Does your horse have a drinking problem? Horse Quencher can help.
Is your horse a picky drinker? Does he embody that tired adage of leading a horse to water vs. making him drink? Does she wrinkle her nose in disdain at any water that is not the correct flavor or temperature? Do you find yourself hauling huge jugs or tanks of “home water” to shows or camping trips?
Unfortunately, lack of drinking due to stress or pickiness can lead to serious issues such as dehydration, colic and even death. According to the Louisiana State University Equine Hospital, the average 1,000 horse needs to drink about 6 to 8 gallons of water per day. That seems like quite a lot when you’re dealing with a horse that doesn’t want to drink. Lactating mares and horses in strenuous or intense exercise require even more water to stay healthy because they lose more water through their milk or sweat.
After exercise, your horse should be offered water and be allowed to drink as much as he wants; it is a myth that water should be withheld after exercise. Just imagine if you finished a butt-kicking workout and couldn’t even take a swig from a water bottle!
While both of my horses are generally low-maintenance (knock on wood), my gelding has suffered from impaction colic due to dehydration. He was stabled at another farm for a weekend-long clinic, which was already stressful for him. But to have buckets of unfamiliar, weird-smelling water offered to him? He thought that was the worst thing ever… until he discovered something even more upsetting when he colicked a short time later.
Fortunately, the only lasting damage from that weekend was the extra dent in my wallet after paying the vet bill. It truly could have been much worse, and unfortunately for many others, severe dehydration has led to tragedy. After that, I found myself obsessing over my horses’ water intake, whether we were at a show or on a trail ride. But bringing huge jugs of water wherever we went was only as effective as my horse’s desire to drink, as he still refused water as soon as his hooves hit unfamiliar soil. While my mare isn’t nearly as finicky, she has a significantly higher workload than my gelding and I worried about how much water she was getting at shows.
I decided to give Horse Quencher a try, in hopes that it would help my horses stay hydrated. Developed by a trio of horsewomen, this all-natural mix of grains and flavors is designed to give water an appealing sweet and salty taste. Their slogan is, “You lead ’em to water, we’ll make ’em drink.” Challenge accepted!
Horse Quencher comes in four flavors (apple, peppermint, butterscotch, and root beer) and is available in a variety of sizes, from a single-serving pouch to a 20-pound bucket. The most common size seems to be the 3.5-pound pouch, which equals 25 servings. I decided to test the apple flavor on my horses, as it seemed universally appealing.
When I opened the bag of Horse Quencher, the first thing I noticed was how amazing it smelled. Imagine a package of scrumptious horse treats with a tangy hint of apple. The ingredients listed are barley, salt, crimped oats, molasses, corn, beet pulp, vegetable oil, propionic acid (a preservative), and the apple flavor. All of these ingredients are legal for competitions and commonly found in many feeds, and the half-cup serving size seems very reasonable.
I first tested the Horse Quencher on my gelding by offering him a small handful as a treat after a ride. He sniffed once and promptly devoured it. I then mixed in a serving with a small bucket of water and let it dissolve. After sniffing the mixture, he tried to nibble the floating grains and seemed quite confused at first. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for him to figure out that the best way for him to get at the tasty treats in the bucket was to drink it down (noisily). Success!
My mare’s first Horse Quencher experience was at a large show on a hot, humid weekend. I experimented by filling two buckets with water and mixing Horse Quencher into one of them. Lo and behold, she thought the apple-flavored water was awesome and totally ignored the plain water bucket. She also took to the “nibble at the water” method, but at least she drank it all:
Needless to say, I will be packing my bag of Horse Quencher whenever my horses leave the farm. The Horse Quencher website recommends using it in conjunction with electrolytes to help your horse fully recover after a workout. With summer in full swing, it could be indispensable for helping prevent dehydration in finicky horses. Because horses are less likely to drink in cold weather, Horse Quencher can also come in handy during winter. $29.99 for the 25-serving bag is a very small price to pay for peace of mind, and I also think that the horses enjoy the extra treat!
Learn more about Horse Quencher’s history and ingredients in this promotional video from Best of America by Horseback:
Keep yourselves and your horses hydrated this summer! Go Horse Quencher. Go Riding.