Water is indispensable in the horse's body. A horse's body consists of approximately 70% water, which amounts to 350 kg for an adult horse. The amount of water a horse drinks is proportional to the amount of dry matter that the horse eats, but also with the composition and digestibility of the feed. What can you do to ensure that your horse drinks enough so that the water balance in the body is maintained? Bottled water, tap water or filtered water. Feeding Compared in the month of June weekly an important aspect of hydration, this is the last episode.
Every horse drinks water when it is healthy and feels comfortable. Yet there are ways to stimulate the absorption of moisture even more. For example, keeping the water tanks clean, this ensures that the water that the horse drinks is clean and smells fresh. Also the soaking or wetting of hay provides a higher moisture absorption. Salt blocks or a salt supplement can cause more thirst. This has to do with the water and salt balance, with a high sodium content in the body the urge to drink increases. Some horses are so picky that they prefer water with a neutral acidity. Water with a pH below 5 can affect the moisture intake, because this water tastes sour. With picky horses this could be taken into account in warm weather, for example by adding something sweet like apple juice to the water.
Often a horse in the meadow can drink from a ditch or a stream, this is ideal, but not without risk. This water can contain agricultural poison and fertilizers, or sickening substances such as ammonium, nitrate, nitrite or high germ count E. colli. If you do not have an alternative to ditch water, you can have a water test carried out to test whether the water is clean enough for your horse. Drinking water prevents muscle pain.
Drinking from puddles or pools with stagnant water on the other hand is absolutely not advisable and very dangerous. In still water, germs and parasites can develop rapidly, such as blue algae. So, in any case, drink from a pool with stagnant water.
Often we also see that horses in the meadow drink spring water or ground water. This is not without risks, just like the other possibilities, because this water can also contain high concentrations of pathogenic substances. A source of at least 25 meters deep gives the least risk of high concentrations of nitrate.
Various studies have been carried out on the temperature of the water with different results. Research * has been done showing that horses prefer to drink lukewarm water at about 20 ° C at low outside temperatures. Another study ** shows that horses prefer to drink cold water. This can be related to instinct; in nature, the cool, flowing water has the least chance of contamination. It has also been shown that ponies drink 38% to 41% less water when the water is freezing cold, in proportion to the uptake of water which is 20 ° C. At a pleasant ambient temperature in the house, the temperature of the water makes no difference. Drink more water in hot weather.
Our advice is to give fresh and clean water, which is fresh in temperature, but not freezing. Is it bad to drink water while eating. The main difference between drinking lukewarm water and ice-cold water is that horses of lukewarm water drink less often, but in large quantities, with ice-cold water, horses drink more frequent little bits.