Making sure that your horses are eating and drinking the right things plays a large factor in their overall health. Just like many other animals, horses love to eat. If you notice that your horse has seemed to have lost their appetite, you may want to contact your local vet. Whenever possible, it’s also important to pay attention to how much your horse is drinking. A sharp decline in water intake should never be ignored. Check first to make sure the water supply is clean and fit to drink. Low water intake will rapidly lead to problems like dehydration and impaction on top of whatever else is making the horse not drink. If you live in certain areas of the country, like Texas, it may also be a good idea to research the quality of your local water. Boerne Water Softener Pros can help determine the quality of your water and install water filtration systems if needed.
While your horse may be able to tolerate a lack of water for extended periods, dehydration from water restriction can quickly become dangerous. Diet certainly can affect water consumption. If your horse grazes lush pasture grasses, which are high in moisture, it will likely drink less water than those faced with a pile of hay. Additionally, horses that consume all-hay diets drink more water than those fed mixed hay-grain diets. The easiest way to encourage your horse to drink more water is to provide he or she with fresh, clean, palatable water at all times.
Although water is necessary for survival and good health, it is possible for horses to drink too much water. Excessive water intake can cause kidney problems as they eliminate the excess water and can also dilute the electrolytes in the horse’s body—which inhibits his or her ability to regulate temperature. Keep track of water consumption as best as you can, and alert a veterinarian if your horse seems to drink little or no water, or even excessive amounts of water.
Like humans, how long it takes for a horse to become dehydrated varies. This timing can be based on age, diet, work load, pregnancy, lactation, and many other factors. Depending on environmental conditions and work intensity, exercising horses may require more water than others. Seasons can also make an difference in your horse’s water consumption. It may be different in the winter than in the summer. In the summer, we typically assume horses need more water because it’s hot and they’re sweating frequently. The truth is that a horse on summer pasture may not drink as much water as a horse eating hay, hay cubes or other dried forage in the winter. That’s because grass naturally has high water content.
When traveling with your horse, be sure to make arrangements to give your horse water every two to three hours. When taking your horse for a long trail ride, it’s also important to offer your horse water as frequently as possible. A horse should be allowed to drink as much as he or she wants anytime after performing an intense exercise amount.by