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Vacuums for Horses

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  • Vacuums for Horses

    I know we have had several threads about vacuuming horses.
    What I need is a recommendation, here are the qualifications:
    1)Not expensive-as in not a "horse" vacuum-$200 is out of my price range for a Christmas gift too myself.
    2) Quiet-I have all Thoroughbreds and they really don't like "shop vac" noise. Last year I tried to de-sensitize them, did'nt work.
    3) Smallish the 2.5 gallon shop vac is about the right size just a little too loud.

    Is the "quiet series" from Shop Vac really quieter?
    Last edited by Spooky Alter; Nov. 10, 2010, 08:54 PM. Reason: Added content

  • #2
    I honestly couldn't tell you, but I have a related question to anyone reading this thread.

    Would a shop vac do a good job as well? I don't think our horses will care about the sound at all.
    I think I might ask for a smaller one for Christmas, one of the cheap ones.
    Imagine that, a teenager asking for a shop vac for Christmas. Us horse people sure are screwy...
    In my opinion a horse is the animal to have. Eleven-hundred pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs. Its something you just can't get from a pet hamster.
    In The Nick of Time


    • #3
      The smaller they are the less work they do. The quieter and cheaper they are the less work they do. If you aren't going with a good, big one, I'd just stick with a brush. It will be about as fast.


      • #4
        I have a wee little Shop-Vac (and by "I have" I mean "I stole it from my parents" ). I think it's a 1 gallon model. It is pretty noisy, but none of my 3 Thoroughbreds, ages 9, 16, and 23, have cared about it. The most they've done is looked at it briefly, and then it was a complete and total non-issue. With the 23 year old, I enjoy sticking the hose on his nose and watching him make silly faces until he breaks the suction . It does works pretty well, but it's not super fast. It does get them CLEAN, though, unlike a brush. I haven't used any special nozzles, but I've found that the key is to keep it at an angle to the horse's skin, that works the best to get the dirt out.
        Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
        Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
        VW sucks.


        • #5
          A shop vac really does work good and occasionally the brush parts for horse vacs show up for sale. I would suggest throwing a saddle blanket over the top to dim the noise some, also you can get longer hoses at home depot so the machine part can be further away from the horse.
          I can explain it TO you,but I can't understand it FOR you


          • #6
            While I plan on buying a shop vac, in the past I've used our ancient cannister style vaccuum cleaner on a dry horse...had to laugh when my husband asked if I was going to use the crevice tool...
            They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

            Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


            • #7
              And the smaller they are, the easier they are to tip over and drag around. Heck, I can't even vacuum kitty litter off the basement floor without getting into a fight with the shop vac.

              I'm saving my pennies for a big heavy Electro-groom. In the mean time, if I really feel I need to vacuum, I actually use a hand held Dirt Devil with a rotating brush. My horse refers to it as the Giant Sucking Tick.
              Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


              • #8
                I've had this same question recently. My horse is so dusty that the brush just doesn't cut it.

                I think I'm going to try the shop vac and put in ear poms to quiet the noise. This is a morning, pre-coffee thought, but I think it just might work


                • #9
                  I own this shop vac


                  I love it! The hose is long enough to allow me to set the unit on the ground and groom easily. I use a curry attachment that has rubber teeth. I don't find it overly noisey, and since it's sitting on the ground - it's further away from the horse anyway.


                  • #10
                    We have used a shop vac on all of our guys for years. It is amazing how willingly they accept it. I think being in the stall while other guys are being vacuumed helps them get used to the noise. We have a big shop vac on wheels and just wheel it around with you. We got an attachment that is basically like a curry and it works wonders. Our only issue is we have mats in our aisle and the static is crazy. You do get shocked every once in a while but that is the only downside.

                    I would see if you can "try out" the vacuums at the store to see how loud they are. Maybe a house hold vacuum would be the best bet, but I'm not sure how well it would hold up?


                    • #11
                      We use a Sears shop-vac, or whatever their in-house brand is. We got it because of the extra-long hose, so the base is nowhere near the horse, and it comes with a very nice round brush with bristles that are perfect for grooming...and the horses love it!


                      • #12
                        how the heck to you make it not shock from static while vaccuuming? i've tried brushing horse with a wetted brush, spraying the brush with static guard and then brushing horse, holding the vaccuum with a wetted cloth and nothing prevents a static buildup. i've had to give up because my big boy got shocked with a loud crackle the last time. sigh. and of course, it's been raining and he's been a rolling in the mud. too cold for bath time now.
                        R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
                        36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by My2cents View Post
                          how the heck to you make it not shock from static while vaccuuming? i've tried brushing horse with a wetted brush, spraying the brush with static guard and then brushing horse, holding the vaccuum with a wetted cloth and nothing prevents a static buildup. i've had to give up because my big boy got shocked with a loud crackle the last time. sigh. and of course, it's been raining and he's been a rolling in the mud. too cold for bath time now.
                          I use a spray bottle with watered down conditioner. I spray sections at a time (on mist) while I'm vacuuming.


                          • #14
                            hmmm, worth a try. thanks.
                            R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
                            36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever


                            • #15
                              The Gray and Blue small shop vac I got at Lowes has a thing you screw onto the wall and vac has a slot it slides onto..I got extra hose and joined them keeps it up out of the way enough hose to work around horse while on X-ties and no vac to trip over.
                              Has plenty of suction.....not one of my OTTB have an issue, I don't even thing about it just X-tie and vac before I stop to think if I've even done them before.
                              Cotton stuffed in the horses ears works way better than muffling the Vac by the way............


                              • #16
                                wall mounted and fifteen foot hose!


                                I got mine for about $70 on sale a couple years ago - it's GREAT. I like the long hose, the thing is up off the floor and out of the way, and truthfully I have never had much issue getting horses used to being vacuumed - the snaky hose is more of a "LOOKIE!" than the noise is. I have taken it off the wall and set it OUTSIDE the stall on a few of them, then just brush and curry with the thing off for a bit, then turn it on (with motor still outside to dampen noise) and go to it - most horses LOVE being vacuumed.

                                Static does build up in any vacuum hose - just keep one hand on the horse all the time! though my Irish stud could care less if a spark jumps four inches to his hide, for some reason....
                                Homesick Angels Farm
                                breeders of champion Irish Draught Sporthorses
                                standing Manu Forti's Touch Down RID


                                • #17
                                  I just saw the "bucket vac" at Home depot. Basically its the top part of the vacuum and you fasten it to a paint bucket (or HD one) it's only 1.5 hp so not sure if the suction will be enough.. but for $20 might be worth a try.. you can always return it if the suction isn't strong enough for you... no idea about how much noise it makes . Since its on a 5 gal bucket I would think you could hang the bucket somewhere and use long hose..

                                  Just a pre-Christmas update
                                  I can explain it TO you,but I can't understand it FOR you


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by susanne View Post
                                    While I plan on buying a shop vac, in the past I've used our ancient cannister style vaccuum cleaner on a dry horse...had to laugh when my husband asked if I was going to use the crevice tool...
                                    10 years ago I bought a Eureka home cannister vaccuum at K-Mart (for a whopping $69.00), to use on my horse, and it is still going strong, and yes, it is powerful enough to work very well. And the crevice tool comes in handy when trying to remove adobe-like caked on dried mud from winter hair.
                                    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                    • #19
                                      I'm just following along here, but I have an older, smaller Craftsman shop vac that I plan to take to the barn, as soon as I get some longer hoses. My plan is to simply turn it on and let it run while my mare is eating in her stall, then while she's standing in the aisle, etc., until she get used to it. Fortunately, she's not spooky and never objects to clipping, so I'm hoping she will get used to the noise quickly.


                                      • #20
                                        Just have to share!

                                        Shop Vac-ed my weanling today!!! He was scared but brave. I bribed him with grain for the first few seconds.