Stubborn Horse won't drink - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-22-2013, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Stubborn Horse won't drink

I bought my horse Winchester almost three months ago. He is a 10 y/o gelding.

He becomes extremely aggressive towards my old mare around feeding time. (They are always fed separately in different pens) The rest of the time he wants to be near her, pitching a fit if I wash her...trying to bite her and running and calling to her like a maniac...but she is constantly trying to get away from him, and never relaxes. Since he has caused her so many injuries over the past few months I decided to fence half the property and keep them separate.

Well I have been watching that water trough since the seperation and he will not drink. I thought maybe because it was black and changed it, then put his favorite red bucket out there, ect. It was two days this morning without him drinking. Trough is still full (I marked it). I am in South Florida and its in the 80's & 90's, so I am VERY concerned. I let him back in with her and he drank, and drank, ate her crumbs of feed & hay, tried to eat her alive, then drank more.

Any sugestions?
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-22-2013, 12:39 PM
Green Broke
 
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My alpha gelding butt bit my mare for at least a couple of years. The butt biting has finally stopped but she still keeps her distance from him while in the pasture together if we're out there. If the wife and I aren't out with them then they seem to enjoy each others company and will get close together and graze side by side.

If you can live with it, put them together and let them work it out....they eventually will, but it might be awhile.

If you keep them apart, I think he'll have to drink sometime....when he gets thirsty enough.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-22-2013, 01:27 PM
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Does he have access to a salt block? Higher levels of sodium trigger the horse's 'I'm thirsty' signal.

If you're worried about him getting fluids for now, you can soak his portion of hay in water just before feeding, and he will at least consume some water that way.

If he won't lick the salt block, you can also add loose salt to his feed so he has no choice but to eat it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-23-2013, 08:17 AM
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I can certainly see why this would cause concern, and is actually a fear I have when planning for horse ownership...what if they WON'T drink? Great advice so far HFers! I'm going to keep following for my own educational sake! Prayers and best of luck with this issue, karaoke!! B2H :0)

"I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener"
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-23-2013, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karaoke Chick View Post
I bought my horse Winchester almost three months ago. He is a 10 y/o gelding.

He becomes extremely aggressive towards my old mare around feeding time. (They are always fed separately in different pens) The rest of the time he wants to be near her, pitching a fit if I wash her...trying to bite her and running and calling to her like a maniac...but she is constantly trying to get away from him, and never relaxes. Since he has caused her so many injuries over the past few months I decided to fence half the property and keep them separate.

Well I have been watching that water trough since the seperation and he will not drink. I thought maybe because it was black and changed it, then put his favorite red bucket out there, ect. It was two days this morning without him drinking. Trough is still full (I marked it). I am in South Florida and its in the 80's & 90's, so I am VERY concerned. I let him back in with her and he drank, and drank, ate her crumbs of feed & hay, tried to eat her alive, then drank more.

Any sugestions?

How have you separated the tank? Is it a hotwire fence?

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-23-2013, 09:04 AM
Green Broke
 
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Did you put him in the "new" section? With a new trough that he isn't used to? Maybe try switching sections and put her where he was, since you know he will drink out of her trough. Horses are creatures of habit. Maybe he wants to drink out of the trough he is accustomed to in the place he is used to it being. I agree if he has access to clean water, when he gets thirsty enough, he will drink. If he is running your mare in high temps that is much worse, as it could lead to heat stroke.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-23-2013, 09:09 AM
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Woah sorry I read that wrong, I thought the tank straddled the fenceline...disregard my foolish lack of coffee induced question.

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post #8 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 10:28 AM
Green Broke
 
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I've never seen a horse die from not drinking water. He will drink and the safety of your other horse would make me keep them separated.

I'd quit worrying about this and let him get thirsty, and he will drink then.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 11:52 AM
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Have you tried putting a little bit of apple juice in there?
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 03:47 PM
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Great advice already...you could try switching their pastures to see if this would help. Also soaking the hay, adding loose salt in the feed another great idea. You could also add electrolytes to the feed or water. I have a horse who is stubborn to drink when away from home. She's staying better hydrated while on the electrolytes (she also has a mineral salt block at home) but we haven't been away much to see how she will do while on the trail. I have been encouraged by others to add the electrolytes to her water so that it will taste similar when away & she may be more inclined to drink. I want to try that, just have to find out how to measure. Directions say so much/gallon but we don't drain our water trough every day so not sure if I just keep adding the same amount daily or if I need to modify.
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