How to teach horse to use freeze-proof waterer - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-21-2011, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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How to teach horse to use freeze-proof waterer

Hello! So, my mare has been at our current barn for almost two years now. They have one of those bar-bar-a waterers that have the metal paddle that the horse pushes down to release water. However, I've never seen her use it once. They have free access to the stalls, so I try to make sure there is enough water in there just in case she doesn't know how to use it, but it's getting difficult now that the water buckets keep freezing.

If she doesn't know how to use it, is there anything I can do to help her learn? I really never see her drink much more than a few sips out of the water buckets at a time. Either she's not drinking nearly enough now that it's winter, or she's getting plenty from the waterer, I just never see it!
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-22-2011, 04:29 PM
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if she's been at that barn for 2 years then i would guess that she knows how to use the waterer.what did you do last year when the buckets froze? also, if she wasnt getting water you would probably know as she would be searching for it, pawing etc.horses are pretty curious and will often sick they're noses into stuff just for a look so chances are she's figred it out.find out by denying her access to the bucket of water and see if she uses the waterer. if you dont have time to wait and watch, then take the bucket away overnight and offer it to her in the morning, if she isnt able to uses the waterers she'll be very thirsty.

i have never seen the waterers you're referring but have a rough idea how they work. i've never tried this but might be worth trying if you think she cant use the waterers..
find something round and flat (frisby shaped, mabey cut the rim off the lid of a bucket) that floats and put it in her bucket, making sure its snug but not tight around the edges, so that she has to push down on it to drink, hopefully this will give her the idea. i have no idea if that will work but its all i can think of...
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-22-2011, 04:40 PM
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Could you put an apple in it so she's forced to give counter-pressure to take a bite?
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-22-2011, 04:46 PM
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Horses unlike goats don't have sensitive noses so she will automatically press onto the "spoon". Those are good tips that Blacksplash gave.

She probably allready figured it out though. Is the bowl heated? if not then you would be able to tel if your horse drinks out of it by checking if it's frozen or not

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-22-2011, 05:01 PM
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After two years it's pretty certain she knows how to use it, you would have seen dry buckets every time you checked her stall, or she would have had severe dehydration. You can always do a pinch test to check. I'd rest easy she's clever enough to use the waterer though.

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