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Water – how important is it for your horse?

Posted in Health

Water is the most important nutrient for ponies, as over 50% of their bodyweight is made up of water (in body fluids and tissues)...

Water is needed to:
1. Carry substances into, through and out of the body
2. Help the pony sweat and 
exhale (breathe out) moisture
3. Regulate body temperature (the average body temperature of a pony is 37.5 degrees Celsius)
4. Lubricate throughout the body. For example eyes and joints.
5. Transport sounds and vibrations around the body.

Gaining and Losing water
Fifty percent of a pony is water, and if 20% of that water is lost (due to sweating, for example) then the pony will most probably die. That means for a 500kg horse, losing only 50 litres of water without replacing it could prove fatal.

In the stable horses and ponies will drink from a bucket in the stable if it is refreshed every day. It may be a good idea to put a tyre around the bucket to prevent the pony from knocking it over, and place the bucket against the wall. The pony might need more than one bucket, just to make sure he doesn’t go thirsty.

You could install an automatic drinker but you won’t know how much your pony is drinking, or if it is broken – so a bucket may be a better option for these reasons.

Your pony’s water should always be fresh, clean and easy to access – there should be no hazards to hurt or discourage your pony. two horses drinking

In the field
You can use an automatic trough in the field if you clean it out regularly, but you won’t know how much water your pony is drinking each day. A trough can be used if you refill it every day and clean it out often.

Horses and ponies can drink from a flowing river or stream only if the water is clean and easy to access.

you know?
Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It is also known as H2O.

you know?
A pony should produce 5-15 litres of urine (wee) per day if he is drinking the right amount.

you know?
You can install an automatic drinking bowl for your pony, which refills every time your pony drinks from it!


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