Tips to Keep Your Horse Well Hydrated

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Keeping your horse well hydrated is vital to his health, especially during hot weather or when your horse is training hard. There are a number of ways to keep your horse drinking; here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Keep Water Accessible

It’s important for your horse to have continuous access to water. Make sure that water is always available to your horse by keeping buckets and water troughs filled. Some owners prefer to install automatic waterers to continuously provide water. If you do install automatic waterers, then be sure to check them at least once a day to verify that they are working properly.

You’ll also want to consider where you locate your horse’s water sources. Generally, it’s best to have water near the areas where your horse eats, since he may take a drink as he’s eating his hay or grain. If you’re providing water to a horse in a pasture, then make sure that he can access the water trough without other horses bothering him. Sometimes herd leaders try to keep other horses away from the water trough, so you may need to put multiple troughs in the pasture to avoid this issue.

Make Water Appealing

Warm, dirty water isn’t appealing to horses. Instead, clean your horse’s water buckets on a daily basis and refill them with cool water. Be sure to also thoroughly scrub water troughs, since algae can quickly grow during the summer months. It helps to locate a trough in a shaded area, since sun promotes algae growth.

You can also add substances like Gatorade or apple juice to your horse’s water to make it more appealing. This can help when you’re in a new location and the water tastes differently to your horse.

Water Down Grain

To get even more water into your horse, consider watering down his grain. Add enough water to his grain so that the grain is loose and soupy. While your horse might not feel like drinking, he’ll probably be willing to eat the mixture and will ingest more water as he does.

Provide a Salt Lick

Consider giving your horse a salt lick near his water dish. It’s important for horses to maintain a proper level of salt in their bodies, and licking salt will also make your horse thirsty.

If you have concerns about your horse’s drinking habits, be sure to consult with your vet. Most horses will drink sufficiently if they’re provided with plenty of clean, appealing water.

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