You can lead a horse to water… but he prefers it warm, clean and with a side of hay!
Horses need to drink anywhere from 6 to 12 gallons of water daily to maintain proper hydration. Inadequate water consumption can result in dehydration, decreased appetite, poor performance and potentially lead to colic.
Tips to encourage ample water intake:
– Use a well-grounded submersible water heater or heated buckets to keep ice from forming in troughs and buckets, as horses are more inclined to drink water that is slightly warm in the winter and their water consumption typically increases if water is kept de-iced.
– Keep water buckets in close proximity to feed bucket and hay to allow for convenient water access while eating
– If needed, feed hay pellets, roughage chunks, or beet pulp soaked in lukewarm water
– Provide free-choice access to a trace mineral salt block or supplement your horse’s feed with a small amount of salt, as this will encourage water consumption