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  1. #21
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    Oct. 14, 2010
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    skip the flame suit, I've got a silver proximity suit.

    I whole heartedly argree with those who think this is a mountain made out of a molehill. I know several barns where water is not available in the stalls; they have a community trough in the barn. The horses are let out a couple times a day to drink. They drink their fill and return to their stalls. If they work, they get a drink coming out and before going back in their stalls. There is another trough outside in the field. I've been around this arrangement for at least 10 years, I don't remember any horses dying of colic or dehydration. A couple have been hit by cars, and one had tetanus (despite the vaccine), but all in all it works very well for these people. It obviously won't work for a high percentage on this board, but no one here is keeping their horses there.

    I think too much is made over "staying hydrated" both with people & horses. Going an hour or two without water isn't likely to harm a person or horse. Sure there is always a probability that something bad can happen, but I think that probablility is generally blown out of proportion. Then again, I think most of the worries by COTHers are blown out of proportion.


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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2010
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    DFW
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    177

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    I can't fathom putting a horse in the barn without access to water, so I supply buckets any time they are in. Just seems like common sense to me.

    Outside, I have an auto waterer & my office faces my pasture, so I'm familiar with the seasonal norms of my two. My NSH drinks far less in the summer than my Appendix (he sweats like a pig) but if it's near freezing I offer warm water to keep his consumption up. I have a small hot water tank in the barn, and always fill 2 buckets for him with tepid water. Often he will have some as soon as I put the bucket out, and as he always drinks after his meal, he'll usually finish one before I've completed my chores.

    I still leave the other bucket, I just don't see a downside to having water on hand.


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  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    10,057

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    I believe it's a good idea to make sure, within reason, the horse has access to water. That doesn't mean I'll go out to the barn at 11 at night just in case he might have drunk it all. He gets a full bucket at dinner (topped off immediately if he gulps it down; he has outdoor water in a tub all day but sometimes it's like a little kid, I don't want a drink of bathroom-faucet water, I want kitchen-faucet water) and an hour or two later when someone lets the cats out (they get locked in the tack room to eat) it gets topped off/switched out. Then he's on his own until breakfast. If he drinks it all up before morning, he drinks it all up. If I offer him water before or after a ride, and he drinks, great, if not, up to him.

    FWIW: three ponies, two horses, never even seen colic except when a horse in the therapeutic program I volunteered with in high school colicked in the middle of a program (gas colic, fortunately, lots of walking and some cleaning out and she was fine.) But they've always had hay, they're always turned out unless the weather's a nightmare (like today), never had a digestive problem.



  4. #24
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    2,646

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    I think 3-4 hours without water would be the limit for me. Many boarding facilities do "half-day" turnout of about 4 hours and I would be ok with water not being available for that time.

    The barn where I "grew up" did not offer water outside during all day turnout in the winter (8 hours roughly) and there were more than a few colics. My horse included. I'm paranoid now about water, especially in the winter.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2008
    Location
    Ottawa,Ontario
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    1,598

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    I think that horses should have water available 24/7. If they are thirsty, they will drink. They need the choice.
    We've all been on outings, I'm sure, where you were SURE your horse must be very thirsty, so you lead them up to the bucket you have just lugged by hand, half way across hecks half acre, and they stick up their nose when you stick the bucket under them. So, they had the choice to drink or not!
    That said, I am anal about keeping the troughs at home full, clean and heated in the cold. Some days I need to refill more often than other days, but the water is always there for them to choose when they need it. That old adage must have some truth, no?
    "My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
    ― Anna Sewell



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2011
    Location
    Cynthiana KY (~40 min. NE of Lexington)
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    492

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    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianHippo View Post
    My guys are out 24/7 and they will often spend 5+ hours grazing, before coming back to the barnyard trough for a drink. (Even longer in spring/summer when the grass has a lot of moisture in it). Based on the # of swallows I watch them take, I'd estimate they drink 3/4 to 1 bucket's worth at a time.

    Not advocating empty buckets in a stall.But what if a horse occasionally drinks his bucket until it's empty, and then has to wait a couple hours until it is refilled? (If that happens routinely, then I'd say he needs two buckets, but the same question still applies):

    Is it more risky for a stalled horse to not have water in front of it for a couple hours, when this is essentially what they choose to do when at liberty?

    How much time with an empty bucket before you think he's in danger?
    I didn't see where anyone addressed the OP point that his/her horses go 5+ hours without water by choice when they are GRAZING. IMO there is a big difference between by choice not drinking when on grass, which is a huge percentage composed of water, and being deprived of water when eating hay, which is NOT comprised of a huge amount of water.

    I for one, think that horses find enough ways to get hurt and sick without withdrawing water in turnout/stall/winter/etc which could induce a colic. No, I don't get fanatical about it. We will trail ride, but if I drink my horse gets some too. I offer water every 2 hours on a trailer ride and after every class at horse shows. In the winter my horses either have electric heated tanks or buckets or homemade insulated boxes that delay freezing. In the summer, like someone else said, if they drink the tank dry between my chore times, the get another tank/bucket/whatever. With the rate that they can hurt themselves, to me it's just not worth the risk of not having water at their disposal 24/7.

    Sheila
    Sheila Zeltt
    Chestnut Run Stable & Zeltt Racing Stable
    www.Zeltt.com
    Standing "Tiz Brian" at Stud, 16.1 h bay TB by Tiznow



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
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    12,233

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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    I believe it's a good idea to make sure, within reason, the horse has access to water. That doesn't mean I'll go out to the barn at 11 at night just in case he might have drunk it all. He gets a full bucket at dinner (topped off immediately if he gulps it down; he has outdoor water in a tub all day but sometimes it's like a little kid, I don't want a drink of bathroom-faucet water, I want kitchen-faucet water) and an hour or two later when someone lets the cats out (they get locked in the tack room to eat) it gets topped off/switched out. Then he's on his own until breakfast. If he drinks it all up before morning, he drinks it all up. If I offer him water before or after a ride, and he drinks, great, if not, up to him.

    FWIW: three ponies, two horses, never even seen colic except when a horse in the therapeutic program I volunteered with in high school colicked in the middle of a program (gas colic, fortunately, lots of walking and some cleaning out and she was fine.) But they've always had hay, they're always turned out unless the weather's a nightmare (like today), never had a digestive problem.
    That's just about my philosophy. I would rather see empty buckets in the morning than half full ones
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Midwest
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    412

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    Many good things have been said already. The only thing I'd like to add is that water helps move food through the horse's long and horizontal gut structure, so it's more than staying hydrated. My own rule is that if they have less than 1/4 of a bucket left when I get to the barn in the morning, I fill it and let them have a drink to get things moving before feeding to mitigate the risk of colic.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
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    4,533

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    I lived next to 300 dude horses on a section or two for nearly a decade. In the high high heat of our summers I watched those horses spend all day up on the grass pastures, with no shade but a breeze to keep the flies down, and ONCE a day the entire bunch would come down to the water tanks and drink water. Then they would graze their way all the way back up the hill and graze all day again.

    I've watched our own move out on their pasture and graze, fiddle, and nap and come in to the waterer once or twice a day.

    I've camped many a night where they got offered water when we got to camp and again after grazing for a while, then they got tied up for the night and got water about 8-10 hours later. On those pack trips they get their water when they can, not when they're in the mood.

    In the winter here horses often get offered water twice a day. Even in equine vet clinics I worked at horses were offered two fresh buckets of water, twice a day, and many times the water froze between times.

    I think if horses are accustomed to have water at their beck and call, are fed on a tight schedule with rich feeds and contained to small areas- they can colic if something goes wrong in their world.

    In my experience though our horses are practical healthy critters that don't colic often, if at all. I've never had a major colic episode and we've owned between 4-13 horses at any given time for decades years here.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Growing up, our riding school had over 100 horses and two communal troughs.
    There were no water buckets to be had.
    Each horse was led to drink in the morning at 7 am, at noon, at 5 pm, at 10 pm and the night watchman took them to water again about 2 am.

    All horses also were offered a drink every time they went out to be ridden and again before being put up.

    In a good 10 years I was there, we never had a horse colic.
    Partly luck, I know, but also management.
    Seems that watering like that sure didn't cause any health problems.

    When we had broodmares, they used to come to drink about twice a day, the rest of the time they were way out in the canyons, grazing or doing whatever.
    We only had two in several decades colic, one bloated, may have eaten a bad weed, the other had a peritoneal tear, probably caused by running down the canyons with a full belly, or who knows why.

    I think watering horse management depends so much on how your horses live.
    There are all different kinds of ways to water them and be done right, for those horses, in that situation.

    On the other hand, it is imperative that horses are watered right, no question about it.
    What is right, "it depends" greatly.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Location
    Hunterdon County NJ
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    I have kept horses in a variety of situations where water was NOT available 24/7.

    The most common being the cold climates where buckets freeze about an hour after they are filled (often becoming solid through overnight) and then the horse are without until refill the next morning. Plenty of barns do NOT have an outlet at every stall for a heated bucket.

    But also, I worked a summer camp where the horses were tied for the entire day, and taken to the trough a couple of times during that period to drink. If you offered 2-3 times/day, they would usually only drink 1-2 times. It was not like they dove into the trough in dire thirst either.



  12. #32
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    2,646

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Growing up, our riding school had over 100 horses and two communal troughs.
    There were no water buckets to be had.
    Each horse was led to drink in the morning at 7 am, at noon, at 5 pm, at 10 pm and the night watchman took them to water again about 2 am.

    All horses also were offered a drink every time they went out to be ridden and again before being put up.
    I don't have any problem with this situation, except how horribly inefficient it sounds!! lol, were buckets not invented yet, Bluey?
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  13. #33
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    Oct. 14, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    I don't have any problem with this situation, except how horribly inefficient it sounds!! lol, were buckets not invented yet, Bluey?
    Actually, it's not that ineffcient.

    The barns I'm around now, you open the stall door and the horse goes to the trough, turns around and goes into their stall. Sometimes they get let out a couple at a time, or they hit the trough when they come in from the field (usually en masse-the barn opens to the field)

    My great grandfather had work horses, somewhere b/w 50 -100, my mother has told me about how they watered, which was basically the same way. They unhooked the horse (they used straight stalls) he went to the trough turned around and came back. There were a couple that they had to lead, but most went on their own. I think she said they would clean the stalls while the horses were getting a drink.



  14. #34
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by saultgirl View Post
    I don't have any problem with this situation, except how horribly inefficient it sounds!! lol, were buckets not invented yet, Bluey?
    I don't think so, plastic was not invented yet either, the only buckets were wood or metal and not that many of those to go around.

    The troughs were made out of concrete.

    Most horses went to the trough and back on their own, horses love routines and order, you took them there in order or they would get fussy, best I remember, so long ago.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    498

    Default in v. out

    As a couple posters pointed out, there is a big difference between horses being out grazing on grass, which is high in moisture, and horses being in a stall eating dry hay. Another poster pointed out that water keeps the gut moving. As we all know, simply walking keeps the gut moving, too, so a horse out walking and grazing should have a very low chance (if any) of colic even if the horse doesn't actually drink any water for several hours. Compare that to a horse essentially being stationary in a stall eating hay, or perhaps eating nothing (a couple flakes of hay doesn't last that long). I would say it's more important for the stalled horse to have free choice water available.



  16. #36
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by red mares View Post
    Actually, it's not that ineffcient.

    The barns I'm around now, you open the stall door and the horse goes to the trough, turns around and goes into their stall. Sometimes they get let out a couple at a time, or they hit the trough when they come in from the field (usually en masse-the barn opens to the field)

    My great grandfather had work horses, somewhere b/w 50 -100, my mother has told me about how they watered, which was basically the same way. They unhooked the horse (they used straight stalls) he went to the trough turned around and came back. There were a couple that they had to lead, but most went on their own. I think she said they would clean the stalls while the horses were getting a drink.
    That's a completely different set up, so it doesn't compare, but ok!
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


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  17. #37
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    Jun. 24, 2006
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    1,889

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    While I am sure it won't kill them to be without it I don't see why you would, really.

    To the poster hauling a bucket... go to Walmart in the Hunting/Camping section. They have containers like gas containers but way bigger and they have a lid (like a gas can not sure if that's the right term) so no spilling. Put a few in your car and get one of those big muck tubs, they even have heaters for them. I have an ATV that has a water tank on the back that I fill and drain but I used to put a cart behind the riding lawn mower and bring buckets... holy sloshing and losing water. If you do this you should only need to refill a few times a week so it would hopefully save you time and accomplish that. I totally get not having water ran out... my pasture is 500+ feet away from the house and it was a real pain. When they first came home I used to carry each bucket down... it was hell.



  18. #38
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    Mar. 16, 2009
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    NH
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    562

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    I've always been one to try and keep water with the horses. When they are out they have a big tank, that we keep full (filled once a day), in the stall they have 2 buckets that are topped off in the morning. If they drink it all the way down, which they never do, then we refill it.

    However, when we are showing, or trailering out or anything with the horses tanding on the trailer all day, we offer them water ever few hours or when they stop eating and look thirsty. I know my guy usually will hardly every drink, others drink a fair amount (the other day we went through 2-3 buckets of water).

    That being said, in argentina at the barn I was working at, we filled buckets twice a day (at lunch and then after we fed dinner). When the horses went out it was only for a half day and they didn't have water available. At shows, however, we never offered water. The only day we did was when they were away *all* day (we didn't get back until like 10pm due to traffic and stuff). We offered water around 6pm or so and none of the horses drank.

    ETA: We only had one colic in the 5 months that I worked in argentina and the horse was home and had access to water at the time (had an impaction, managed to pass it but did spend a few days at the clinic getting IV fluids and such)



  19. #39
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    Feb. 5, 2002
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    I've seen enough horrible impaction colics to have an opinion on those (opinion, not scientific facts!) -- I think that if a horse is headed toward an impaction, there are multiple factors involved, not just "didn't drink enough." Could be related to hay/grass, herd dynamics, weather, underlying illness, dead bird in the tank... So the fact that he didn't drink enough may be the consequence of whatever other problem, not the originating cause of the colic. I wouldn't wish an impaction colic on my worst enemy, though, so if you can tip the scales toward removing one contributing factor, then do. Keep the heated tank clean and available and watch who's drinking and who's not. An ounce of prevention.

    BUT - assuming 100% healthy horses - I know there are a lot of rough board groups that have their routines all set, where they eat their hay, go for a group drink, return to the sunny spot for a nap, get up and move around and graze a little, etc etc. Their day is pretty predictable, until something messes it up. So again, if all is well they may only need access to their water 3 times in 24 hours, but what if the herd leader goes off to a show for the weekend, pasture is rotated or closed for mowing, bad thunderstorms...



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