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How often do horses pee? how to encourage a "polite" horse?

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  • How often do horses pee? how to encourage a "polite" horse?

    This is probably a dumb question and I ought to know this for having ridden for 5+ years, but ive never asked, even though i've always wondered. The keeping the horse comfortable @ shows thread got me thinking about it.

    How often (lets say every X hours) does a horse pee per day, on average?

    My pony is .. well i'll say he's very polite and is a gentleman about his peeing. I can tell he waits till the last minute to let anyone know, because honestly, other than him dropping, how am I going to know that he has to pee? He gets real antsy, drops, but unless he's in his stall or outside in his field, he WILL NOT pee. He'll pull himself back up again for me to take him to his stall. I think he kind of just drops as a "PLEASE take me to my stall, i can't hold it any more." because once he gets in and i close the door, he's doing his business.

    But at home this isn't a problem. He will pee when youre riding if there's really no other way--he's peed once or twice on a trail ride with me--obviously i cant just hop off and put him in his stall right there, and he is smart enough to know that if he's not at the barn, he's going to have to go when he's got to go. And he will. But I'm not so sure about this at shows, because he might be there almost all day and while we make the trailer really comfortable for him (we have a 4 horse gooseneck, and sometimes there might only be one other pony on the trailer. so we take down the divider on the other side and put him in x ties over there so its nice and open, he can move around a bit, theres hay, its covered in shavings on the bottom, and he COULD pee in the shavings there, but I have checked several times and have seen no sign of it. This is at local shows though. At an away show he is 100% comfortable in a stall in the tents.

    So what worries me is that he might have to pee sometimes at a local show but he doesn't feel comfortable doing it. I don't know, maybe he really never had to go. But I wonder if maybe he's just trying to be modest, because ive never seen him drop at a show (when he doesnt have a stall) but i figure if he's there most of the day, he should have to pee at some point.

    How can i encourage my pony to be more comfortable with doing his business, especially away from home? It's kind of hard to predict anything, i don't witness him doing his business that often because sometimes i can only be at the barn for two hours or so.

    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

  • #2
    I don't know what others do, but I encourage mine to "whiz" and "manure." (Same techinque as training a dog.)

    Choose a word and use it consistently. When he does "go," while he is doing it use the word over and over and then say good boy/girl and reward with a treat. Worked for a smart old ottb mare and a WB.


    • #3
      i have the opposite problem! my horse pees, anywhere, anytime, anyplace! so i cant help you. it was really getting annoying. having to constantly put shavings down and clean up the mess. at my barn i got banned to the back of the aisle since even though i clean it up, the BO says it soaks under the mats.. he pees in the trailer, he pees in barn aisle, anywhere.
      i have since trained him! when i got get him he now will stretch himself out as soon as i put the halter on. if he didnt do this i would help him by encouraging him to stretch out the front legs! he now automatically pees as soon as halter is put on his head. and then when i am done riding i now stretch out his legs so that he got used to peeing before heading into the barn.
      during the training phase he would only pee when i left for a minute. so i would yell at him no and run him out the barn!
      he is now perfectly trained and i rarely have a mess in the trailer or on the barn floor. this horse sure goes alot!


      • #4
        Encourage him to drink lots of water (perhaps with electrolytes). Then keep an eye on him. When he has to go, give the signal. If you can whistle, that is the signal that race horses are taught with - a whistle means "urinate now". Once he learns you can probably usually get him to go at a convenient time ... e.g., in his stall before he enters the ring for a class.


        • #5
          Other than maybe training him, i have no idea. I have pretty much the same problem except that my horse won't pee in his own stall. He pees at show fine, and happily in other horses stalls but not his own. he's out all day and he just holds it in all night. no matter how desperate he gets, he just won't pee. So we have to take hime out in a paddock and he pees just fine, kinda like a dog.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Evalee Hunter View Post
            Encourage him to drink lots of water (perhaps with electrolytes). Then keep an eye on him. When he has to go, give the signal. If you can whistle, that is the signal that race horses are taught with - a whistle means "urinate now". Once he learns you can probably usually get him to go at a convenient time ... e.g., in his stall before he enters the ring for a class.
            Totally agree. You would be surprised how well this works. The saying "have to pee like a race horse" is based on this.


            • #7
              I had a very modest pony when I was a girl. I don't know anything about training them to go on command but what we had to do at the local shows was walk around until we found a very secluded spot and then when he felt "private" enough he would go. Many times it was back behind trailers so the view was blocked. He didn't like going in the trailer either (he was phobic about getting splashed I think) and got so upset the one time he couldn't hold it anymore that we had to start looking for privacy for him. If it was a short trip to the show and back he was fine and would wait to get home but if it was an all day thing we had to find a spot for him or he would be miserable. Good luck, it's a pain but once you figure out what kind of spot he deems acceptable you should be okay.


              • #8
                Hey, I always thought the saying was "whiz like a racehorse"


                • #9
                  What I did

                  I would try to catch my mare doing it and then would tell her "good pee" and give her a treat. She's a pretty smart girl and it didn't take long for her to catch on. The barn owner loved it as I would get her to go before putting her in her stall. Only problem is that once she got the idea, after we would ride she would stretch out like she was going to pee, even if she didn't need to, and then would ask for a treat. Sometimes cooling out would take longer then necessary as she would do this every 10 steps.
                  Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by *DS* View Post
                    I have pretty much the same problem except that my horse won't pee in his own stall. He pees at show fine, and happily in other horses stalls but not his own.
                    he's just smart!!! he doesnt want to mess up his house!
                    my dog is that way. he will not go in our backyard. he will happily go in the woods but go in the backyard, no way! we used to have someone watch him for the weekend and let him out in the backyard and he would hold it all weekend!


                    • #11
                      I hacked a horse last night who dropped as soon as I got off. He would NOT go until I turned around, though. Stood there in his stretched out stance and stared at me. As soon as I turned around, he let fly.

                      Maybe your pony needs seclusion?
                      A proud friend of bar.ka.


                      • Original Poster

                        good idea about seclusion. i'll try and find a nice place at one-day local shows where he's got some privacy, though honestly i'm not sure if he cares about who's watching. I think it's where he goes. He will pee if i'm standing right there looking at him, it's just a matter of where.

                        Could someone tell me how often a horse pees, though? I mean, for all i know, he might have peed right before he left the barn to go to the show, but when we are there alllll day i have to figure that even if he went before he left, he MUST have to go at some point. We have started giving him some electrolyte paste or gel stuff on show mornings, so hopefully that will help him, and i made sure he gets lots of water, but i'll just try experimenting with different places.

                        Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


                        • #13
                          I wish I had known all of these tricks to get a horse to pee/not pee on cue as a junior rider. I will never forget the U/S class during which the mare I was on suddenly decided to stop and whiz. Right in front of the judge. Talk about embarrassing. I'm sure it was nothing really out of the ordinary, volume-wise, but at the time it seemed like she was tapping out a fifty-gallon drum.


                          • #14
                            What sort of electrolytes do you give them?
                            Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by mortebella View Post
                              What sort of electrolytes do you give them?
                              Squire Stress-Dex oral electrolyte gel in a 60 cc tube.

                              Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


                              • #16
                                I have taught my mare to go when I whistle. It takes repetition, and a good reward after each time. Whistle AS he goes to pee (when you're at home, at first), then say good boy and treat. (or click if you use clicker training at all) Do this every time you see him pee. After awhile, you can whistle and if he has to go he may. The other thing that helps some horses is throwing some fresh shavings down do encourage him to go. You can do this in the aisle to practice, or outside. Or put new shavings in the stall - this helps a lot of horses want to go. Then use your whistle cue (or whatever cue you pick. I think "Whiz" is pretty cute! Guide dog trainers often use "Get busy", which I think is silly, but it works) Have fun!


                                • #17
                                  I second whistling while they pee. Even the dense ones got the point.


                                  • #18
                                    I had a horse like the OP--he was very bashful and would. not. pee away from home. Luckily we only shipped in to shows, but he would hold it for hours, and no amount of trying to make him confortable would encourage him that it was okay. He finally gave up the ghost at WIHS local day one year and I was thrilled that he finally let his bladder go!

                                    Same horse wouldn't pee outside. ONLY in his stall, with the door closed and no one watching. Also wouldn't let you catch him lying down and would spring to his feet once people came in the aisle.
                                    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.