Water when traveling - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Water when traveling

I am planning an overnight trip to a friend's barn where I will keep my horse for the weekend. It is in another county where the water is different and since it is hot here in the south I want to be prepared if my horse does not want to drink the different water. I tasted it today and it is definitely different but not bad.
A couple things I have heard of:

Mixing Gatorade in his water bucket a couple days before and having that on hand on the trip if he won't drink.

Hydration hay

I don't have any means to bring water with me for this trip.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 12:48 PM
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Gatorade, peppermint oil, honey, even molasses can be added to water to hide the taste.
If you go that route start at home one to two weeks prior to travel and begin adding a few drops or capfuls of whichever you choose to the water and mix well. See which one the horse likes best and use that one.

I've never used hydration hay, but have heard good things about it. I've also seen people make 'horse tea' with a bit of pelleted feed mixed in to hide the flavor of the water. It all depends on what your horse will do best with.

How long will you be on the road?
If it's any more than 4 hours you'll run a higher risk of dehydration and shipping fever. If at all possible stop every hour and a half to two hours and let the horse stand and rest, offer water if you can.

Have fun on your trip.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 01:27 PM
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It could be an issue for your horse but I think some people make it more of an issue than it really is. We've traveled across the state of ND but none of our horses ever had an issue with the different tastes of the water.

If you go the Kool aid or gatorade route, you would want to start well before the trip, at least a couple of weeks for them to get used to that new taste. Then when you travel, you can continue to use it to cover the different taste of the new water.

If your horse will eat soaked beet pulp, that is another way to cover the taste and get water in them.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 01:37 PM
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Yep to adding molasses, best if you have time to find the powdered w/o sugar, but I've seen plain jar from the grocery used as well. Most horses love it.

yep also to soaked beet pulp---as long as it has time to be well soaked,,in fact, I make it quite soupy and also add timothy cubes,,it makes a sloppy, tasty treat and gets some hydration in at the same time,,,not as much as drinking water, but if all else fails...

have fun!
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by PineMountDakota View Post

I don't have any means to bring water with me for this trip.
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5 gallon buckets with lids do the trick. You can get them at Menards and most home improvement places.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 02:32 PM
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You could buy a portable water jug to bring at least a little of your own water for gradually mixing. Walmart often has inexpensive 5-10 gallon ones by their camping stuff.

Only 1 horse out of hundreds I've worked with has had issues with changing water, but it was serious enough to require a vet out. Working up to flavoring the water at home a few days or weeks prior to leaving won't hurt anything. I'd keep a small bucket of plain water alongside the flavored for the first few days, to make sure your horse is drinking something, though!

Two cups of apple juice in a standard size water bucket was enough for my one picky horse to tolerate new water, but powdered Gatorade is the popular choice in my current area. It's easy to pack and won't spoil in the Texas heat.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 03:34 PM
Green Broke
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They make a "inline" filter for water hoses...takes out objectionable and unfamiliar water taste or smell....fits on any garden hose.

Call a plumbing supply and ask if they carry them...

We often had one with us when showing at "away" barns so we would not have a issue.

Otherwise as others said...adding things to the water works but you must start to acclimate the horse to those tastes many days if not weeks in advance of your trip.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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He may not be picky at all and will do just fine with the different water which I am hoping will be the case! Sounds like it is not very often that a horse has an issue with it. I have done a lot of day trips with horses and we would bring a big heavy container of ours just to have at the trailer or just in case but most of the horses would drink out of buckets with the local water anyway. I don't have a container to supply water for all weekend though. I don't think I would have even thought about it but when I had water from the water fountain at my friend's barn it was noticeably different! Thank you all for the suggestions! I guess I will have to start mixing this week if I take that route.

The trip will only be an hour tops and we are planning to travel in the morning before it gets too hot :)
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 04:54 PM
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I find it hard to believe you can't take along a couple of 5 gal pails with lids of your water. At your destination, mix new water, 1 part to 4 of yours. If you start adding a little strawberry kool aid to your own water he will adjust to the taste, then add it to the mixed water.
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Okay thanks saddlebag. I have a few other things to get and will look for something to have a few gallons of my water in. I just don't have anything that will work NOW and I don't plan on doing this a whole lot therefore looking for the easiest thing to do that won't take up storing space or much $$. It is a just in case as I am betting he will be fine. I just want to be prepared.
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