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Old 05-19-2009, 05:09 AM  
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Question How do you get a horse to drink?

My future DIL brought her new horse home on Sunday afternoon. She has not drank since than. Stormy is a little stressed by the move, but not overly so.
She has a automatic waterer and a bucket of water. The automatic waterer is shut off, that way they can tell if she is drinking. I had them put apple juice in the bucket of water. As of late last night, she still has not drank. Any other ideas for getting her to drink? I am starting to get concerned. How long can she go without drinking? She is out on pasture and it is cool here. She has a salt block.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:27 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyMay View Post
My future DIL brought her new horse home on Sunday afternoon. She has not drank since than. Stormy is a little stressed by the move, but not overly so.
She has a automatic waterer and a bucket of water. The automatic waterer is shut off, that way they can tell if she is drinking. I had them put apple juice in the bucket of water. As of late last night, she still has not drank. Any other ideas for getting her to drink? I am starting to get concerned. How long can she go without drinking? She is out on pasture and it is cool here. She has a salt block.
My vet has told me to put a little salt in their feed. It will increase their thirst and encourage them to drink. It worked for my mare.

I have heard others say to KoolAid in the water but have never tried it.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:30 AM  
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Unfortunately, that old phrase, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" came into existence for a reason!

Sounds like you're off to a good start ... if it's not too cold, then perhaps give her a bath, and eventually work the hose around her face a little to see if she might drink from the hose?

My boy was out to a trainer once where he kept dumping his water. It became ridiculous - his stall was always wet. Trainer kept trying different things with the bucket. Then one day I got a bright idea ... brought him some gallons of bottled water. Sure enough, he left that alone. The booger just didn't like the smell of the well water, and was making his displeasure known. (Fortunately he did drink enough while there, even tho he kept dumping the buckets.)

So you could possibly try that trick, getting some bottled water by the gallon, just to see. (tho the applejuice should've been masking smells, so maybe not) If her old barn is not too far away, ask if you could come grab 5-10 gallons from them to bring back with you.

Some horses are just really picky about their water!
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:41 AM  
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I don't have any other ideas, other than to second the suggestions already made. I have heard to put Gatorade in the water, but if the apple juice didn't work, the Gatorade probably won't make a difference. I hope she starts drinking soon. Can you do a pinch test and make sure she is not dehydrated? Also, check her gums and make sure they feel moist, not "sticky".
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:43 AM  
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I am gonna go out there this morning. I will check for dehydration. DIL said she was peeing and her poo looked normal. Not dry and hard. How long can she go without water?
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:01 AM  
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You said she is out on pasture and that her poop is normal and moist not hard and dry? Is the pasture pretty green and moist right now? She may be getting some hydration from the grass. Does she have a pond/water puddle/stream in her pasture that she might be drinking from instead of the water bucket?
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:52 AM  
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Ya, the pasture is green right now. She only has the waterer and the bucket. The water supply to the waterer is shut off so they could make sure she drank.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:54 PM  
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Try the juiciest piece of Watermelon.
Mine love watermelon.
Good Luck!
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:37 PM  
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I know you don't have the auto waterer on, but thats one reason why I do not like them is b/c you can't judge how much your horse is drinking......

I would suggest:

Kool-Aid
Apple Jiuce
GatorAid
Electrolyte

Give some paste electrolytes, that should make her drink.


Why isn't she drinking ? Is it the bucket ? The location of the water ? The water itself ? Is it easily accessible ? Is she being shunted away ? Is there electric wire by the bucket ? Is there anything by the water bucket scaring her ???

Sorry some many ??? but you gotta find a reason and get her drinking !!
You are increasing an impaction, dehydration and colic risk !!!!!

Maybe put out another water bucket in a different location.

Good luck
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:27 PM  
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If she's eating you could also make a mash with her grain and use beet pulp to soak up a bunch of water, that'll give her some fluids...
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:13 PM  
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We use 1/2 tube of paste electrolytes to get them to drink when stressed or traveling. Seems to work great.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:52 PM  
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Is she eating her grain? Try filling a bucket half-way with water and putting her grain in. She will have to drink down the water to eat her grain.

I have tried the gatorade and the apple juice in a bucket of water and it never worked for me but the grain in the water usually does.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:21 AM  
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Thanks everyone for the ideas. We got her drinking last night. Hubby put a cut up apple in a bucket of water. After trying for a while to get the apple pieces, she started drinking. When the bucket was empty and the apple eaten, she went to the waterer and drank it dry. She sure had my DIL and me worried.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:54 AM  
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The bobbing-for-apples trick is my favorite drinking trick! Even if they don't end up drinking the whole bucket, they at least have lapped up some water from trying to get the apple slices
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:05 AM  
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yah that shes drinking!!i read somewhere about horses that travel not liking strange water.another thing was to take peppermint oil and put few drops in water.it masks the icky flavor of strange water.ive not tried this but it sounds like good idea.
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