Being located in Vermont, we have already felt many of the full effects of winter. If you haven’t had to battle ice in buckets yet, we might be a little jealous. However, if you are in a region of the country that regularly experiences sub-freezing temperatures in winter…the big freeze is unfortunately inevitable!
Encouraging horses to continue to drink water is essential to their health, and frigid winter weather underscores the importance of maintaining water access. Formation of the dreaded ICE is preventable, thus ensuring your horse a continual supply of water. We have collected a few tips for keeping your water from freezing. Remember, no matter which method you choose, it is critical to continually monitor your horse’s water consumption.
Tip 1: Add hot water to your horse’s water bucket. If you have access to hot water, mixing it with cold water already in the bucket will create an appealing luke warm water for your horse. They will prefer this over ice cold water, encouraging them to stay hydrated.
Tip 2: Use heated buckets. If you have access to electricity, this is certainly a great option to keep your water from freezing. Of course, keep cords out of your horse’s reach!
Tip 3: Use insulated buckets. Insulated buckets will slow down the rate at which the water will freeze. You can either purchase water buckets that have been insulated or make your own! If you make your own, be sure to select materials that are safe for your horse and keep the insulation inaccessible to your horse.
Tip 4: Solar heat your water trough. If you have an outdoor water trough, take advantage of the sun to keep water from freezing. Clean energy that can be accessed anywhere! What could be better?
Tip 5: Add toys to your trough. Add a horse ball to your water to keep the water moving. If there is a breeze, the ball will move, keeping the surface from freezing. If a thin layer of ice forms, your horse will break that layer as he pushes the ball, similar to the concept of using a float on an automatic waterer!
While all of these tips are great to prevent or slow down the formation of ice in your horse’s water, it is important to stay vigilant when it comes to monitoring your horse’s water consumption. There is no substitute for your own observations!
Finally, the daily need for electrolytes doesn’t go away in the winter! ForeFront EquineTM offers two all-natural paste products that help minimize concerns of stress, recovery, oxygenation, and hydration. Try ForeRunnerTM and ForeLyteTM to provide an electrolyte supplement and further encourage your precious equine partner to keep drinking in the winter months! ForeRunnerTM and ForeLyteTM are complimentary products and can be used together or separately. To learn more about each product, visit our shop.