I live in AZ and my horse is an 8 year old Appendix who I work between 30 and 60 minutes 5 days a week. He is turned out at least 3 hours a day depending on pasture status. (If the pastures are wet from irrigation, the BO turns out in the arena, which offers no shade, and she makes sure the horses arenít out too long. Itís been a ridiculously hot summer.) He loves his water and drinks until the water is gone, almost no matter how much is in the bucket. BO has taken to rationing and he gets ten gallons with breakfast, 5 with lunch, and ten more with dinner for night. He also has free choice water while on turnout.
My barn has only 5 horses and the BO is the one who takes care of all of them. (Feeding, mucking, turning out.) His stall is half mat and half shavings. BO has a system where she separates wet bedding and lays it out on the mat, so it dries out and can be reused for several days.
My problem is this: my horse urinates a lot, and the BO told me that there is so much wet bedding that as the weather cools, the bedding wonít dry and will need to be replaced. She estimated this will add $100 to $150 to the board each month or be such a burden on her that she wonít be able to keep him. I very much want to stay here; I found this barn after a long search and have only been here since 7/30/11. His prior barn had auto waterers, so I donít really know how much he drank prior to the move. His stall never seemed excessively wet to me. I am attaching photos of his stall yesterday. The wet bedding is what was created between 3pm and 5pm.
So my questions are: Does this sound like excessive drinking? If so, why would he drink in this way? Does this look like excessive urine? What can I do to stop him from drinking his water till itís gone? Also, I hate the rationing, but I see him daily and always check him for dehydration, and have never seen a problem. He gets free choice salt and mineral blocks, and on the BO and my trainerís recommendation gets a daily electrolyte supplement.
Please help us not get evicted!