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You Can Lead a Horse to Water . . .

How much water does your horse need?

The average horse will intake 5 to 10 gallons of fresh water per day. Just like humans, different horses crave or need different water amount intakes. A horse deprived of feed but supplied drinking water is capable of surviving 20 to 25 days. A horse deprived of water may only live up to 3 or 6 days.

An idle, 1,100-pound horse in a cool environment will drink 6 to 10 gallons of water per day. That amount may increase to 15 gallons per day in a hot environment. Work horses require 10-18 gallons of water per day on average but could require much more in hot weather.

The average horse will only drink about 3 buckets of water where 25 gallons is needed to maintain proper hydration. A grazing horse will consume 3 lbs. of water for each pound of grass eaten while a strictly hay fed horse horse will only consume 2.5 fl oz! During exercise, 4 gallons of water an hour can be lost and many horses will choose not to, or even refuse to, drink water when the weather is especially hot. To make up for water not consumed/lost, we recommend wet feeding.


People need water too! Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual.


Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:

  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements

  • Keeps your temperature normal

  • Lubricates and cushions joints

  • Protects sensitive tissues

Lack of water can lead to dehydration — a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.


So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men

  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.


Taking care of yourself allows you to continue to care for your horses.


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