View Full Version : Can you train your horse to drink?
Aug. 6, 2011, 05:14 PM
I had a frightening collapse/colic/pain episode with my horse a few days ago:
and the vet thinks he had a choke, made worse by some dehydration.
My horse almost always drinks when presented with the water trough, because it is usually two or more hours between troughs and by then, he's thirsty.
Is there a way to train him to drink anyway, if it hasn't been too long (say an hour) since the last trough, but it will be a while before we get to the next one? Or do they just learn that they ought to take advantage of food or drink presented?
Aug. 6, 2011, 05:25 PM
I used grain tea to train Hattie to drink. She did not drink a lot when I got her. So after a few weeks of adding a few handfuls of safe and lite grain to a gallon of water, I taught to drink it when I handed it to her.
It didn't hurt to have Cloudy who will drink anything on command. Just open a bottle of beer or a coke and he drinks it anytime. Same with Metamucil or POM. Same with plain water. In fact, I cannot drink anything including bottled water in front of him without having him take it from me.
After Hattie watched Cloudy drink a lot of grain tea, she started drinking it also. So I'd say either mix something your horse likes, maybe apple juice or carrot juice, with water, and go from there. (I don't endurance ride, but I think if you take some apple juice or carrot juice with you and put it into water, your horse might drink it.)
Aug. 6, 2011, 06:10 PM
Oh, hey, I think they gave my horse beer when he was at the track! Maybe that'll work!
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:59 PM
I lived in SoCal's Low Desert for five years. Depending on the temps, we would ride from 2 - 5 hours up in the rock hills where there wasn't any water.
I taught all my horses to drink out of a water bottle - sport bottles if I could find them.
I didn't ride hard and I gave my horses a lot of breaks but they downed a couple quarts of water sometimes.
They learned to tell me when they were done drinking and the water bottle went back in the pack to be offered again, at some point.
We moved back east of the Mississippi 8 years ago but, to this day, those two horses will ask for the water hose or take my water bottle if I'm not keeping a close eye on it:lol:
Horses really are smart creatures if we learn to pay attention and give them half a chance:)
Aug. 7, 2011, 04:50 AM
After every training ride with my young mare I have offered her a bucket with a handful of sugar beet soaked in A LOT of water. She quickly figured out that she has to drink the water to get down to the tasty suger beet pulp.
We are starting our first ride in a month and I am planning on taking sugar beet pulp water for her.