Let’s run through some of the most common questions you should be asking before deciding on the right hot wash for your equine buddy.
Decide Between Portable or FixedDo you need to have a mobile unit? Or will a wall fitted shower be a better fit for you?
Well, it all depends on whether you actually need a mobile unit. For the keen rider who enjoys hacking out daily, and schooling in the arena at home occasionally - then you might find that a fixed unit works just fine for you.
If you’re the owner of a large equestrian facility, then you might find that a portable unit might be better, that way you don’t need to move horses from their barns into one wash area every time that they need a quick warm rinse. Instead, just roll this from stable block to stable block as you go!
And for the avid competitor, you’ve likely had to wait in that very long queue of horses needing a wash at a showground - they never seem to have enough wash racks do they?!
Well, now you can avoid that waste of time and the risk of your horse getting a chill while waiting in line by just tying them to your horsebox or trailer and washing them off immediately after riding!
Indoor or Outdoor?Many people don’t realise that gas-powered portable showers are only suitable for outdoor use; they can be used indoors, but this will have to be fitted as permanent fixtures as you’ll have to build a vent for fumes to be released.
Electric showers can easily be used indoors, either as a permanent fixture - or as mobile units by attaching to a trolley and merely plugging in when you’re ready to bathe your horse.
If your yard happens to have a covered area with open walls, this is the ideal wash zone, as you’ll be somewhat protected from the elements and not have to worry about the logistics of either indoor or outdoor - as you’ll be a bit of both!
In my experience, washing indoors - unless in a wash rack can be dangerous during a cold UK winter as the water on the floor may turn to ice unless you also happen to have a wash rack/solarium.
Top Tip - it’s incredibly easy to make your own solarium to dry your horses off after a bath! Ideal for older horses or those with preexisting injuries that become stiff when cold. Go on, treat your horse like the king he is with a homemade solarium!
Do I Need a Trolley?This entirely depends on whether you opt for a permanent or portable unit. For those of you who would like to have portable horse shower - then yes! You’ll need a trolley to move your washer from A to B.
Some horse owners utilise a combination method, placing the shower on a fixed bracket during the offseason, and then fitting to a trolley during show season to quickly bring in the horsebox or car!
Hot shower trolleys are usually incredibly lightweight, similar in construction to tack trolleys, they will ordinarily have a bracket at the top to mount the shower to, and then have room for a gas canister at the base of the trolley.
Top Tip - Most trolleys are designed for specific gas canister sizes, and buying a different size could be dangerous as your gas bottle won’t be secure while in use.
Do I Use a Tank or Mains Water?The majority of the time showers for horses are designed to be connected to mains water; this is due to the volume of water that it generally takes to wash an animal that’s pretty close to the size of a Hippo!
Although - it is sometimes possible to use barrels of water with a water pump if you don’t have mains water connectivity at your yard.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a tap right by your wash area, or while at a horse show as most powered showers attach to a hose making it far easier to wash your horse entirely wherever you want!
Top Tip - If you’re heading to a show, it’s worth bringing your hose pipe with you just in case there isn’t one available at the equestrian facility that you’re visiting.
What About If I Have Multiple Horses?When you’re looking through the numerous options of horses showers for sale, the number of equines you have in your care shouldn’t make a massive difference to your decision.
But I would say that it's important to look for a product with a warranty - not only in case it breaks, but I have always found that companies who provide guarantees - do so as they’re confident in the quality of their products!
What About When I Want to Cold Wash?
On a gloriously hot day, you’ll likely want to give the horses a little relief by washing them off with a cold wash, well before you get the hosepipe out, you’ll be pleased to hear that most powered horse showers work in a very similar way to the human variety.
Meaning that you can adjust the temperature from cold to hot and anything in between! Not to mention, you get the added benefit of an attached shower head which not only provides the extra pressure to get all of the grease and grime off of your horse's skin and coat.
But it also means that you can stand a little further back and not get soaked when it’s supposed to be your horse getting a wash, not you!