB?

Jun. 14, 2012, 07:57 PM
My wash stall is 12x12, but the farrier works in the aisle. It's plenty big for washing the big perch cross mare I have at home.

My farrier at the boarding barn, tho, won't shoe Gideon in the work stall (also 12x12) - he feels it's too small. Granted, Gid is 17H, but I just do not think 12x12 is big enough for a farrier to safely work.

Jun. 14, 2012, 08:30 PM
12 x 12 should be plenty big I have at other facilities and here used that. Most aisles in barns are not any wider

Thoroughbred in Color
Jun. 14, 2012, 08:33 PM
It should be at least 12'x12', but if it were me I would probably go with 14'x14'. It's not terrible bathing a horse in a small wash stall, but its easier if it's big enough that you can work all the way around the horse comfortably while they're crosstied.

I wouldn't reccommend shoeing in a confined area, if the horse was to get upset, there's no "escape route" for the farrier. If you have no other place to do it though, I would ask your farrier what kind of space he feels is adequate for his safety/ease of work. Also, make sure it is well lit, since wash stalls don't usually get as good of light as aisleways.

Jun. 14, 2012, 08:38 PM
10' wide by 12' deep.

Wider than 10 feet can allow the horse to move laterally too much and even get turned around on crossies.

This is even great for BIG horses, as I've had many Shire/TB crosses.

I'd never want to go wider than 10'. I built my Morton barn 20 years ago and never an accident in my wash stall. The width to me is more imortant than the length due do side to side movement.

Hope this helps.

Edited to say: I don't have horses shod/trimmed in the wash stall. That is done in the aisle and that is 12 feet in width. Farrier just pulls up to the entrance.

Jun. 14, 2012, 10:02 PM
Sid- I'm glad to hear you say that you find 10x12 to be sufficient for BIG horses- I am in the process of finishing my barn interior and had that size designated for my wash stall- but it's not set in concrete yet... My horse is 18 hand Shire- and I had also heard warnings about too WIDE an area being unsafe for horses if they get twisted. I saw a neat youtube about wash stall walls (that raise and lower made of waterproof panels) and he had a nice side bumper rail setup that would hold a horse off a wall yet keep the floor area open/protected. Houdini- you might want to look at that youtube- I'm sorry I don't have the link but it was something like horsekeeping101 or something like that- he had a series.

Jun. 15, 2012, 03:32 PM
10 wide by 12 deep is my vote too. I don't like them to twist too much in the cross ties if they are dancing around. I've turned big horses around in a much narrower trailer, so I can't imagine a horse that can't turn around in 10 feet...

I would shoe in the aisle.

Jun. 15, 2012, 04:46 PM
Well I don't have an aisle....that is my problem...the concrete with no slip mats wash stall is all I will have and all I will ever have for shoeing....so......should I go with the
12 x 12 then???

I'm on a small piece of property and our variance only allows for a shed row...I can't even have an overhang ....but it is what it is and I'm determined to make it work!

Jun. 15, 2012, 04:58 PM
sure you will be fine with 12 x 12 - and if a farrier can't work in that they have a problem. I have seen some terrible places for farriers to work.

We do the farrier in the aisle - 10 feet wide - but he has room back and front. Difficult horses are done at the back door so they can't back up.

Wash stall outdoors is 10 by 10 and I have a 17.3hh swedish wb - we also have a wash area with drain in the aisle for bad weather washing.

Jun. 15, 2012, 04:58 PM
as a further - make sure that there is good lighting - we have great lighting and that is something that my farrier complains about at some barns

Jun. 15, 2012, 10:19 PM
Would there be an option to pour a level concrete pad outside for the farrier? He could work on the pad if he felt more comfortable there.

Jun. 16, 2012, 08:16 AM
My barn aisle is 12' wide and if a farrier can't work in that area, he's out the door! :eek: :yes:

I do think for a 16 hand horse though that a 12'x10' should be OK but I'm more inclined to go with those that say 12'x12'. That said, my wash stall is 20'x24'. It's outside the front of the barn. I don't crosstie though either. I do hold onto a 10' rope and lay it over their back and butt for when I wash tails. I also head the horse so he's facing into the barn and not out towards the wide open lawn. :yes:

Jun. 17, 2012, 05:33 PM
My comment above about 12x12 not being big enough for a farrier and a big horse refers not to the width, but to the length. There is not enough room behind the horse for him to safely work. If your horse wears a 72 blanket (6 ft, and that's a small horse), give another 3 ft for his head/neck, that leaves only 3 ft between the horse's a** and the wall.
Do you have a shed row barn? Can't the farrier work in the area in front of the stalls?


Renaissance Lady
Jun. 17, 2012, 06:56 PM
I have a 12x12 and it is quite ample for my 16.1h warmblood and my 16.2TB. However, I have always felt crossties were inherently dangerous, so I just tie my horses to one side when washing, since the stall is square, so that they are sideways in the stall and not facing out. I always hold my horses for the farrier, but we do so in the aisle.

Since you don't have an aisle, if the farrier felt too confined in doing the back feet, turn the horse around and hold it so the farrier is on the open end to do the back feet. I'm fortunate in that my wash stall also has an outside dutch door. Just be sure to put in safe and adequate lighting so that your farrier can see what he is doing.