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How to Lead a Horse to Water and Drink
 By Saferaphus   •   12th Jan 2017   •   412 views   •   0 comments
How to Lead a Horse to Water and Drink

There is a grain of truth in many old sayings. But is it true you can lead a horse to water, but you canít make it drink? Well, maybe partly. Itís hard to make a 1000lb animal do something it flatly refuses to do. But while you may not be able to force a horse that doesnít want to drink to drain a bucket of water, there are a few things you can do to encourage it. It is very important for your horseís health to drink water. The average riding horse should be drinking about 4 1/2 gallons of water a day.

Around home, your horse might decide it doesnít want to drink because the water is too frigid or too warm. Adjusting the water temperature, sometimes by only a few degrees, may encourage your horse to drink more. A while ago, there was a study that suggested that horses preferred tepid water. Since then, itís been found this wasnít exactly accurate. Your horse probably wonít appreciate lukewarm water any more than it will like icy chilled water.

Horses are sometimes fussy about water quality too. Algae, insect larvae, manure and floating chaff might be off-putting for your horse. So, cleaning out the water trough and emptying automatic waterers every now and then is very important.

But what if your horse doesnít drink when you are away from home? That can be a real problem, because if the horse is working hard, the weather is hot and the horse is stressed there is a danger of colic or other problems. Horses that are competing should be offered water frequently. Some people bring water from home, so it the taste is familiar.

Others teach their horses to drink flavored water. There are a few things that can be used for this such as drink mixes, honey or molasses, herbal or fruit tea bags or water flavorings especially made for horses. You have to get your horse used to these flavors well before the event. And, you have to make sure youíre not going to upset its digestive system with too much sugar or other substances. You might make the first few tastes quite strong, and then gradually reduce the amount of flavoring over the following days.

You can also encourage your horse to taste water by floating their favorite treats in it. Floating apple and carrot slices might make a horse dabble in the water and encourage it to drink up. You can also make their favorite feed into a wet porridge to encourage it to take in more moisture. Distance riders often feed their horses sloppy beet pulp for the energy and moisture.

Sloppy feed is also an option when your horse is ill, and may not be drinking enough. Soaked beet pulp, apple pomace or hay cubes can help get moisture into a horse that isnít drinking willingly. Talk to your vet about administering electrolytes as well. A severely dehydrated horse may need intravenous support.

There are other reasons why a horse wonít drink. Cracked teeth, ulcers and tingle voltage can make drinking an unpleasant experience for your horse. If your horse suddenly becomes fussy about drinking, any of these problems could be the culprit.

So while you may not be able to force your horse to drink, there are lots of things you can do to encourage it.
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