Horses - Diet and Nutrition/horse and water


My horse drinks 40 to 50 gallons of water a day.Within 3 days I will have to change stalls because it will be so wet. He has wet all the stalls so now I have to keep him in the arena.Whats Wrong?

Hi Ken,

On average, a horse at rest in moderate temperature should consume approximately 1 gallon of water for each 100 pounds of body weight.  With added exercise and higher temperatures, water consumption should increase but likely not to the extent of 40-50 gallons as is the case with your horse.

Of course horses drink to hydrate themselves.  Not only do their digestive systems need water, but that water needs to be absorbed into the body and retained at the cellular level to ensure proper cell function.  In order to hydrate at the cellular level, horses need enough sodium in the diet.  I would suspect that your horse is drinking a lot of water because he is attempting to hydrate himself but lacks the sodium to retain the water and ultimately pees it all out.  I would recommend that you start adding salt to his diet, not just in the form of a salt block but by providing free choice salt.  In fact, I would suggest that you mix loose salt into his feed (either grain or beet pulp) to help hide it and make sure he eats it.  Start by adding 1/8 to 1/4 cup of salt per day to his feed and make sure to continue to provide fresh water free choice.  You should start to see a change in his water intake within just a few days.  

Horses - Diet and Nutrition

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Corlena Patterson


I can help with any of your horse nutrition questions and concerns. I have been involved with horses for closing on 40 years, with a B.Sc in Animal Science and currently working on an M.Sc in Equine Science with the University of Edinburgh. I have owned my own feed store, consulted professionally as an equine nutritionist, and lectured in the fields of equine and dairy nutrition at the University level for 5 years. I have developed and currently market 'Ration-X', a ration formulation program for horses...designed for the everyday horse owner. I am happy to help in any way I can.


Experienced in developing and implementing feed programs for horses of all disciplines, creating custom horse supplements and managing inter-disciplinary equine facilities. Specialize in equine nutrition consulting.

The American Society of Equine Appraisers

'Stable Management' Handbook, Equine Canada.

M.Sc (Equine Science-current), B.Sc(Agr) Animal Science, Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification, Farrier Certification, Equine Consultant Certification, Certified Equine Appraiser, Certified in Emergency Equine Rescue.

©2016 All rights reserved.