Add water to your horse’s meals
As we know, most horses have fairly sensitive digestive systems. It’s easy to help your horse at meal time by adding water to your horse’s feed.
Why water is great in feed
- Pellets and grains are often crunchy when they come out of the bag. Then you add your powdered supplements and electrolytes, and sometimes medications. Bad-tasting medications, usually. And then you serve – and what you end up with sometimes looks like the good parts have been picked out and eaten, and the powder stuff is left behind.
- In colder weather, use an instant hot water kettle to make a warm mash. This will not heat your horse from the inside as a flake of hay will, but it’s just nicer. You can also use heated buckets and muck tubs for feeding.
Water just added, in a few minutes this will be horse oatmeal.
Adding water can accomplish a few things, all beneficial to your horse:
- Pellets and cubes are softened and can reduce the chance of your horse choking.
- Your horse’s supplements can now stick to and appropriately mix with the rest of his meal.
- In the summer, your horse can get more water to stay hydrated! In the winter, you can use warm water and give your horse a nice mash.
- You may need to add water to some horse feeds- like beet pulp. Partially this is just what equestrians do, but also beet pulp is all sorts of scratchy.
- Mushy meals are easier to chew for older horses or horses with dental issues.
Raid your kitchen for a handy spoon to stir it up. Also, sweat scrapers (clean ones!) can do in a pinch to mix up your horse’s wet feed.
Do some experimenting with your horse’s feed
- It may be a bit of a science experiment to determine how much water to add to each meal, and how long in advance you need to add the water. For beet pulps, soaking for several hours is necessary, for most feed pellets and grains, a few minutes is just fine.
Yummy soaking beet pulp.
- Your horse will also tell you how much water is good for him, some horses want to drink their meals and others prefer a bit of texture!
Hay cubes often benefit from a little soaking to make them easier to chew.
You can also soak your horse’s hay for some respiratory health help and dust reduction, in addition to hydration.
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