Horse not drinking?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Rare Feathers Farm, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. we have 120 acres that adjoins 5,500 acres we can turn our horses out onto from June through November 1st. We lease it from the DNR. Which we do every summer because otherwise, we'd have to feed year 'round & with hay prices approaching $200/ton this year, there is no way we could afford that with FIVE horses!

    Anyway, we turned out the herd (minus one mare who founders easily so she's in a dry lot & eats grass hay twice per day).

    The turnout herd consists of:

    12 yo appendix gelding, Bart. 16.2h Born & raised on the range, a real brush hog. Smart & very bossy.
    10yo andalusian x arab mare, Kally. 15.3h Born & raised in a stall, first summer out on pasture. Very smart and bossy but a follower at the same time.
    4yo peruvian paso mare, Suena. 14.2h Born in a stall, spent her first year in a boarding facility and since age 1.5, she's been out on pasture, but never this pasture. She's very smart, but sort of clingy to the others.
    4yo peruvian paso gelding, Huey. 14.2h Born in a pasture, spent 2 months in a stall and out on pasture ever since. But not this pasture. He's dumb as a rock, ugly but sweet. Bottom of pecking order.

    Keep in mind their only access to drinking water is a large creek which moves fairly fast. We figured that turning out the "new" horses with the "old" horse--would make the "new" horses learn how to drink & survive. There are several good spots with a low bank for them to drink from. The water level is the ditch is checked daily by the DNR dude who has keys to our gates (this stream irrigates many farms below us).

    So anyway, we turned them out last Saturday (a week ago from this past Saturday)--so it was the 7th of June. Some times you can see them from the road, but most of the time they are up in the Aspens (in the shade) or wandering the back half of the acreage. I asked hubby to check on them because I'm paranoid like that and I know the things horses can get into when they have half a chance...

    Well, hubby calls me this morning & says that Huey is not drinking & he's "ganted up."

    So hubby wandered for hours & finally was able to convince Huey that he needed to be captured. LOL He then brought Huey back home. On the way away from the other horses, he things are still moving along for him (no colic)...and once home, he drank & drank.

    We'd like to turn him back out over there--we think it's good for young horses to climb hills, cross water & logs...but there is no way to put a trough up there & haul water for him... any ideas???? Everyone else is fat, shiny and seems to be thriving....

    Oh, BTW he's for sale. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2008
  2. Sherrie

    Sherrie In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2008
    We had to put water tubs and haul water in a 55 gallon barrels in the back of my truck, which was gravity fed, everyday for our horses last summer.. They had a pond but with the heat last summer and no rain it quickly turned to Mud.
  3. Ick, no thanks. LOL I could see if your pond was dried up & your horses & you HAD to do that...that's one thing..but this horse has cool, very clean water available at all times. He just is too stubborn or stupid to go down & drink from the stream. Everyone else is doing it...what's wrong with him? LOL Hubby says "Darwin Award Winner." [​IMG]
  4. Well gosh. How would this fellow survive in the wild? Our horses drink very little when they are on grass. Is it lush or not? What made you think he was bound up?

    Horses can be pretty darn dopey, especially the young ones.[​IMG]

    You have an interesting herd. What do you do with all your babies?[​IMG]
  5. Florida chick

    Florida chick Songster

    Jan 19, 2008
    Its survival of the fittest in the wild. he is NOT a WIld Mustang! He may be nervous or too scared too drink. I would give him electrolytes and put buckets NEAR the creek for a few days if you let him go. Move the bucket closer and closer each day..... Goodluck, BUT I would seriously keep an eye on him and not chance his lfe out of not wanting to lug water etc... What a cool place that would be to turn them out. We have 10 and 3 are WIld Mustangs from NV.... Any rain storms, they run to the stream to drink, they prefer it.. BUT my domesitcated horses use the troughs.. hmmmm They were domesticated by us. In a survivial situation 9 out of my 10 would be ok, BUT 1 would lie down and die, I swear! We lost power and she wouldn't drink from the ponds. GOOdluck I would love to see pics!
  6. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    He should be getting a good amount of water through the grasses but I know it would be reassuring that he drinks out on his own. I'm not sure if you can assure him of that. Being as "dumb" as he supposedly is, he may not survive anyway. That's your call to let nature take care of it or bring and keep him home?
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If the ground is soft or pockety around the stream, I have known horses with slightly sore suspensories (not lame as such) who really REALLY do not like to go on that kind of footing.

    Otherwise, he just may not be clueful enough to keep out there. Personally I would sigh and exercise Colorful Language and keep him home. Possibly drop his selling price ;P

    Good luck, it sounds frustrating,

  8. wyndski

    wyndski Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    Spring Hill, FL
    Have you tried walking him up to the stream on a lead and letting him drink? Maybe he is afraid of the stream, you said it moves fairly fast. Maybe after he drinks from it a few times he would know its no big deal.
  9. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    I used to pasture my broodmares in a similar situation while I was weaning foals off them and never had that problem. Crazy horse!

    Last year and the year before, I had two aged mare colic because they stopped drinking (at home, out of the same trough they'd had explaination). My vet offered this - take a few tbsp of table salt and pack in in their lip. It makes them want to drink. We also upped their electrolytes in their feed (which obviously isn't something you can do with your situation).

    I was thinking you could pack the salt in, then work him on lunge down by the creek...ask him to go in the creek to rest. Maybe he's afraid of the creek, and by resting him in it you can teach him it's not only ok to go there, but also NICE to go there. Maybe with the work and salt, he'll drink from the creek, too. Just a thought!

    Good luck.
  10. Quote:He wouldn't survive in the wild. LOL He's not very smart, at all. It is pretty's just been very hot here the last few days...

    My one baby (out of my mare) I bred the mare because I wanted a baby out of her. My "dream" horse was a black filly. Which I got. She's gorgeous (IMOHO). I'll be keeping her & loving her forever. I plan to use her as a trail (like real trails, not the classes) horse as well as just a pleasure horse around our place.

    The appendix is my husband's horse. He's had that horse since he hit the ground. He's our "mountain" horse. He's the one you can pull from the pasture & leave the herd with...he will go over or through anything you point him at.

    Kally, my 1/2 andalusian...I bought her in 2000 as a "project" horse for one my college classes. I trained her & sold her in 2002. I regretted selling her, but was able to buy her back last May. (I bought her for $750 at age 2, untrained). Sold her for $5000 and bought her back for $800, delivered because her owner was getting shipped to Baghdad. Originally, I got her to a solid second level dressage and when I sold her, she was used as a broodmare for a few years. Now, I'm starting endurance training with her.

    Carroll (the 17yo) I've had since I was 11. She is the dam of the black filly. Carroll will always have a home with me. We grew up together, literally. She's been there, done that. Anyone can ride her. She's smart, willing & will go all day.

    And last...Huey was a rescue. I got him from a bad situation (he was very wormy & had "skis" for feet. My goal was to bring him back into shape, train him & find him a good home. He's currently for sale.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2008

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