Water is another issue which is more prominent in the heat, but important year round.  Obviously adequate water intake is absolutely crucial to the horse’s health and survival. Horses need approximately 5L per 100 kg of body weight per day, so an 1100 pound horse consumes approximately 6.5 gallons of water a day. Horses tend to drink just 2 to 8 times a day, generally while eating and after exercise, and consume a large volume in relatively brief episodes of 10 to 60 seconds each.

Any number of things can influence the amount of water a horse takes in. To encourage optimum intake, it is best to provide fresh, clean, uncontaminated water.  We try to keep our water troughs looking clean enough that we would feel comfortable sipping from them ourselves.  Studies have shown that horses also drink a significantly larger volume of water when they have buckets or troughs that they can plunge their noses into than when they have small shallow cups. Another consideration is that the horse’s esophagus is evolved for eating and drinking from ground level.  So the bottom line is, make sure to have lots of fresh clean water available, in buckets or troughs, preferably low to the ground, during the summer and year round!