Did you know that keeping your horse properly hydrated during the summer months may require more than simply providing fresh, clean water at a cool temperature? In fact, you may need to provide your horse with some additional supplements and assistance in order to ensure it stays hydrated during the hot Arizona summer. Here are a couple additional steps that you may need to take in order to keep your horse properly hydrated this summer.
Your horse’s number one way to stay cool in the summer is to sweat. Unfortunately, sweating results in the loss of important electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and chloride. If your horse loses too many electrolytes, it may develop muscle cramps, colic and fatigue. By adding supplements to your horse’s feed or water, or by administering pastes to the back of the tongue, you can help your horse recover from the loss of these electrolytes.
Offering salt for your horse will also help with preventing dehydration. Your horse’s diet should include at least 1 to 2 ounces of salt each day. If your horse is sweating a great deal, more salt may be necessary. Providing a salt block is the most common way to help get more salt into your horse’s diet. Most experts recommend starting with a plain white salt block rather than a mineralized salt block, as the minerals often have a bitter taste that some horses do not enjoy. You may also consider offering loose salt. Your horse will limit its consumption to the amount that it needs.
Keeping your horse properly hydrated is a year-round concern, but it is an even greater concern during the summer months in Arizona. The most basic way you can ensure your horse stays hydrated is to make sure the water meets your horse’s needs. To that end, here is a look at a few of the steps you should take with your horse’s water to help ensure it gets enough to drink and remains properly hydrated.
Keep it Clean
Keeping the water clean should be your number one priority as a horse owner. If the water contains mud, algae, waste matter or other debris, your horse is not likely to drink it. To ensure your water is clean, clean the trough on a regular basis and refill the water regularly.
Maintain the Right Temperature
It is very easy for your horse’s water to become far too hot during the summer months in Arizona. Therefore, you should check the water temperature regularly. Ideally, the water temperature should be between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. While it may be difficult to keep the temperatures this low during the summer, you should still change out the water for cooler water if it starts to become too hot.
Adding some flavor to your horse’s water can also help to encourage it to drink. Apple juice, peppermint oil and even Gatorade are all flavoring options that you may want to consider.
With the heat of summer upon us, finding ways to provide fresh, clean water to your horse on a consistent basis is essential. This is particularly important in Arizona where temperatures can reach deadly highs during the summer months. Fortunately, there are several ways for you provide fresh water for your horse. Here is a look at a couple of your options.
Provide Fresh Buckets
Perhaps the most basic way to provide fresh water to your horse is to fill buckets of water regularly. Buckets are simple to use and easy to clean. They can, however, become quite heavy to carry on a regular basis and they can be easily spilled if not safely secured. They also have a tendency to heat up quickly, which means you may need to change the buckets a few times per day in order to ensure the water is clean and fresh.
Automatic waterers are a more convenient method for providing water to your horses. Used both indoors or in the pasture, automatic waterers should be cleaned and refilled regularly in order to prevent bacterial formation. Leaves and other debris should be removed daily, while the containers themselves should be scrubbed every week to prevent algae build up. You may also need to teach your horse how to use the automatic waterer properly.
Keeping your horse’s water fresh and clean can be a challenge, especially during the dry and hot summer months in Arizona. Clearly, ensuring your horse’s water is both fresh and clean is an essential component to keeping your horse hydrated and healthy. While troughs and automatic waterers can help to keep the amount of water in ample supply, there are a few steps you should take to ensure it remains clean for your horse to consume and enjoy.
If you have a trough, you may need to clean it at least once per week during the summer in order to keep it clean. This process includes removing all insects, chaff, leaves and other debris that may have accumulated in the water. You may also need to periodically scrub your containers with a bristle brush and vinegar in order to remove all stuck-on grime and slime. This is especially important of algae has started to grow on the container in which the water is kept. After cleaning with vinegar, be sure to rinse the container thoroughly before refilling it with water.
Keep in mind that algal growth is particularly problematic in the summer months. In addition, standing water serves as the ideal place for mosquito larvae to be grow. Keep your horse healthy while also keeping your mosquito levels down by frequently changing and cleaning your water to keep it fresh.
Providing fresh water is an essential part of caring for your horse, but water is even more important in the summer months in Arizona. After all, the extremely high temperatures during the summer are potentially deadly to your horse. No matter the season, fresh water should be available to your horse at all times. The amount of water that your horse requires depends on a number of factors. These include:
- Air Temperature
- Type of Feed
- General Health of the Horse
- Size of the Horse
If you have a horse who is pregnant or who is a nursing mare, the amount of water necessary will also be increased.
To ensure your horse receives enough water, you may need to install automatic waterers in the stables. At the very minimum, buckets of water should be provided for your horse. While buckets are easier to clean than an automatic waterer, they are heavier to carry and require more physical labor to maintain. In addition, they are easy to spill and more difficult to properly secure.
Of course, natural water sources – such as a spring-fed pond or a stream – within the pasture can also be beneficial. But, since these are not resources that are always easily available in Arizona, developing an effective watering system is important to ensure your horse remains hydrated and healthy.
With hot Arizona weather right around the corner, it is even more important than usual to ensure your horse is receiving a constant supply of fresh water. Understanding how much water your horse needs and determining how to get it to your horse is an essential part of proper horse care.
Determining Water Needs
How much water your horse needs will be affected by a number of different factors, including air temperature, workload and the type of food your horse is eating. The amount of water your horse needs can also be impacted by the size of your horse and its health, including whether or not it is pregnant or a nursing mare. Your horse will also need to drink more if it has been working hard or sweating. In addition, those horses that feed primarily on hay will require more water than those who eat other types of feed. Therefore, it is important to simply ensure there is fresh water available at all times for your horse to drink. Read More