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Getting a stubborn horse to drink

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by kaitybug, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. kaitybug

    kaitybug Senior Member

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    Lizzie's new thing this year was to be a stubborn drinker at shows. She got better throughout the season but was still not drinking a much as I would have liked. I have a show in December and I need to her drink well. I have been feeding her treats out of a water bucket and have started to add a small amount of water in the hopes that eventually I will be able to add a treat to a full bucket of water and she will drink. I have also tried electrolytes (Apple flavor added to her water-didn't work, in her grain-wouldn't eat it and in a syringe so I knew she was getting it), Apple juice in her water(didn't work), and the horse thirst quencher that you add to flavor water (loves it but won't touch it in water). Is there anything else I can try or just keep working on training her with the bucket?
     
  2. Tayler

    Tayler Senior Member

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    Are you bringing water with you or using water at the shows? Maybe packing some "home" water would help her drink.
     
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  3. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    Soak part of her hay?

    Flavor her water at home a few days before you leave, and then use the same flavor at the show? Maybe with powdered gatorade or gelatin?
     
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  4. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    Oh. And maybe add loose salt to her ration?
     
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  5. kaitybug

    kaitybug Senior Member

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    I have brought water from home and she still wasn't having it, she can be quite stubborn. I am going to start adding the apple electrolyte in her water starting today.
     
  6. Bakkir

    Bakkir Senior Member

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    Beep pulp, soaked with as much water as possible. Feed her a good scoop morning and night. I would also add a teaspoon of salt to her grain. Keep offering her water, maybe two buckets - one with the electrolytes and one without.

    If it was my horse, I would be feeding the beet pulp and salt everyday. A horse needs to be hydrated and most don't drink enough. (especially in winter) Some horse will not tolerate the water changing either. I have known boarders to come by at night and add electrolytes to their horses water thinking they are doing a good thing. Horse wouldn't touch it and didn't drink all night. :(

    If you are only worried about show days, I would start feeding beet pulp a day or two before the show. You want the hind gut to be hydrated.
     
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  7. prairiesongks

    prairiesongks Senior Member

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    Another vote for flavoring the water a few days before the show. I use apple juice since I can buy it at most gas stations if I run out. Also water from home stored in plastic containers can pick up a strange odor and taste so picky drinkers may refuse it. The apple juice covers up the odor and taste. Soaking hay and grain can also get more water into the horse. Our equine vets really discourage using electrolytes to flavor water---there is a time and place when they are needed, but using them to encourage a horse to drink is not one of them.
     
  8. kaitybug

    kaitybug Senior Member

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    I just looked it up and Horse Quencher is what I bought this summer since it had great reviews. She really likes it dry but not when mixed with water. I am going to start giving her small handfuls in a bucket and slowly start adding water, it's worth a try.
     
  9. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Well, the old saying is: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink".

    It's a total lie.

    My Mule got colicy because I had her for the weekend at an event and she hadn't drank any of the water in her stall bucket. I hadn't checked that, since I've never seen her picky about water before this one time.

    I tied her up short so she couldn't get her head down, and since she needed that water in her, I turned the hose on a moderate trickle, stuck the hose in her mouth and rubbed her throat with my other hand.

    Drink or drowned baby, Drink or drowned~!! She drank. She had to. Rubbing the throat forces them to swallow.
     
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  10. raen015

    raen015 Senior Member

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    When we moved my mare to her current barn, she wouldn't drink the water for about 2 weeks. It was one of the most stressful periods of my life. We ended up having to drag gallons of water from her old barn (only 15 minutes away) every day. The BO then got the water redone (well water). Then we added in the "new" water slowly into her old water and then she drank it fine. Silly mare.

    We tried apple juice, gatorade, molasses, giving her table salt in her grain.. Ultimately nothing worked.
     

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