Water must invariably be seen as a type of feed and the quality of the water given to horses should always be good enough for human consumption. After all, water is vital for a number of important bodily functions. It provides cells with nutrients, it removes waste products and transports vital oxygen to different parts of the body.
In spring, when the days begin to get warmer, our horses may not drink as much water as they should. If using automatic water feeders, it is important to check the water flow in these. A good flow of water means at least 8 litres/minute. Fill up the water feeder, put a bucket underneath and then press the valve lever for 1 minute for extra water. Measure the water in the bucket after 1 minute. There should be at least 8 litres.
All horses should have access to clean water in their fields – not only in the stable – regardless of the weather or season!
How much does a horse need to drink?
This depends, of course, on how hard your horse is working and how much it weighs. Here is a simple but reliable indicator of how much your horse ought to be drinking:
- Maintenance – 5 litres per 100 kg horse
- Light to medium work – 7 litres per 100 kg horse
- Hard work – 10-15 litres per 100 kg horse
- Lactating mare – 8-10 litres per 100kg horse
Naturally, all horses have their own individual character traits and like us humans, some are better drinkers than others. If your horse is drinking a little bit less than the recommended daily amount but is otherwise behaving as usual, then there is nothing to worry about.
Supplements of salt in addition to the usual salt block/lick usually lead to an increased water consumption. Another tip, if you do not think that your horse is getting enough water, is to mix KRAFFT Sensitive Mash with plenty of water. That way, you add ‘flavour’ to the water while at the same time, making sure that your horse gets enough water. For example, mix 0,25 kg of KRAFFT Sensitive Mash with 5 litres of water and reduce/increase the amount of water depending on what your horse prefers.