View Full Version : Pony wont drink out of heated trough

Dec. 9, 2010, 01:00 PM
We just installed our trough heaters (kind that screw into the plug), and my shetland pony will not drink out of it. She was pawing in front of the trough today and reaching for the water, but would toss her head once she got close to the water. I filled the trough last night and it was 1/2 empty this morning, so I know the other horses are drinking out of it. I also stuck my hand in the water to see if the pony was getting shocked, but I didnt feel a thing. I offered her water from a bucket and she drank that right away.
Any ideas on why she wont drink out of the trough? She did drink out of it before we installed the heater.

Dec. 9, 2010, 01:06 PM
How did you check it for shocking? They're more sensitive so I wouldn't trust just sticking my hand in. You are probably in huge thick winter boots and they have 4 bare feet on the earth. Did she drink out of the same exact trough before?

Dec. 9, 2010, 01:43 PM
I'd suspect it's shocking her. Is it near an electric fence? You can ground it with a copper wire and ground rod.

Dec. 9, 2010, 03:43 PM
I'll vote for shocking - pony might just care more about that fun little bzzt thats in the water, whereas the larger horses are being more forgiving (or willing to put up with it to get a drink)

Dec. 9, 2010, 03:51 PM
I used the same kind of heating element that you are using last year - it did just fine - put it in this winter and had the same experience you are talking about. My gelding went to get a drink and jerked away - my mare did the same thing then my older gelding went over and drank his fill! I put my fingers in and felt nothing - because two of my horses reacted as they did I took the element out of the tank - now they are drinking just fine. Don't know why my older gelding didn't have any reaction, though - I do have an electric fence (but I had an electric fence last year, too) - whether I had the tub closer to the fence this year or whether the element has a short in it (or the extension cord I used may have a short in it?) - I didn't feel good about any of it! I may try LauraKY's advice - I wasn't even thinking about the electric fence. Right now I'm back to dealing with ice on their water.

Dec. 9, 2010, 04:48 PM
I agree on the shock.
In order for you as a human to get shocked, you need one hand in the water and one hand on a metal object that is grounded.
Horses wearing metal shoes will get a more intense shock than horses that are barefoot.

Dec. 9, 2010, 05:07 PM
In the winter the grounding rods can get too dry and shock the horses. You may need to put in another grounding rod where the ground is a little more moist.

Dec. 9, 2010, 05:38 PM
I just plug my tanks in at night and unplug during the day when the horses are in the pasture. The horses are in the barn at night so this works for me.

Dec. 12, 2010, 06:50 PM
I'd suspect it's shocking her. Is it near an electric fence? You can ground it with a copper wire and ground rod.

We had the same problem this year with a brand new heater.
We grounded it as recommended in the instructions (which we had never read) and all is fine.

Dec. 12, 2010, 06:59 PM
I have a mare that WILL NOT drink if there is any heater in the trough, no matter what kind or how well hidden and no matter how well grounded. I think she was zapped once by a faulty one and is not taking chances any more. She can sense the current or something, I guess. Fortunately she has no problem sticking her nose in among the floating ice chunks (I've busted apart and am dipping out) to take a long drink. I think she really prefers the cold water!