Horse Wash Stall Building and Planning

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  2007 Cherry Hill 

October 2007

Your Horse Barn - DVD
on a Small Acreage
Horse Housing
Your Horse Barn DVD
Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage
Horse Housing

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A crisp howdy to you all !

Don't you just love fall !? The moderate temperatures and dwindling flies make it a perfect time for horse activities. The only downside that I see is that the horses have shed their summer coats and are now growing longer hair for winter.

That's why I give my horses their fall baths about this time of year. And that's where a indoor wash rack really comes in handy. If it is a particularly chilly day, I can turn on the infrared heater over the wash rack to keep both me and my horse warm while bathing.

Here's some information to help you design a safe and useful wash rack.
It's an excerpt from our new DVD, Your Horse Barn.

  2007 Cherry Hill 

Horse Wash Rack

A wash rack, or wash stall, is a waterproof area where a horse can be bathed. It can also be a useful place for a grooming and tacking up and for your vet to work.

It is not a good place for a farrier to work. The sloping floor it makes it difficult for the farrier to assess hoof balance and hoof trimmings and debris from picking out feet clog the drain.

Outdoor washrack

The minimum size for a wash rack to be safe and useful is 8' wide x 12' long.


A wash rack is normally enclosed only on three sides and is located where overspray won't cause problems.

With an indoor wash rack the floor usually slopes to a drain in the center of the floor. An outdoor wash rack may not need a drain if the location permits water to run onto the surrounding ground. A concrete floor is always best to ensure a mud-free work place. Rubber mats can work also.


A wash rack should have hot water. Faucets or hydrants need to be out of the way or protected by a rail or other means to prevent damage to the faucets and injury to a horse in the event of a collision.

In an unheated barn, locate the wash rack next to a heated room, like the tack room, so freeze proof faucets can be installed in the shared wall.

 wash stall plumbing



There are several types of pre-made pipe wash racks available. They are set in a concrete pad when it is poured or bolted to an existing floor. They are relatively easy to install and are one way to save barn space.


Outdoor pipe washrack


We designed a space 12' long by 10 wide between this stall and the tack room. We set pipe posts in the floor approximately 12" from the walls and attached 2 ½" pipe railings 40" up from the floor. This gives us an 8'-wide finished work area.

The railings keep the horse away from the walls and water faucets and allow buckets and other equipment to be set along the walls without them being stepped on. They are also handy for hanging blankets on to wash and drip dry.

The concrete floor has a rough texture for good traction, wet or dry. We did this by dragging a stiff push broom over the concrete while the concrete was still wet.

The floor slopes toward a central drain that has a replaceable PVC cover to catch hair and debris before it can clog the drainpipe.

There are four 150w halogen weatherproof light fixtures, one in each of the upper corners. They are all controlled by one switch in the grooming area. And, there is an outlet with a weatherproof cover on the wall of the wash rack in case a veterinarian needs an extra clamp light or power for his tools.

wash rack splash panels

The walls are ¾" OSB covered by 1/16" FRP, fiber reinforced plastic, which is waterproof and very tough. It's available in the bath section of building stores. The light cream color, along with the white surface of the soundboard on the roof really lightens up the interior of the barn.

On the side of the wash rack that border a stall there are sliding splash panels that can be raised to keep water from spraying into the stall.

There are crossties at both ends of the wash stall so the horse can be faced either direction.

A stainless steel sink that had been removed from a restaurant became our vet/utility sink. It has a sloping 3' long drain board, which makes a great place to scrub and drain grooming tools and buckets or mix up feed mashes. The entire sink area can be hosed down.

There is an infrared heater over the wash rack for bathing horses during cooler temps.

We mounted plastic-coated wire wall racks for shampoos, sponges, and other bathing tools on the wall where the supplies will be handy.

Layout of Cherry Hill's barn with four stalls.

Learn about barn design and materials in the DVD, Your Horse Barn.

2007 Cherry Hill, all rights reserved.




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