Water trough troubles

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Water trough troubles

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    11-15-2011, 02:06 PM
Water trough troubles

I'm new to the forum, but we're experiencing an issue I haven't had before in my almost 30 years of horse ownership and I thought I'd see if you all had any thoughts or solutions.

My husband's Belgian cross gelding has suddenly started putting his feet in our 100 gallon water trough. He has never done this before, but now will not leave the water trough alone. He overturns the trough when he tries to pull his feet out of it, and has dumped 300 gallons of water today alone. I'm also afraid of him stepping on the tank heater we just put in for the winter and either breaking it or injuring himself.

Is there something that would make a horse (who is 15 years old) suddenly start doing this that I am not aware of, or is there something we can do to prevent it from happening? We're limited to where we can move the trough and still be able to reach it with the hose we have installed in the barn.

Any thoughts?
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    11-15-2011, 02:17 PM
I'm stumped on the why.

We've had youngsters in the past that would get in the tanks, we lag bolted the tanks to the fence posts they sit against.
    11-15-2011, 02:19 PM
Is he looking for hay? Do you feed when you go out? Is he looking to get fed?
    11-15-2011, 02:24 PM
He is very well-fed and eats plenty of hay, and he's been doing it today after being turned back out from being in for breakfast this morning, so I don't think it's a food issue. It's just bizarre to me that an older horse would suddenly start doing this, so that's what makes me wonder if there is something wrong. Thought I'd ask on here before calling my vet and sounding like a crazy person.
    11-15-2011, 02:28 PM
He might be bored, or maybe he's just discovered the delights of splashing in the water. I don't think it's anything physical.

I'd be bolting the trough to the fence. At least that way, he's not dumping all the water when he decides he's done playing.
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    11-15-2011, 02:30 PM
I think he's bored as well my older qh used to do this... especially in the warmer weathers so not sure why he is doing it before winter.. try putting toys out for him to play with. It kept my qh horse busy so he didn't bother anymore..
    11-15-2011, 02:31 PM
Thanks, Speed Racer. There goes the old saying that you can't teach an old [horse] new tricks, right?

We can't bolt to a fence posts (we have t-posts and the trough isn't near them, it's by the sliding back door of the barn). What should I do about the tank heater?
    11-15-2011, 02:32 PM
Originally Posted by kait18    
i think he's bored as well my older qh used to do this... especially in the warmer weathers so not sure why he is doing it before winter.. try putting toys out for him to play with. It kept my qh horse busy so he didn't bother anymore..
We have toys (a ball, and a few traffic cones), but he doesn't play with them. Apparently, the trough is more fun.
    11-15-2011, 02:33 PM
Ride a horse into a pond and he'll either try to drink it dry or splash it gone. This may be what he's doing with the trough. I'd try setting it up on rr ties and see if that works. BTW since our electricity is so costly, I put water in a kid's plastic tobaggan which holds better than 5 gal. When the horses have finished drinking I just slide it out under the fence and dump the remainder. They don't look for water until later in the day. I have an all-weather hydrant close by so filling the tobagan is a simple task.
    11-15-2011, 02:34 PM
Can you put 4 posts around it, so he can't dump it?

I've known more than one horse who thought splashing around in the trough was much more fun than any silly old Jolly Ball.

trough, water trough

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