View Full Version : DIY Outdoor Wash Rack

Jul. 15, 2012, 01:29 PM
We have an outdoor wash rack consisting of cross ties & 4 rubber stall mats over grass. This system worked fine until we added 2 white horses to the family. All the additional washing is creating run off & muddy channels beside the mats. Our soil is heavy clay beneath the topsoil. Any suggestions for installing a simple, cost-effective drainage system?

Ambitious Kate
Jul. 15, 2012, 08:28 PM
Yes. Dig it out, say 6 inches down. Get a load of gravel, tamp down well. Get a load of sand, tamp down well. Top it off with crushed bluestone. It should drain well, and you can top that with the mats just to keep the hooves from digging it all out. You can do all this by hand, in a 12 x 12 area. If you are very ambitious, install two 6 x 6 pillars for cross ties. These should be sunk very deep, about 4 feet deep.

To keep posts sturdy, dig a wide hole, plant the post, and hold it while filling the hold with stones. Rotate the post so the stones settle until the post seems not to move. Then fill with gravel, moving the post around until it seems very solid, which lets the gravel fill in all the spaces between the stones. Do the same with fine gravel or sand, then dirt. Those suckers will never move. Alternatively, set the pillars/posts in cement.

Jul. 15, 2012, 09:56 PM
When you say load, how thick are you saying each layer should be?

Jul. 15, 2012, 10:45 PM
You don't even have to dig. That's a pita :)

Get railroad ties, or build up a few landscape timbers, fill that with gravel.

If gravel itself doesn't work, then top that with something finer that will fill in the gaps and then stay on top, then do mats on top of that as mentioned. But if you do "fine" gravel, you shouldn't have to do that. I don't know which type - smaller than gravel gravel, but not so fine as screenings/bluestone. Sort of like the stuff that's used to finish "gravel" driveways, if you know what I mean.

Jul. 16, 2012, 08:38 AM
This isn't an endorsement because I have never seen the stuff- but I saw that the stall savers permeable stall liners are suggested to also use for wash racks. I guess the advantage is that because water can drain straight down (assuming you have a good draining base down)- the edges of your wash area aren't getting super saturated with the runoff. It's under $200 for a 13x13 piece.

Jul. 16, 2012, 09:08 AM
I would do the railroad tie idea, fill with 1" clean gravel. Top with mats. Voila!