Keeping Your Horse Healthy This Summer Part 2: Providing Water
Perhaps the simplest and most important step you can take to keep your horse healthy during the summer is to ensure you are providing free and easy access to clean water throughout the day. But how much water is enough and how do you keep it clean?
How Much Water Should I Provide?
When an adult horse is at rest in a cool climate, it will easily drink 6 to 10 gallons of water per day. Therefore, in hot weather conditions, you will need to ensure your horse has access to far more water than this. This is particularly true if you are working your horse during the summer months. The type of feed you provide will also affect how much water your horse needs. Keep in mind that a horse’s stomach can hold between two to four gallons of fluid without becoming over distended, so there is essentially no concerns with the possibility of overwatering your horse. Rather, your horse should be able to enjoy cool, fresh water every few minutes if it so desires.
How Do I Keep the Water Clean?
The water that you provide to your horse should be both clean and cool. Ideally, it should be between 45 and 64 degrees at all times. Not only is this important for refreshing your horse, but it also helps to prevent algae and bacteria from growing. This means cleaning the water buckets and tanks frequently and refilling them with fresh water. You may also want to consider adding electrolytes to the water, though keep in mind that some horses do not like the taste of water with electrolytes added.