It goes without saying that, as is the case with human beings, horses cannot survive for more than a few days without water. A constant source of fresh, clean water is essential for all horses.

Approximately 60% of an adult horse's body weight is made up of water, depending on the age of the horse, its overall weight etc. Water is present in all of a horse's body fluids and is essential for digestion, correct function of the blood cells and also to allow your horse to excrete anything he has consumed.

The quantity of water your horse will consume can vary considerably depending on the weather, your horse's workload, diet etc. An average horse will drink approximately 37 litres of water a day. This can be as low as 20 litres a day, or as high as 40 litres (or more) a day.

Some Golden Rules

  • Always make sure your horse has a supply of clean, fresh water. This is particularly important for horses confined to a stable or a yard.
  • If you've just finished a long, hard workout offer small amounts of water and about 2 or 3 litres to start with. Offer similar small amounts in intervals of around 15 minutes until your horse is no longer thirsty.
  • Never allow your horse to drink a large amount prior to a hard workout.
  • Make sure your horse has had access to water before feeding.
  • Check water containers every day to ensure they are full of clean, fresh water.
  • Automatic waterers can malfunction and should be checked every day to ensure they are working correctly
  • If your horse drinks a particular type of water at home (such as dam water, tank water etc) make sure you take a supply of water with you when travelling. If you are away for a couple of days and you only have access to town water or bore water you may well find your horse will not drink, no matter how thirsty he becomes.
  • If the weather is extremely hot, check your horse's water to make sure it is not boiling hot. If it becomes too hot you will need to empty the container and add fresh, cool water
  • In cases of extremely cold weather you will need to check to make sure the water hasn't become covered in ice. In these cases you will need to break the ice to make sure your horse is able to access the water.
December 01, 2021 — Greg Grant Saddlery