Tip of the Week – You Can Lead a Horse to Water But…

Does your horse continually fall short of obtaining good health and optimum performance? Have you reached beyond all means to find answers, yet battle consistent immune, digestive problems and more?  Have you peered over the stall or gazed toward the horizon of the pasture at a horse wondering what else can I do?  These questions are even more difficult as the spirit of the horse ceases to give up.

The answer might be right there on the ranch or at the boarding facility.  The discovery may bring forth a simple solution or a costly one, but the impact can be huge.

Horse owners and feed companies spend copious amounts of time dissecting such a small portion of the horse’s diet.  Supplements, grain mixes, etc. compared to the amount of hay they should eat or larger yet, the volume of water they should drink per day may never be addressed.  At times these nutrients may never flow into the topic of conversation when discussing a horse’s health.

For your knowledge, a horse consumes 1.5% – 2% of their body weight in dry matter.  Dry matter would include hay, grain mixes, pellets and supplements.  When combined, these would total close to 20 pounds for a 1000 pound horse. Water requirements for this same horse exceeds by four times the amount of dry matter.  Optimum consumption of water would be close to 90 pounds. This number does not take into consideration the loss of water through sweat, breathing, digestive or elimination processes.  In fact, it has been researched that dehydration may be known as the new “silent killer.”

Water excess or lack thereof impacts everything in the body.  The quality of the water and what it contains is just as important or may be the reason for lack of consumption.  In either case, water influences the diet and the horse in every way, shape and form.

“Cast Thyself Into The Enfolding Arms Of The Angel Of Water For She Shall Cast Out From Thee All That Is Unclean And Evil.” – The Dead Sea Scrolls – 3rd century BCE to 640 AD

This tip was brought to you by Kendra Helfter, Advanced Biological Concepts (www.abcplus.biz), and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE webinars, which take place monthly.  These webinars are an expansion of KAM’s weekly tips.  Go to www.kamanimalservices.com to sign up for the next webinar.  The FREE webinars will conclude with a question and answer session, so be ready with your nutrition questions.

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