Archive for January, 2021

5 Tips to Get Your Horse to Drink More Water During Winter

Monday, January 4th, 2021

Get Your Horse to Drink More Water During WinterThe following guide will help you to get your horse to drink more water during winter: Water is the most essential aspect of any horse’s diet. Without adequate water intake, horses will not survive.

An adult horse (1000 lbs.) in a cool, comfortable environment that is not working, or lactating, needs a minimum of seven to ten gallons of fresh, clean water every day. The amount of water required is closely related to the amount of feed the horse has eaten. Most horses will drink 1.5 quarts of water per pound of dry feed intake. If a horse is consuming 20 pounds of dry hay per day, the horse would be expected to drink approximately 7.5 gallons of water each day. The water requirement is higher if the horse is in training, nursing a foal, growing, pregnant or in a hot/humid environment. The best way to ensure adequate water intake is to always provide free access to fresh, clean water.

Issues associated with water intake during the winter months usually revolve around horses not drinking enough water. Water that has frozen or is near freezing will result in decreased intake. Water consumption reaches its maximum when the temperature is maintained between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, horses that must eat snow as their only water source, will not eat enough snow to satisfy their necessary water requirement completely. This decreased water intake can result in digestive upset or “colic,” associated with feed material becoming impacted (stuck) in the digestive system. Therefore, the water source should be free-flowing or heated to prevent freezing and guarantee the horse is drinking enough water. When installing a heating device for water, be certain that any electrical unit is properly grounded to prevent electrical shock of the horse. Horses are very sensitive to electrical shock and will quit drinking to avoid shock.

Here are few easy tips to assist with increasing your horse’s water intake:

  1. Wet your horse’s feed at a ratio of 2 parts feed to 1 part water. This can increase the hydration status of your horse.
  2. Offer a wet mash, every day, of soaked beet pulp shreds or pellets, timothy forage pellets or alfalfa forage pellets. If you are concerned about adding too many calories to an overweight horse’s diet, try soaking and offering teff forage pellets. Soak these forage or fiber sources at a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part forage.
  3. Wetting down the long-stemmed hay you offer your horse can also boost water intake slightly.
  4. Flavoring your horse’s water can also encourage water intake, especially if you are traveling and have a picky drinker.
  5. Provide a salt block in your horse’s paddock or stall to help stimulate thirst.

Get Your Horse to Drink More Water During Winter Chart

Horses primarily eating hay will consume more water than those eating both hay and grain. Fiber increases the water holding capacity of the hindgut. Better quality hays, such as alfalfa, are typically higher in calories compared to grass hay. Other baled hay substitutes, such as forage cubes and pellets, can be fed to replace poor quality hay.

Standlee Premium Western Forage offers a wide variety of Alfalfa and Alfalfa mix products ranging from baled, long-stemmed forage, to cubes, pellets and chopped forage. Also available are Standlee Premium Smart Beet (beet pulp) shreds and pellets that increase the calorie content of the forage portion of the diet and are highly digestible.

If you have questions about how you can you to get your horse to drink more water during winter, please contact or visit your local Argyle Feed Store today.

By Dr. Tania Cubitt
Standlee Nutritional Expert – Performance Horse Nutrition

January Garden Tips

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

January Garden Tips

It may be chilly outside at this time of the year, but winter is a perfect time for a number of outdoor chores. Just consider how much better outdoor chores like soil preparation, planting, transplanting and pruning can be done without toiling in hot summer temperatures.

January Garden TipsIf you need to move a plant to a different spot in the landscape, this is the month to accomplish this job. Most plants move best when they are fully dormant as a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Remove some of the top growth to compensate for the inevitable loss of some of the roots. Once the plant is moved, water thoroughly, apply root stimulator, and a few inches of mulch over the root area.

January is a great month to accomplish pruning of fruit trees. Annual pruning keeps the harvest within reach, thins crowded branches, allowing more light to penetrate developing fruit and stimulates new growth for next year’s crop. Shade trees can also be pruned at this time.

Fruit trees and vines can be planted at this time as the ground usually does not freeze here in north Texas. You can also prepare the soil for new flower, rose or shrub beds by mixing plenty of organic material like compost or a flower or shrub mix. This way the soil is ready for immediate planting when temperatures get a little warmer.

Fertilize pansies to keep them actively growing. Houseplants can be fertilized with reduced rates of water-soluble fertilizer this month. Do not over-water your houseplants.

Birds of all kinds appreciate a constant source of seed, suet and water during the winter and you will enjoy the activity they create in your backyard. Just remember once you start feeding, you should keep it up through the winter.