I have researched off and on, the idea of getting a horse vacuum. The most popular model amongst horse owners is this one:
So after the free shipping offered for the holidays, my gift card, and my rebate by shopping via ebates, I got a brand new 3 hp shop vac for about $20.00.
I started with Ducky. There wasn't even a real introduction. I just parked the Vacmaster next to the crossties and tried to ignore it. Ducky snorted at it the whole time I groomed him. I'm not sure I'll ever get to try it on him... Time will tell!
Next up was Jampy. I knew he had tolerated the 5.5 hp so I figured he'd be ok with this more suitable version. He too, snorted and stared at it, but he did allow me to turn it on AND vacuum him! WIN! He didn't love it, but I think was more afraid of the hose and the cord than he was of the actual sucking. That I think he actually liked. And he looked soooo shiny and handsome after grooming and vacuuming:
Last up was Rio. I really had no idea if this was going to be ok to him or not. He can be really skittish, but in his old man, mildly handicapped state, he puts up with a lot more than he used to. I let him just see it parked next to the grooming stall while I took off his blanket and swept up the aisle some. And then I showed it to him while it was off. He snorted and looked mildly appalled, but seemed ok. Then I turned it on, which was totally fine. He did think it was pretty uncool when I approached him with the hose however! Eyes bugged, he backed away, but he eventually let it touch him. And then he was all, "hey, that's kinda nice!" Success! He too looked shiny and amazing after grooming and vacuuming:
So for any of my equine friends on a budget, if you're looking for an alternative to the pricey horse vac's out there, try a 3 hp shop vac. They are readily available at places like Lowes, Home Depot, or Sears, and are pretty affordable. I splurged a little since I had the gift card, but I did see some available in the under $50 range. Just make sure to take your time, as the horses thing R2D2 is pretty scary!