Oh the wash stall. No anything but the wash stall! Its really not that bad but hey it ain’t that good. At my barn the wash stall is the hub of activity. It’s used for vet visits, farrier visits, tacking up and it kinda feels like the kitchen at a dinner party, the place where everyone ends up and congregates. It also has a strange echo to it. Horses cant tell where the nosies are coming from and there is no real eye line to any other horses while they are standing in the wash stall. Some do well in it, others… do not. My filly is none to fond of the wash stall. She will go in, but shes fidgety and fussy, she will either align herself to one wall or the other, shes not comfortable in there and lets me know that.
Unfortunately when she came up lame with the abscess I had only had her with me for a few days so when she was fussy in the wash stall I chalked it up to the sore hoof and all the wrapping and unwrapping. Yeah well that may have been part of it but really she just doesn’t feel comfortable in the wash stall. I have since started doing all I could with her in the isles (grooming, tacking up etc) she’s much happier, she stands like a champ in the cross ties in the isle and besides really not liking the girth tacking her up is easy peasy. As long as we are in the isle.
I decided to try to make the wash stall a happy place for her, currently its a place full of treats and neck scratches and lots of praise and love. We go in, cross tie and then I make it a fun, tasty treat kinda place and then we leave. So far its working, so the other day when it was unseasonably warm out here on the other side of the earth (I mean the east coast) after our ride I decided to wash her down, in the actual wash stall. I of course was apprehensive. We un tacked in the isle and then in the wash stall we went and I broke out the hose. Warm water at first on her feets and she took it it well then as I slowly cooled down the water I began to rinse her down and hot damn if she wasn’t happy about her wash down. I gave her the hose to drink out of and she eagerly accepted it, slurping down the cool water and playing with the water with her ever wandering lips. I swear she was trying to blow bubbles! When I took the hose away to continue her rinse off she would start to paw the ground when she wanted the hose back to her face for more horse water amusement time. She was loving the water and having a good old time in the wash stall and I was tickled freaking pink that my plan was starting to work. Its all about the little victories.