View Full Version : Trailers with mangers: how to give water?

Mar. 25, 2012, 05:19 PM
I normally like to have a half bucket of water for my horses if they are traveling more than an hour or two. I've just found that they are more likely to drink than if they are offered water at stops.

Some angle hauls have hooks in just the right place, and in others I've been able to rig something up.

Now I have a 2 horse straight load with mangers above chest height (tack goes underneath). I am not 100% sure I will keep the mangers, but for now they are already set up and I will try it that way first.

Has anyone figured out a good way of providing water in this situation? (Without getting the tack underneath wet...)

Mar. 25, 2012, 06:22 PM
There is a narrow aisle between the mangers in my trailer where I can hang a bucket.

China Doll
Mar. 25, 2012, 07:55 PM
I have never had a horse that would drink while trailering so it isn't an issue for me but why not just use the lower wide feed pans for water?

Mar. 25, 2012, 11:26 PM
China Doll, I'm not sure what you mean - like the rubber feed pans that are about 4 or 6 inches tall? I think the water would just splash out.

There is a good reason for this - many of my trailer trips are 6 hours long, some are 8, 11, 15. Especially in the summer, it is far better for them to be able to drink when they want. (This is the only thing about my horse trailer that I don't love - something always has to give!)

The mangers are thick plywood on top of 2x4s (as far as I recall - it's in the shop right now getting the electrical checked). So I don't think it is waterproof. I don't want the horses playing with their water and having it seep down into my tack storage.

I was thinking about using a precision saw of some sort & making a hole in the shape of a bucket, so that the bucket could rest in the hole, and therefore the horse could get its head down into the bucket for water.

Two issues with that:
1) how to keep it waterproof
2) (probably related to the above) how to keep bits of hay from seeping through.

Somehow line it with rubber?? I am putting my faith in the collective COTH wisdom to give me some ideas!!

Mar. 25, 2012, 11:35 PM
Wierd - I can't picture what you're talking about in the sense that I haven't seen a wooden manger like that, but I don't have alot of experience. However, based on what you descdribe, I would first try to find a plastic tub generally the size of the manger, and screw it inside the manager to be a liner. I could probably find such a thing at home depot, or a farm store, and I am thinking of auto drip pans, but no matter the size, you should be able to find something at least deep enough to catch splashed water, and which fits into the manager. Screw it into the manger around the ridge of the drip pan. That way, you can put food/hay into the manger, but also be able to fix a bucket hook so a bucket rests on the bottome of the manger/pan yet the drip pan catches water, rather than have the wooden floor of the manger catch the water. So you would be adding a large liner pan, plus setting up a bucket within that.

Aren't there like poultry
feed pans that are like big rectrangle pans maybe 8 inches high? 2 feet by 4 feet if that is the size of your manger? Or goat feed pans or something like that. Farm or auto type places might have something?
that would be my first thought.

Frankly, I don't have a second.

Maybe others who have had this type of manger have another idea!

Mar. 25, 2012, 11:41 PM
Sorry, I do have another idea. Its like the camel packs worn on the back of a biker or hiker. A big one, on the horse's back, with a straw coming around for him to turn and suck out of when he's thirsty.

I know, I'm an idiot. I'm tired, and I thought that was a funny scenario.

But I thought of it first because I thought of a bucket hung on the side of the trailer wall, so he might be able to turn to the side and drink out of a hanging bucket at the wall, where splashed water would hit the floor. However, it still might 'wet' the tack, etc. so it might not be any better than having it hang over the tack/manger anyway. I still think the drip pan is a possibility.

Mar. 26, 2012, 12:02 AM
Thanks AnotherRound, great visual with the camelback! :lol:

For a visual, here's the type of configuration I have (http://www.horsetrailerworld.com/home/trailerdetail.asp?ID=376534)- with the manger over the tack storage.

Mar. 26, 2012, 12:32 AM
Oh, wow. So there's no escape door no escape for seomeone leading the horses on. Odd, haven't seen this before.

Anyway, I think I would even more so after seeing this, find a large plastic pan the size of the manager and screw it in a the top of the lip (not on the bottom, heh heh) to secure it. This would create a waterproof tub type of manger. I would not cut into the bottom to inset a bucket that is going to expose your tack, below, as you feared.

the tub liner will protect splashed water.

I would first try to afix the water buckets to the divider, over the tub liner of the manger. If this works, keep it. I think if you set the height of the bucket hook so that the bucket rests on the floor of the tub as well as is secured to the middle wall, the bucket will be stable and not swing. Any splashing water should be limited to horse play and trailer sway. (There's a country song in there, somewhere...)

I don't think fixing the bucket to the back wall will be feasable, as it will be a stretch for the horse, as well as having to drink a this height.

I see why it is concerning to you that the bucket is going to be up so high. However, I would give it a test and see if the horses will drink and it will work as I described above.

I think your only alternative would be to have someone deconstruct the manger and lower it - cut down the chest wall, lower the floor of the manger. this might not be as hard to do as first thought, for a person with the right tools who can do it well. It would reduce your tack storage, but not by alot, and from the top/height, and of the interior of the tack storage compartment. It seems you also have a dressing room, which can be configured to accomodate a whole lot of tack, if you are clever, so if this was my trailer, I might very well be able to reduce the under manger tack compartment or eliminate it to provide my horses with a better eating/hay/water arrangement. Saddles and bridles can be hung on the walls of the dressing room. I do see the value of having the storage under the manger for long distance travel, so I am not quick to eliminate this entirely, unless you can find other places for everything you might put there.

I do agree 100 percent that you do not want this manger to get wet. You really do want to keep it dry, and I think your only option is to find a heavy duty, rather tall sided plastic/fiberglass style pan.

You could also look at boat yards - people who are doing yacht and sailboat rehabs will have the skills to build a custom pan for this.

My own Mr. AR would be able to create a fiberglass pan liner inside this manger, so see if someone can do that for you who knows how to cast glass and this is most probably going to be boat people. It could work... and it wouldn't be too expensive; this is pretty straight forward. I'm thinking one to two hundred dollars.

Mar. 26, 2012, 12:52 PM
Thanks for all the input AnotherRound!

I am curious, as I know nothing about building materials, but wouldn't fiberglass be dangerous for horses to eat from?