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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    U.S.A. Washington State

    Exclamation OLDER HOrse not drinking enough water! HELP

    Our 33 yr old stallion, began last 09 Jan with issues of "constipation". He doesn't eat all his stems on his hay anymore, and isn't drinking enough water. He's drinking only about 4 to 5 gal daily right now. Heated bucket. He gets soupy BP feed mix with some whole oats soaked as well and soy oil. Free choice alfalfa hay, he wont' eat grass hay anymore. And dry and or soaked hay cubes. He quit eating the soaked ones, so I let him have dry ones and most of his episodes are in the winter like Jan, Feb. During the summer he only had 2 episodes last year.

    I have tried putting some molasses in his water heated bucket today, and a 2nd bucket not heated but with just fresh water, no flavor to see if he will drink more of a flavored water.

    Any ideas on flavors? Other people dealing with this issue?
    Succeeded with any method?

    I did put electrolytes in his feed but he didn't want it and refused his feed till I left it out. I was able to give him some last summer tho.

    Anyone using the Himalayn (sp) salt rolls on a string? Do they like them?

    This horse has not been a salt eater, has a FC redmond salt and a white salt block in his stall.

    Right now we are scared to let him out of his stall, where when he goes down at least it's dry and safe, he tends to get into the fences outside when he does this.

    Any experience and ideas will be much appreciated. He is super healthy, great wt, just getting constipated.... thanks in advance.
    "A horse is not so much a possession of the body, as he is an obsession of the soul."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2008


    You have tried all the solutions I have heard of except putting a little salt in his food?????

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007


    I came on here this late fall with the same problem, my beloved mare was not drinking water in her stall. Being in the stall from 4-8 the next day.
    Also, not eating all her hay.

    Horse Quencher was recommended, and wow, it works!

    She refused to drink out of a water bucket that is hung, but will drink out of a bucket on the ground. I use the 5 gallon insulated buckets.

    I put the horse quencher in, add hot water and let soak for at least an hour. I then add more warm water, so its tepid.
    Its been almost 3 weeks and she is drinking, and so much that her poop has enlarged- to normal size. She is my percheron mare and her poop looked like my little welsh cross colt's poop.

    Good luck.
    Oh, I have the 40# 3 in 1 mineral block in the field, himlayan salt block in her stall, and a regular salt block in her stall too.

    I even addded loose salt, nothing worked. I am impressed with the horse quencher.
    I purchased mine at Cheshire Horse, but if you do a search, they also have links to stores.
    I get apple flavored, I only have one horse who likes peppermint, the other available flavor.
    good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006


    When I have one that really needs more water and won't eat salt in their feed I disolve a heaping handful of salt - mineral or plain white - in warm water and give it orally with a dose syringe. Just gently squirt it to the back of the horse's tongue - not a big dose that they would choke on. I've done that several times to get them drinking. You can also add the electrolytes that way. My best horse won't eat any food that has mineral salt added and not even white salt if he sees me add it!!!
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2009
    Paddle faster! I hear banjo music...


    I make sweet tea... 2 cups senior feed and 1 scoop EquiTea. I've never had one that didn't suck the bucket down and asked for another. I'd probably run some bloodwork though to be safe and determine if he needs fluids before you get in to a dangerous situation.
    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2010


    I second the Horse Quencher suggestion -- that stuff is amazing! I have yet to meet a horse who didn't suck down the whole bucket and then lick the dregs at the bottom. You can buy it at Valley Vet or other online stores. It comes in a variety of flavors, like peppermint, apple, butterscotch and root beer. It would be a good idea for every horse owner to keep a few on hand just in case they need them. You can read more about them here --

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by vickienme View Post
    He doesn't eat all his stems on his hay anymore, and isn't drinking enough water. He's drinking only about 4 to 5 gal daily right now.
    On average a horse drinks about 5 gallons a day. So he's within the normal range.

    Have a read of this:

    You might want to try:

    Putting some table salt in his water, it will encourage him to drink more.

    (If he's not got the likes of cushings or on a restricted diet) Putting a good tablespoon of sugar cane molasses in a bucket of hot water (warm enough to allow the molasses to disperse) and dunking his hay in that.

    However I'm thinking that it's not water that he needs if he's getting what you say he is.

    Rather I'd be looking to add some oil into his diet. Will he eat his hay cubes if you put a cup of vegetable oil on them? Try that...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2010
    Purcellville, VA


    I third the idea of horse quencher.

    We had a 26yo stallion at the farm having "tummy troubles" and tried baking soda. Baking soda can be extremely helpful, even life-saving, for the horse which has become acidotic.. Ph is all out of whack -- typically from a disease/illness process that can affect the gut.

    Acidotic horses, when offered 2 buckets of with 2 tbs. of baking soda dissolved in it next to a bucket of plain water will gulp down the baking soda water until such time as they no longer need it. Then they will switch to the plain water.

    It may not work, but at least you are giving them the choice ot "seek what they need" for whatever oddity is going on with them systemically.

    Good Luck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2008


    Older horses can have teeth issues even with the best of care.They don't chew completely and can become constipated.When this happens I add 1 ounce of mineral oil mixed with warm water to the wet feed morning and night.It is oderless and tasteless.Also check and see if he is digesting the whole oats.If most are passing switch to crimped.

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