Waterboy Hot Wash – you need this in your life…
Mud… it’s something that us horse owners have to learn to live with. And as much as us we dislike the stuff, our horses love it in equal proportions.
Mine seem to set themselves a daily challenge of caking as much mud as they possibly can over as large a surface area of their bodies as possible. While full neck turnout rugs help to minimise the damage (and as I’m loath to go down the full body slinky suit route) nothing can prevent the mud-caked faces, dreadlocked manes and plastered legs that greet us when we go to bring the beasts in….
So grooming for both daily work and shows can be something of a nightmare. For me, time pressures mean that grooming for daily work involves a 2-minute lick with a body brush. Well, it would if said horse’s face didn’t have an inch-thick layer of mud plastered over it. And while I wouldn’t be averse to letting said horse suffer some mild discomfort from bridle contact with a muddy area, the filth left on the bridle and the risk of rubbing and ensuing required nursing care makes attempting to knock the worst of the mud off the bridled areas a necessary evil.
Grooming for shows in the winter months involves either attacking horse frantically with a dandy brush until he would take no more and then a rushed, frozen hose of the rest of the offending areas. Or, if it were particularly cold (or I was feeling particularly generous), buckets of warm water would be carried from the house to the yard which, let’s face it, is a major pain in the arse!
Enter the Waterboy Hot Wash system.
Having used the Waterboy for a while now, my main conclusion on this product is why the hell did I wait this long to get one?!
The Waterboy arrived by courier in what I thought was a surprisingly compact box. On unpacking I realised it didn’t come with the gas cylinder required to power it, which was a total oversight on my part and meant I would have to wait another day or two to fire it up and give it a go!
As we’d opted for the outdoor Hot Wash system, the original plan had been to locate it out on the yard beside the tap. But in talking to the team at Waterboy they recommended locating it just inside a stable, if we had one to spare. The reason for this is longevity, which makes perfect sense, particularly with the risk of winter cold snaps and my history of forgetting to empty such outdoor water appliances…. This advice also proved doubly beneficial as in planning for the best location we realised there was a spare stable full of junk that could be relatively easily cleared and used henceforth as a wash bay!
Gas cylinder acquired, Waterboy unpacked and we set about to installation. If I’m honest, I didn’t find the instructions all that easy to follow. But then, I’m a female with as much talent for DIY as a chimp wearing boxing gloves. Fortunately, husband was willing and able to be roped in to help and between us we had the system fixed in the stable (just 3 easy screws), connected to the gas and hooked up to the water (all couplings provided).
We live in an area was relatively poor water pressure, so I had been warned by Waterboy that the pressure may be inadequate for the system to work properly. We turned on the tap, fired up the gas, turned on the hot hose and held our breath. Within a few seconds the water flowed toasty warm – Magic!!
Next step was to put it to the test with the equine population, so enter the first ‘victim’. In spite of seeming extremely frustrated by the concept of cross ties (he’s horse with a puppy-like desire to chew any rope within sight), he stood quietly as the hose approached. This lad has a fettish for mud baths that is exceeded only by his love of carrots and a blatant dislike of being sprayed with a cold hose (who’d blame him?!), so he was always going to be a good test subject.
He was a little surprised by the sound of the gas kicking in, but as soon as the warm water started to flow he visibly relaxed and started to enjoy himself. Previously, his warm water sponge baths have been accompanied by much haste, a temperamental owner and much standing around in the cold as more buckets of hot water were fetched. But with instant hot water…on demand…and from a hose, the whole washing / de-mud monster-ing experience was quick, easy and rather enjoyable – for both horse and groom I think! Horse stood immobile, relishing our recent entry into the civilised world and all offending areas were washed and cleaned within a matter of 10 minutes. No frozen fingers, no resentful tail-swishing and no temper tantrums – from either horse or groomer.
The experience with the young horse has also been extremely positive. As he’s not had to endure the cold water options as his brother has over the last 3 years, he doesn’t yet have the same learnt objection to cold water hosing and now, lucky for him, he’ll never have to.
I honestly can’t recommend this product highly enough. There was even a day when I had cleaned horsey for a training session and had something else to go to 1 day later. In days past, I would probably have left him in to save having to go through the whole rigmarole again. But not now – horse turned out, got his rolling-fix, brought back in and re-washed as required. Simple as that – wash, rinse, repeat!
I know there are some posts on the net with details of how to make your own warm horse wash and I did read details with interest, including being vaguely intrigued by the concept of fixing it to a pallet truck to allow for a fully mobile option. But above referenced limited DIY skills, my new found love of having a wash stable and my preference for buying a product that comes with excellent customer support and a 12-month warranty was far, far preferable for me.
So in summing up, I love, love, LOVE my Waterboy Hot Wash and can only ask… what are you waiting for? Put it on your Christmas list TODAY!!
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