Just like with people clean, fresh water is imperative for the health and well-being of our horses.
The #1 nutrient our horses need to survive is clean, fresh water!
It doesn’t matter if the temperature outside is 70 degrees, -20 degrees, or hitting triple digits, horses should ALWAYS have access to clean, fresh water.
Our motto here at Hot Pocket Ranch is, if we won't drink it, they’re not going to drink it.
According to EquiMed “A horse’s body contains 65 to 76 percent water."
Water is essential for all metabolic activities and for a number of vital physiological processes including utilization and digestion of nutrients, regulation of body temperature, muscle contraction strength, joint lubrication, and waste elimination.
A typical horse weighing 1,000 to 1,200 pounds needs 8 to 10 gallons of clean, fresh water per day for maintenance. If the horse is being strenuously exercised, if it’s hot and/or humid out, if they’re sweating, their water intake will increase up to 3 times more per day.
If you have a lactating mare producing milk for her foal, her water needs are at least 75% more per day. And, if it’s hot out, she’ll need even more water!"
Clean, fresh water should be available to your horses at ALL times; day and night, 24/7, 365 days a year.
The lack of clean, fresh water can contribute to poor health, including impactions leading to colic and dehydration which can be deadly.
The subject of horses and clean, fresh water is a major trigger point for me.
Years ago I volunteered at a horse rescue. The staff horse manager went on vacation leaving a resident of the property in charge of filling and cleaning water tubs while she was out of town for the weekend. The resident forgot to water two of the horses. When I arrived at the rescue, after the weekend, I discovered their empty water tub.
One horse survived the over sight, the other did not. It was a mistake, but clearly a deadly one. This is how I found their water bucket when I returned after the weekend.
I can not stress enough the importance of making sure, whether you’re heading off to work, out to run errands, heading in from the barn after the evening feeding or taking off on vacation, you MUST make sure your horses ALWAYS have access to clean, fresh water!
I know I’m preaching, but I’ve earned the right having witnessed the horror that horse went through before it passed because of dehydration from a horrible mistake!
And, if you live where it snows, snow is not an acceptable form of water for your horses.
Horses do not like cold water, icy water, or frozen water. When it’s cold they will not drink. And they surely can not eat enough snow to fulfill their needed daily water intake.
During the winter months we give our horses warm water.
You can use insulated buckets, heated buckets, or our favorite, insulated water bucket cover.
The SmartPak Insulated Water Bucket Cover is a great option for keeping your horse's water at a comfortable drinking temperature throughout the winter without electricity!
Our waters never freeze and they keep the horses drinking all winter long!
We refill their water buckets 3 times a day with warm water that we truck down from the house. Inconvenient? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely!
Research has shown that most horses prefer water that ranges between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do you like to drink hot water on a hot day, or icy water on a freezing day? Yeah, neither do our horses! So keep that in mind when watering your horses.
Lastly, just as not having access to clean, fresh water is extremely dangerous to your horse’s well being, so is soiled water.
It’s imperative to check your horse's water intake throughout the day and to make sure their water containers are clean and fresh.
This is a dirty water bucket from a local horse boarding facility.
Is this acceptable to you?
Allowing horses to have access to clean, fresh, water year-around, is extremely important for properly maintaining the health and well-being of our beloved horses!
Got water? Got clean, fresh water? You bet we do!
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