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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WATERING HORSES

Water is vital to your horses, both for their health and for their performance... And it has to be given to them in sufficient quantities of the appropriate quality, at the right place and at the right moment.
An adult horse can drink between 20 and 65 litres per day. This depends on several parameters:


• Ingested quantity and part of material dries of the ration,
• Weather conditions,
• Intensity of the work
• Live weight, lactation,
• Position of the drinking bowl,
• Consumption of salt

GUIDELINES FOR WATERING HORSES

  • Adapt the waterer to the horse: flow rate, content, size must allow optimum drinking conditions.
  •  Install the waterer at the right height: 55 to 90 cm for ponies and 100 to 120 cm for adult horses.
  • Give preference to an antifreeze solution instead of denying your horses to drink due to water cuts (see our solutions in the FROST-FREE

section p. 10)

  • In the winter period, the waterlines are more likely to freeze due to the combination of the cold and a lower consumption. However, shutting off the water after distribution of the evening ration deprives the horse of 30 % of its consumption. This want goes against the horses' welfare, making them very thirsty the next morning.
  •  In the box it is recommended to install the waterer in a corner to reduce hindrance and the risk of breakage. A metal protection can be used for horses that scratch their head or stamp a lot. The protection must be installed closer than 5 cm to the waterer to avoid a foal from getting its leg stuck in between.
  •  Regularly check the condition of the waterer, its cleanliness and proper operation.
  •  For horses kept in group, provide at least two water points apart from each other to allow subordinate horses to drink undisturbedly. Also for this reason, the waterers should not be placed in a corner or cul-de-sac, but in open places allowing avoidance between dominant and subordinate horses.
  • The installation of a filter at the beginning of the water line (A446 page 32) is necessary to guarantee the optimal operation of the drinkers.Overpressure should also be avoided as this may affect the proper operation of the valves and prematurely damage the wear parts. The installation of a professional pressure reducing valve (A406, p. 32) is mandatory when the pressure exceeds 5 bars (72.5 psi). The ideal operating pressure is 3 bars (43.5 psi).

THE DRINKING BEHAVIOR OF HORSES

  • A horse in a box drinks on average between 12 and 24 times. It drinks 1.1 to 2.7 litres each time and spends on average only 7 minutes drinking in total per day.
  • The drinking speed of a horse varies from 3.5 to 7 l/min/ Therefore, it is important to choose a waterer with a sufficient flow rate.
  • Drinking occurs predominantly during the daytime: 80% of water intake happens between 8 AM and 8 PM.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT LOCATION FOR THE DRINKING BOWL

In box:

  • In the back corner opposite the feed trough:+ Waterer fairly well protected from kicks (pay attention to small boxes!) - Visual inspection of the waterer is less easy
  • In the back with common water supply:+ Only one supply line for two waterers - Waterer across from the feed trough is less protected
  • In the front: + Waterer very well protected from kicks + Easy visual inspection - Risk of pellets getting in the waterer - Cannot be installed on completely open front.

In pasture:

  • Avoid installing the waterers directly in the shade, where the horses tend to crowd when it is hot 
  • Never install the waterers in a cul-de-sac or corner
  • When several water points are necessary, it is recommended toplace them some ten metres apart to reduce pushing and aggressive
    behaviour.

 

MINIMUM FUNCTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A WATERER FOR A HORSE

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