In Volume 4 of the Stable Management Extra you can learn some tips and tricks to help keep your horse hydrated, no matter the time of year or location. Keeping track of your horse’s water intake helps ensure that your strategies to improve water intake are working. Above all, make sure your horse has a steady supply of good, clean, ice-free water at all times.
One tips is that if you know that a cold spell is imminent, start increasing your horse’s hay a bit in advance of a storm. This should stimulate more water intake before the temperature drops.
Studies have demonstrated a 40% greater water intake when water is warm compared to water near ambient freezing temperatures.
Following exercise, or during protracted periods of exercise, supplement horses with one to two ounces of oral electrolytes (use products that are mostly salt and not laced with sugars). Salt can be added to food or administered via a syringe, and salt licks or free-choice loose salt should be available at all times.
A study looked at the use of different colored water buckets, finding that horses have a preference for drinking from turquoise or light blue-colored buckets compared to darker tones of green, yellow or red.
Brought to you by Ritchie—Fresh Water for Life