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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My one horse, Buddy, would occasionally mess in his water bucket. That's not uncommon. However, lately he is doing it EVERY day! To compound the issue, we've had such cold weather that the buckets won't thaw. We're scrambling to find a bucket we can use as there are so many frozen crappy buckets! The only heated bucket we've got left is for my other horse, Clyde.

Why could it be he's doing this? What kind of solution is there? He's a 16.3h Thoroughbred, 9 years old. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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Is the water bucket on the ground or hung up? If hung up, how high?
 

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Hang it higher than his butt. I had a mare that would (coincidentally enough) crap in her trough when she and I were working out dominance issues. I think she enjoyed watching me empty the trough one bucket at a time until I could dump and scrub, rinse repeat.... I seriously think she knew what she was doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bucket level

It's on the wall, probably three feet up. Where it's located, I can raise it up. He's even crapped over the front wall of the stall. If I were to move it, how high could I move it so he cannot mess in it? I just don't understand WHY he's doing this.
 

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Is he getting adequate time outside of his stall? My horse will do that if he's been stuck in his stall more than usual, which only happens in inclement weather...
 

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Raise it higher than his bum so he cannot take a dump in it.

I had a mare who used to "line em up" on the top rail of the fence. Why? I don't know. Maybe it was a game to her.

The other option is to go out, water him, then remove the bucket when he's done. He cannot crap in it if he's not there.
 

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Is it possible that is where he wants his potty spot to be. I was having that problem with one of mine, turns out that is just where he wanted to go. He is very neat and poops in the same spot every time. I moved the bucket and have not had a problem since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We moved the bucket and it seems to have stopped the problem. Still wish I knew WHY, but at least now we can not have to scramble for buckets! Thanks for everyone's input!
 

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Every horse handles their stalls differently. I didn't have stalls until 1999, so I've had my education with 6 different horses and they ALL are different about where they poo and pee. My 15yo mare tries hard to poo outside of her stall, even if I don't clean everything up. She likes a clean stall. My 7yo KMH gelding is careful as uses one spot IF you clean up everything EVERY day. After that, he gets repugnant and starts walking and pooing everywhere. Still, he pees in just one spot. My 7yo QH gelding is in the adjacent to the building, 16 x 20 shelter, which he has to share with the other two when they are turned out together. The other two are indiscriminate where they poo and pee in the shelter, so he's not that fussy, either.
I guess you've solved it, but I have extra rubber shallow feeding buckets around to use if the one is totally frozen. Their water buckets are rubber, too, and I can throw and stomp the ice out.
 

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At a barn I used to manage there was a huge hunter gelding that always crapped in one specific bucket no matter where it hung. Eventually I gave up and it just became his poo bucket lol. Gave him a different water bucket next to it and never had an issue with him pooping in the new one. Sure made cleaning his stall easier. It was like his own personal little toilet.
 
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