Water is essential for a living no matter whether you are a human or an animal. When it comes to athletic animals like racehorses, the consumption of water is even more crucial. But making the horse to drink adequate amount of water is not as easy as you may think. A common proverb dating back from the 12th century says that “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink”. This saying usually comes true when you athletic horse refuses to drink water even when it has a bowl full of it in front.
The lack of water intake can be a serious concern for the owner as water consumption is necessary for an athletic animal. Adequate water consumption is extremely important for the normal digestive functionality to avoid dehydration, colic impaction and similar life threating diseases in horses.
Normal Water Consumption of a Racehorse:
Considering the normal water intake of a horse, it should drink 5 to 10 gallons of pure and fresh drinking water every day. But why should you always give your horses clean drinking water? Read about it in this link. Just like humans, animals have different cravings for water as well and some horses drink more while some drink less than the average prescribed limit.
A normal horse which is deprived of feed but with a constant supply of pure drinking water can survive up to 2 to 25 days whereas a horse deprived of water but given constant supply of feed may only survive for up to 3 to 6 days. You can get an idea about the importance of water for horses from this.
The lack of water intake for up to two days may result in colic impaction and the horse may refuse to eat at all which may be life threatening to it.
In summers, horses usually enjoy fresh and cold water just like humans but it is hard to make the horses drink water in chilling winters. It is best to warm the water before giving it to horses which may result in increased consumption.
Domestic horses usually eat fresh grass and hay which contains enough amount of water in it and so its consumption may reduce but in winters, dried hay and grass may not be enough to provide horses with the required water. So you may need to increase the water during the winter season to keep your racehorse hydrated during the chills.