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2015-12-15: Hi! You're probably here because you did a Google search for 'plus sized horseback riders' or you saw my content quoted elsewhere. There are a couple of things I'd like you to know.

I am still here! But I am living away from my horses and not riding often. I could tell you a lie and say that I am, but I have always endeavored to give you the truth here. As a result, I'm not feeling terribly motivated to write blog posts and I feel out of touch with the community.

I'd love for you to stay a while and look back through the archives. Visit the links listed below. We still have an active forum community and I post on the Facebook page from time to time.

I have tentative plans to try to get more involved in the horse world in 2016, and I will absolutely share whatever that adventure becomes with you, so keep checking back!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guest Blog: Keeping Your Horse Hydrated

Emily Heggan is a senior at Rowan University and majoring in journalism. She currently competes in the 3' hunters with her horse, General, and enjoys writing about all sorts of equestrian topics.

It’s hot out there! So it’s very important to have valuable horse tack and horse supplies to keep your horse hydrated on hot days. Here are a few tips to help keep him hydrated as well as some signs telling you he may be dehydrated.

Water, just like us, is an essential part to your horse’s diet. Your horse’s body weight is 50% water. If a horse were to lose about 20% from his system, it could result in death. Water is all over his body, it is in all of his cells as well as his bodily fluids and tissues. Water is a main component in his temperature control for blood, enzymes, sweat and saliva. If he did not have these, his entire body would shut down and nothing would function properly. Therefore, keeping a close watchful eye on your horse’s water intake should be part of your every day routine.

Water Requirements

Your horse should drink around five to ten gallons of water a day. This water should be clean, fresh and easy to get to. Horses can not only get water from their buckets, they can also get water from grain and feed. Some feeds are made up of about 20% water and forage is also made up of 20% water. Grass is about 80% water. So if your horse is out in a lush green pasture you will notice that he will tend to drink less, but you still must have water available to him at all times.

Dehydration

If your horse is dehydrated it can cause overheating and can prevent proper circulations and your horse can get muscle cramps. Dehydration can also cause colic. Horses can also colic from excessive heat. You can tell if your horse is dehydrated by doing the “pinch test”. If you pinch your horse’s neck, his skin should return to the way it was, flat, within a second. If it takes longer than one second, it is likely that he is dehydrated. You could also look at your horse from behind and see if his hips look sunken in. Sunken in hips are a sign that your horse is not fully hydrated.

How to Keep him Hydrated
The key to keeping your horse hydrated is to have water always available for him to drink at anytime. If he is kept in a stall, try and give him two full buckets of water. Having a mineral block for him to lick will also give him some more sources of the minerals and vitamins he needs to stay healthy and hydrated. You can also dump a bottle of Gatorade into his water buckets to add some electrolytes to his drinking water. If you take a trip to your local tack store, you can purchase some electrolytes. These usually come in powder form and can either be scooped into his feed or into his water buckets.

Keeping your horse hydrated in the heat is extremely important. Make sure to check on him every day and give him clean fresh water to drink.

For more information about horse tack like high-quality horse blankets and more, visit Schneider’s Saddlery: providing value priced horse supplies since 1948.

3 comments:

  1. Good post!

    I just read an article by Susan Garlinghouse, DVM, that says that the pinch test is unreliable by itself. And it's not as accurate for older horses - even when fully hydrated, their skin just doesn't snap back as well. Instead, look at the color of the urine (anything Gatorade-colored or lighter is ok), feel the tackiness of the horse's gums, and check the manure to make sure it's a normal consistency.

    Mineral blocks are generally useless as a source of electrolytes in hot weather. They're designed for cows, who have very rough tongues, and horses can't lick off enough salt before they get tired and sore tongues. A better choice is loose salt, either free-choice in a bucket or pan, or added to the grain. Healthy horses just pee out excess salt, so don't worry about giving them too much. A tablespoon a day of plain white salt works for most horses.

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    1. Thanks for the tip about the salt Funder.

      Fascinating article, thanks for sharing!

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