The summer is fast approaching, and like any good horse owner, you’re probably concerned about keeping your horses cool throughout the upcoming months.
It’s a given to keep your horse hydrated and with cool, fresh water. But as the weather gets hotter and hotter, how do you prevent the water from becoming lukewarm without constantly replacing it?
In this post, we’ll cover how cold your horse’s water should be and some different ways to keep the cool temperature consistent. No matter where you live and how hot your summer may get, these top tips will ensure your horse is refreshed, even in the hottest climates.
Know the Right Temperature
There is some debate about how cool water for horses should be. That said, keeping horse’s water between 45 and 65 degrees is generally best practice for your horses. Within this temperature range, the water won’t be freezing to drink. Horses prefer cool, but not freezing water for drinking. If you give them water that’s below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, they won’t be interested and you can run the risk of dehydration.
Horse water doesn’t need to be as refreshing as an ice-cold glass that you would drink on a summer day. Aim to keep their H20 slightly cooler than room temperature where possible.
Keep Troughs in the Shade
One thing you absolutely need to do is make sure all the water is in the shade. Water is best kept underneath shaded structures, placing the troughs underneath trees is better than in direct sunlight. If you won’t be frequently changing your horse’s water throughout the day, you will definitely need to keep it in a shaded area.
Giving shade to your horse’s water not only keeps it much cooler but can also keep it fresh and clean. Keeping the trough in the shade will limit the build-up of algae, so it will be cleaner in the shade than it would be in the sun.
However, it is possible to avoid the hot sun where your feeding and drinking station is currently located. If your trough station is located outside of shady protection, we recommend building a covering over the troughs. It’s a weekend DIY project that goes a long way towards preserving cool temperatures.
Switch to Light-Colored Troughs
Think the color of your troughs doesn’t do much to preserve water temperature? Think again. Objects that are darkly colored absorb heat better than light-colored objects. That’s why wearing a black t-shirt on a sunny day will make you feel hotter than if you were wearing white.
The same goes for a horse’s trough. While the color of troughs most frequently comes in black, try to find materials that come in light colors. Any supplies you have providing water to your horses can be made slightly cooler by getting them in a lighter color.
During the summer months, try to make the switch to white troughs. It’s a simple fix that could keep the horse’s water just a bit cooler with minimal effort required.
Add Frozen Gallon Jugs
While you can add some ice cubes to your horse’s water, they will melt quickly, this is especially true if the water isn’t in the shade.
Instead, fill gallon jugs and keep them in the freezer until they are frozen solid. Then, you can put the whole jug in your horse’s trough. It melts slowly, meaning you can provide cool hydration to your horse all day long. Your horse will adapt quickly and learn to drink around the jug.
This trick is very popular for horse caretakers because it works well for long periods. You can leave the barn and go take care of other matters, knowing that your horses will be cool for hours.
You want to make sure your horse is staying nice and cool this summer. Keeping their water cold not only cools your horses but also promotes better hydration. If the water is cool and refreshing, your horses will be more likely to consume more of it, so make sure they have plenty of it.
You don’t necessarily need to replace their water several times throughout the day if you keep it in a shady place and ensure it’s always within the optimal temperature range of 45-65 degrees. You can always check the water with a floating thermometer. And don’t forget to drop a frozen gallon jug in while you’re at it!