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How To Keep A Picky Drinker Hydrated

How To Keep A Picky Drinker Hydrated

As a horse owner, you want to ensure that your equine companion stays healthy and hydrated. However, dealing with a picky drinking horse can be a challenge. Whether they refuse to drink enough water or are selective about the type of water they consume, it's important to address this issue promptly. In this blog post, we will explore some effective strategies to help you deal with picky drinking horses.

Why is Hydration Important for Horses?

Before we dive into the solutions, let's understand why hydration is crucial for horses. Water is essential for various bodily functions, including digestion, temperature regulation, and joint lubrication. Horses require an adequate amount of water to maintain their overall health and well-being.

1. Provide Clean and Fresh Water

One of the most common reasons why horses become picky drinkers is due to the quality of water. Ensure that your horse has access to clean and fresh water at all times. Stagnant or dirty water can be unappealing to horses and may discourage them from drinking. Regularly clean and refill water troughs to maintain water quality.

2. Offer Different Water Sources

Some horses have preferences when it comes to the temperature or source of water. Experiment with different water sources, such as tap water, well water, or even collected rainwater. Additionally, try offering water at different temperatures, including warm water during colder months. By providing options, you can increase the chances of your horse finding a water source they prefer.

3. Add Flavor to the Water

If your horse is particularly fussy about drinking plain water, consider adding a natural flavoring to make it more enticing. Some options include apple juice, peppermint extract, or even a small amount of electrolyte powder. However, be cautious not to add excessive amounts or use artificial additives, as this may have negative health effects. Gallaghers water is a great option, we even offer it in sample sizes. Get yours in-store or on our website today!

4. Monitor Water Intake

Keep a close eye on your horse's water intake. Monitoring their drinking habits can help you identify any changes or potential issues. If you notice a significant decrease in water consumption, consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health conditions.

5. Soak Hay or Feed Moist Foods

Incorporating moisture into your horse's diet can help increase their overall water intake. Soaking hay or feeding moist foods, such as beet pulp or soaked alfalfa cubes, can provide additional hydration. This can be particularly beneficial for horses who are reluctant to drink water.

6. Consider Automatic Waterers

Automatic waterers can be a convenient solution for picky drinking horses. These devices ensure a constant supply of fresh water, and some models even offer temperature control. However, it's important to regularly clean and maintain automatic waterers to prevent bacterial growth.

7. Address Dental Issues

Poor dental health can make it difficult for horses to drink water comfortably. Regular dental check-ups and floating can help address any dental issues that may be causing discomfort or pain. By ensuring your horse's teeth are in good condition, you can encourage them to drink more water.


Dealing with a picky drinking horse requires patience and experimentation. By providing clean and fresh water, offering different water sources, adding flavor, monitoring intake, incorporating moisture into their diet, considering automatic waterers, and addressing dental issues, you can encourage your horse to drink more water and maintain their hydration levels. Remember, if you have concerns about your horse's drinking habits, consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice.

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