If you board at a big, commercial show barn, you probably have access to a wash rack. Ditto if your horse boards at a racing barn. What a convenience wash racks are. Instead of spending hours brushing off dirt, muck, and sweat, or hosing off your horse in some muddy area outside the barn when the weather allows, you can bathe your horse in minutes in a safe, secure area, protected from the elements, and conveniently located near the stall. Often with hot water right at your fingertips!

Wash racks also are handy for those who hack often, show occasionally, or just prefer spending their time riding instead of brushing, brushing, brushing. Notes Jim Tabor of Waitsfield, Vt., a life-long pleasure rider, former manager of a 65-horse guest riding operation, and a former public relations representative for Controlled Energy Corporation (distributors for Aquastar water heaters), “Although wash racks are more commonly used at show barns, they can be just as useful for any pleasure horse that’s ridden regularly and worked vigorously enough to work up a sweat–in other words, for virtually all pleasure horses.”

Wash racks also are a useful place for hosing down synthetic tack and for doing hydrotherapy treatments; an overturned bucket in a wash rack isn’t going to produce the mess it can in a stall.

Nuts And Bolts

Simply defined, a wash rack (or wash stall) is a confined area consisting of flooring and drainage for the purpose of bathing horses. British-born Jayne D. Pedigo, now of Houston, Texas, is a member of the British Horse Society, a dressage and combined training competitor, and a guide for the Horses Internet site at the Mining Company. (Miningco.com is a network of over 600 web sites, each maintained by a “Guide” and providing guidance to the best the Net has to offer in their niche, as well as regular articles.) She has seen all kinds of wash racks, and says that the o