Water is an essential, but often overlooked nutrient. Horses need an average of 5-10 gallons of fresh, clean water a day in order to stay healthy. As such, ensuring that your horse always has easy access to water is an absolute must.
In our previous blog, 4 Interesting Facts About Horse Water Consumption, we talked about how much horses typically need in a day, how dehydration can be fatal, how horses can drink too much water, and the best way to get your horse to drink enough water. Click on over there to learn more about each of those points.
If you’ve already read that blog or you already know about each of those facts, continue reading for 4 more interesting facts about horse water consumption.
#1. Horse Water Consumption Varies By The Day
Just like with humans, horses don’t drink the same amount of water each day. It varies depending on what they ate, how active they were, what the weather was like, and more. Horses typically drink less on days when they are traveling or at shows. As such, it can be tricky to monitor horse water consumption.
Keep an eye out for any signs of dehydration. Some of the signs to watch out for include:
- Skin tenting. This is when you pinch or pull your horse’s skin, and it takes a few seconds to go back to normal. If your horse is hydrated, it should go back to normal right away.
- Your horse’s gums don’t go back to pink when you press on them. If your horse has deep red gums, you will want to call your vet.
- White or purple spots on mucous membranes.
- Dull, dry eyes.
- High heart rate.
- Loss of appetite.
- Brown urine.
- And more.
Dehydration can be incredibly serious. You can offer your horse water and give them a bath to cool them down. Your vet can do IV treatments to rehydrate your horse if needed.
#2. Diet Impacts Horse Water Consumption
What your horse eats will affect their water consumption. If you have a horse out in a lush, green pasture, they probably won’t be looking for water as frequently, due to the moisture content of the grass. However, if your horse eats a drier diet, like all hay, they will likely end up eating more.
Remember here too that the more your horse eats, the more water it needs in order to digest properly. For instance, your active jumper or your pregnant mare will need more water since they are likely eating more than other horses that aren’t burning as many calories.
#3. Active Horses Need More Water Than Pasture Pets
This is especially true if your active horse sweats when you work them. While pasture pets can get water from fresh grass and aren’t very active, horses that you are working need electrolytes. Horse water consumption in a day is directly related to how much water they lose in a day, as from sweat, urine, manure, lactation, and respiration.
It can be challenging to ensure that your horse is drinking enough at shows, since horses are so picky about the water that they drink. Check out our previous blog post, 6 Reasons Why your Horse Isn’t Drinking Water, for tips on what to do. You can also consult with your vet for personalized advice.
#4. Environment And Weather Play A Role
As previously mentioned, horses in fresh pastures may need less water due to the water content in the grass. However, they may need more if out in a dry turnout, or one where the grass is dry.
The temperature of the water itself greatly influences horse water consumption. Horses drink more water when it’s at a warmer temperature, such as between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Many horses decrease their water intake drastically when the weather changes suddenly and temperatures drop, even if the water is fresh, due to how cold the water has become.
Geriatric horses are more susceptible to dehydration due to icy water irritating their teeth.
Make Drinking Enough Water Easier For Your Horse – And You!
Bar Bar A provides top-of-the-line automatic horse waterers throughout the United States. Our waterers are connected right to your water line, so there’s no need to worry about the water freezing in the winter. They provide your horse with fresh, clean, temperate water on demand, making it easier for your horse to drink as much as it needs, when it needs. No need to worry about horse water consumption being affected by your waterers with us.
Contact us today to learn more about our automatic horse waterers and how they can help with horse water consumption.