The summer months are on the horizon and more than ever, keeping your horse hydrated, is important to reduce the risk of dangerous situations like colic as temperatures begin to rise.
According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, “an adult horse’s body is composed of roughly 70% water.” On an average 1,100 pound horse, that’s about 770 pounds of water!
Hydrated horses can better maintain their body condition, have better digestive health and are generally happier and healthier. While you can lead a horse to water, you can’t make him drink it, so here are some simple steps you can take to help encourage your horse to drink water this summer:
- Keep Clean, Fresh Water Always– As humans, we wouldn’t want to drink out of dirty, used cup. Horses (and most animals for that matter!) are similar. They can become picky when it comes to drinking, so ensuring water troughs are clean, scrubbed and filled with fresh water is key.
- Keep Water Troughs Full– In winter months your horse will likely drink less than he would in the summer months. Water intake can double due to the warm, humid weather so ensuring there is an adequate supply of water is a must. The same goes for working horses or show horses that are likely working harder where the risk of dehydration is higher.
- Keep the Temperature Just Right– Remember we mentioned horses can be picky when choosing to drink from a dirty or soiled trough? The same goes for the temperature of the water. Optimal temperature to encourage your horse to drink is between 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ensure Proper Sodium Intake– Sodium intake is a critical part of a horse’s diet as it is one of the key nutrients that helps with hydration balance. If your horse is not getting enough salt either in their feed or through an alternate option such as a salt block, over time they will start to become dehydrated leading to other complications such as loss of appetite and weight loss.
- Offer Redmond Rein Water– A great option to consider encouraging hydration with your horse is to offer Redmond Rein Water. This is a perfect blend of essential trace minerals and electrolytes that masks the alkaline taste of treated water, making drinking water more enjoyable for your horse. Just stir in one pack of the all-natural powder additive into a four-gallon bucket of water. At the same time, provide fresh water for your horse and let your horse choose. Always check with your Veterinarian before offering new products to your horse and read the package labeling for proper feeding instructions.