What’s Wrong With This Photo?

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Over the years, I have come across many less than ideal conditions for the health and safety of horses in barns. So I thought we would have a little fun with our readers. See the photo below of a wash stall in a barn that I visited a few years ago. Can you identify the potential hazards in the photo? To give you a hint and get you started there are at least 20 hazards. Click on the image to see a larger version, and send me your list of all those you can find.

Our goal at Blackburn Architects has always been to create an environment that promotes a safe and healthy environment for the horse.  From selecting flooring materials that are comfortable for a horse to eliminating potentially dangerous conditions such as sharp edges, trip hazards, and excess clutter, we are always looking at ways to make the equine spaces function as safely as possible for the horse and the handler.

I have lots of photos of similar unsafe conditions and we will periodically post them for your viewing entertainment. Stay tuned for more in the weeks to come.


Posted in Equestrian News

4 responses to “What’s Wrong With This Photo?”

  1. Angie says:

    Where to begin? How about all the miscellaneous items on the ground, with no place to go? (Hazard cones about sums it up!)

  2. Annemarie Johnson says:

    1) Ladder to loft at rear of one washrack.
    2) Open area between the washracks
    3) bottle of bleach on floor in washrack
    4) wooden brush box lying in front of washrack
    5) Leather halter lying in front of washrack
    6) Hose not wrapped up and away from horses feet
    7) What looks to be long 4×4’s w/chain attached to crosstie horses. If horse pulls back/forward could actually pull down the middle 4×4.
    8) Manure basket at back of washrack for horse to step into
    9) Rubber mats not sufficient to cover entire area so they slip if the horses get to moving around too much.
    10) I think the washracks have too much room (width) for a panicky horse to get their butts turned around and out of the washracks and tangled in the crossties.
    11) Lead ropes on the floor outside the washrack.
    12) Blankets/sheets folded up where they can get wet and thus mildew if left in these areas for too long.
    13) The washracks have not been properly cleaned at each use – manure still in washrack
    14) Broom and shovel hanging from nail on wall in a bad place for horse to back into and get scared not to mention if they are dirty!
    15) Long chains hanging down used for crosstying horses. There has to be a better system for crosstying horse than chains. Especially those that are so long and dangle down where horse can get tangled.
    16) Is that a water heater I see behind and above the wash rack?
    17) Blue bucket left so horse can get foot caught in it between washracks
    18) Washracks don’t appear very deep even though there is a lot of room in between them. Horses head is out in aisleway when crosstied.
    19) 5 gallon blue bucket to the front of back washrack on the floor.
    20) Generally messy and not very inviting to put my horse in there. I would hesitate greatly in putting my horse in this wash area. I’ve been to temporary barn and show washracks that I would rather put my horse into than this one!
    21) Concrete floors!!! Too smooth for a wet horse coming out of the washrack and slip especially if they have shoes on! Pavers would be better bet or at least rubber mats throughout this area.

    • Annemarie,

      Very good. I appreciate your extensive list and hope others enjoy searching to find if there are any others.

      There are some basic principles of good housekeeping that have not been observed here that are fairly obvious but there are some design issues that should also be avoided. I like the fact you identified the excessive width of the stall, no wall between the two stalls and the unbraced column between the racks. And of course, the ladder in the back corner screams HAZARD!

      Thanks for your feedback. Hope you enjoyed this little puzzle. I will post others in the future.


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