Tuesday Tip – Drink Water!

My Tuesday tip today is – Drink more water! Did you know that we should be drinking about a gallon of water a day!? That is a lot of water. (and a lot of trips to the bathroom…) And some days it can seem very difficult to drink that much. But I will admit that I feel less hungry since I started being sure to drink a gallon of water a day.

Speaking of drinking more water, did you know that if you offer your horses heated/warmed water in the winter (if it’s cold where you are in the winter!) they will drink more? And if they have access to fresh, running water they will choose that over the heated water, but will drink less often and will not consume as much water.

Water consumption is important all the time but especially in the winter when most horses are eating hay as the major part of their diet. The hay is very dry and if they aren’t drinking enough they can wind up with impaction colic.

I always have a heater in my water troughs, but this year since I only have the two small ponies I decided to get a smaller heated muck bucket. Whenever I plug in the caged, immersible heaters, my electric meter starts running double time and my electric bill sky rockets. Someone told me they didn’t notice that much of a change in their power bill with the muck bucket. That has been true for me too!

The other day I put my hand in the bucket to snag out a small amount of hay and noticed that the water is warm to the touch! I never had the caged heaters cause the water to be as warm as the water is in the muck bucket. Though to be fair it takes quite a bit to warm up 100 gallons of water when it’s below zero outside. Last year I had to have TWO caged heaters in the trough and even then I had ice across the top of the trough and the ponies had to break it to drink during the night.

With the heated much bucket the ponies are drinking about 10 gallons a day, I have to top off the muck bucket with 2, 5 gallon buckets of water once a day. So I know they are drinking well. Though I will admit that I’m not 100% sure how much it is recommended a small pony drink. Both of their manure is well formed and not dry and they both pee quite a bit, if the sawdust in their shed is any indication!

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip – Drink Water!

  1. Sallie Wickens says:

    Hey Mindy! Great post! In order to supplement water usage during cold weather, I often give my ponies “hay soup” – a mixture of compacted Alfalfa/Timothy sold as Hydro Hay and warm water. I also put loose sea salt in their food to encourage them to drink. They have free choice water in their pasture during the day and I use insulated water buckets when they’re in their stall/turnout at night. This keeps the water at room temp. When the weather goes below 30 degrees, I also put a piece of 1 1/2 insulation cut in a circle to fit the bucket to keep the water from freezing.

  2. JanieAmdal says:

    Mindy thanks for this information! And Sallie, thanks for the tip. Water is so critically important — people need to be as aware of hydration as our horses — such an important topic to address, thanks.

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