outdoor horse wash area

Surround the wash area with gravel (to reduce mud and allow for drainage) and vegetation such as lawn. | Photo: Alayne Blickle

Outdoor wash racks are a super idea–a wonderful way to hose off or bathe your horse while allowing water to recharge the natural system. During the warm summer months it can provide extra bathing capacity for larger groups and it helps keep things from getting really get backed up with the single indoor wash stall.

With an outdoor wash rack, it is important to avoid allowing soapy, dirty water running directly into nearby water bodies such as a ditch, stream or wetlands–or from creating a muddy eyesore.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind for setting up your outdoor wash rack:

  • Soil type: Outdoor wash racks require well-drained soils in order for them not to turn into a quagmire. Chose a spot with well-drained soil, because repeated use will quickly turn wet or organic soils into mud.
  • Location: Choose a higher area (versus a low spot that will collect water and turn into a bathtub) away from creeks, ditches, wetlands, or other water bodies, as well as away from manure storage areas (so that water runoff doesn’t collect in manure storage).
  • Chore efficiency: Your wash rack should be convenient to your barn or shelter area, as well as close to a faucet/water source.
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