Ideas to get horse to drink more?

Ellietotz

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I've noticed my mare is looking a bit dehydrated the last few days and pinch test didn't ping back straight away.

I've been giving her dinner as a soup rather than the usual mash to help. Troughs are clean but she isn't drinking as much as she should it seems.

Any other ideas to help? I only feed grass nuts, I'm not sure she'd drink a diluted grass flavoured water though but I will try it! Is squash safe or just pure apple juice perhaps? Minty water doesn't work.

Something not weight gaining ideally too!

Thank you!
 
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bouncing_ball

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I've noticed my mare is looking a bit dehydrated the last few days and pinch test didn't ping back straight away.

I've been giving her dinner as a soup rather than the usual mash to help. Troughs are clean but she isn't drinking as much as she should it seems.

Any other ideas to help? I only feed grass nuts, I'm not sure she'd drink a diluted grass flavoured water though but I will try it! Is squash safe or just pure apple juice perhaps? Minty water doesn't work.

Something not weight gaining ideally too!

Thank you!
soaked hay? Thirst quencher in water? Very watery speedibeet?
 

Lindylouanne

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I add salt to feed which can help especially in this heat. Never added it to water although I know some people have two buckets, one salty the other fresh. I also feed well soaked hay which rehydrates them overnight. If you would rather not give hay a large trug with prices of chopped up apple can tempt a non drinker to go apple bobbing. It’s fun for them and quite amusing to watch the different techniques used to get the prize.
 

AdorableAlice

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Saracen recovery mash made up into a squash is useful. I have a mare that does not drink enough and has repeat colic, last week she was tubed 4 times. Sugar beet juice is useful as well.

In all honesty and in this heat I wouldn't worry too much about a few extra calories. A dehydrated horse is potentially a very sick horse in a very short period of time.
 

Ellietotz

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Saracen recovery mash made up into a squash is useful. I have a mare that does not drink enough and has repeat colic, last week she was tubed 4 times. Sugar beet juice is useful as well.

In all honesty and in this heat I wouldn't worry too much about a few extra calories. A dehydrated horse is potentially a very sick horse in a very short period of time.
Blimey! How stressful for you both.

I will try grass nuts, pony nuts or speedibeet squash and hopefully it'll encourage her to drink. Thank you!
 

Jango

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I struggled to get my mate to drink at comps, I've been at camp this week and feed lady gave all the horses baileys aqua aide in half a bucket of water with a handful of chop. They all guzzled it straight down. So would definitely try some of that!
 

BeckyFlowers

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Last summer when we had a heatwave and the grass was frazzled, I fed my horse (amongst other forage) a small scoop of Speedibeet in a bucket that I filled up with water. He would drink the juice and then eat the mash. It was a messy affair as he went at it like a pig at a trough, but he loved it and I was pleased to get that extra water in him. I was just thinking today actually that I might buy a bag and do this again while we have this hot spell.
 

Follysmum

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I have always used fast fibre made up really sloppy. My lot love it and stick their heads in to get to the bottom.
 

Ellietotz

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Thank you all. A combination of pony nuts and speedibeet worked but I may grab some apple juice to try instead as it might keep a bit longer in a bucket of water.

How much apple juice would you put in a 40L bucket of water?
 

Sheep

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Glad you got sorted. We always bring some calm & condition / fast fibre type stuff with us and make it into a slop. Big horse knows the drill now and sucks the water out then eats the dregs 🤣
One of ours became very ill with heatstroke a few years ago, so I’m paranoid about hydration too.
 

Ellietotz

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Okay so apple juice didn't work surprisingly! Even with a full carton of it in about 3L of water!

Very sloppy dinners and separate speedibeet squash it is then!
 

Ali27

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Mine absolutely love Baileys aqua aid which I give to my mare who is work before and after riding when hot and doing x country etc! But I’m giving her and companion mare some every evening in this heat to make sure they are hydrated!
 

Julie Ole Girl

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I give very watery mash, they love slurping the bottom of the bucket. I also spoil mine as I carry buckets of fresh water to their shelter, as the trough is attracting flies and midges at the far end of the field.
 

spotty_pony

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I haven't read all of the replies but - apple in bucket of water is a good one! They spend ages trying to get the apple and end up drinking lots too!
 

Frumpoon

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This is such a useful thread.

I’m worried about mine not drinking enough at the moment so lots of good suggestions
 

timefort

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Fascinated by the number of people suggesting apple bobbing. I tried this a couple of summers ago and discovered horse is too clever for its own /my good.

Pop apple cores in bucket.
Horse looks for a while then gets discouraged.
Get horse close to water surface and give one of the apple cores.
Horse gets it, tried on own to get next one.
Horse realised this was difficult so solved problem by tipping over bucket.

What's the saying about leading horses to water...?
 

poacher82

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If apple juice isn't tempting, try putting a splash of molasses in. Make sure it mixes with the water not just sits on the bottom. I call it "Pony Squash", it's the only thing my boy will usually deign to drink when stabled (he agrees with yours Ellie, apple juice is apparently poison!). I always give two buckets, one plain and one with molasses, just in case he goes off the molassed stuff one day. I also do the sloppy mash thing but just with his balancer (it's all he is fed) - as others have said, he'll drink a good 4" of water to get to the smush at the bottom.
 
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