Horse Health

Keep it Clean

September 1, 2011

Horses perform better when drinking clean water.

Keep it clean to keep your horse healthy. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Just like people, horses do not like strange odors or funny tasting water.

Depending on the type of activity, the average horse drinks 10-12 gallons a day.

Did you know that water affects your horse’s fluid balance, temperature, exercise tolerance and ability to digest feed?

There are two primary concerns to keep in mind when you think about water for your horse.

First, make sure your horse has access to water at all times, except when you’re on the trail, of course!

Studies show that limiting water for just two hours can increase the chance for your horse to colic by 40 percent! So, avoid trips to the vet and late-night scares by always providing water.

If you’re confused about vaccinations, equine nutrition, first aid or anything else relating to horse health, then you need the “Your Horse’s Health” DVD collection.

Second, provide the cleanest water you possibly can. Would you want to drink icky dirty water? Your horse doesn’t either!

Depending on the size of your water tank, you should clean it out at least once a week, and more often if needed. Be aware of algae, old hay and dirt collecting in the trough.

Some horses like to drop hay in the water when they eat, and it can cause an odor to develop. Remember to keep it clean, and your horse will be happy and healthy.

Tips for Cleaning Tanks

Cleaning out your horse’s water trough can be fun! First gather the tools you will need for the project.

  • Scrub brush
  • Water hose
  • Pliers to unplug the drain

The first thing you need to do is to drain the old water from the tank. Some people don’t want to get the stall or pasture muddy, so you can use a hose that’s not hooked up to a hydrant to drain the tank. As the water is draining, use your hands or scrub brush to wipe dirt and grime off the side of the tank.

After all the water is drained, start scrubbing. Add some water to scrub with, and then make sure the sides and bottom are clean and free from dirt, old hay and algae. It works best to tip the tank over to dump out excess water.

After that, you’re home free! The only thing left to do now is fill the tank up with fresh water. It might take a while, depending on the size, but don’t forget to turn the water off when it’s full.

Your horse will love you forever if you make this a weekly chore!

Dr. Kenton Morgan explains the most common equine diseases, disorders and behavioral problems on the “Your Horse’s Health” DVD collection.

Secondhand Uses

Some water troughs get too dingy and rusted to continue using. Here are some ideas of uses for old water troughs! Maybe you’ll put one to use when you retire your old trough!

  • A planter for summer flowers
  • Storage for leg wraps
  • Paint your old trough and use it for shelves in the barn
  • A fish tank
  • A trash can
  • A beverage holder at barn get-togethers
  • Indoor decoration
  • Stepping stool for the barn
  • Storage for older tack
  • Toy box

What creative things have you done with old water troughs?