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Horses - Diet and Nutrition/horse not at all drinking water


hi ma'am. my horse(racing thoroughbred) is not at all drinking water. my trainer is adding more glucose powder which might lead to laminitis. can you please help me out??

Hello Caine,

Adequate water intake is essential for both the horse's metabolic and digestive health.  Horses can be fussy drinkers though, so its important to ensure an adequate supply of clean water.  They are also very sensitive to changes in water, and can be thrown off drinking when you switch water sources.  In addition to making sure the water is clean, there are a few things you can do to encourage intake.  Feeding ingredients soaked in water will increase intake and mask changes in the taste of the water.  You can soak forages, beet pulp or bran and feed it wet.  Feeding more salt will also encourage horses to drink more.  Salt blocks don't supply enough salt to a working horse, so try feeding loose salt.  Mixing loose salt with grain is a good way to get your horse to eat it.  I personally like mixing salt with wet beet pulp, which helps dissolve and disperse the salt in the feed.  Start with feeding 1/8 cup of salt per day in the grain or beet pulp, and gradually increase the amount over time.  You may want to max out at 1/2-3/4 cup of salt daily.  When feeding loose salt, it is really important that your horse has unlimited access to clean, fresh water.  Horses will urinate out any unused salt but need enough water to do so.

Thanks, Corlena  

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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.

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