"Please Don't Drive Until They Drink" by Dr. Joe Rosenberg for Thirsty Thursdays

by Jordan Manfredi
Horse Quencher-The Leader in Horse Hydration Horse Quencher-The Leader in Horse Hydration
Dr. Joe Rosenberg from Paniolo Equine Veterinary Services says that Hydration is one of the toughest aspects of traveling with horses, as stress associated with travel can make a horse reluctant to drink. Transport, especially long-distance transport of horses is one of those common procedures, which, like general anesthesia, goes well most of the time; but those few times it does go wrong, it tends to go horribly wrong! Even when hay is provided in the horse’s trailer and water is offered during frequent rest stops, studies of long-distance transport in horses consistently show that the horse’s feed and water intake are decreased during long-distance transport. The net result is mild weight loss and dehydration. Either of these alterations (weight loss and dehydration) alone can adversely affect a horse’s exercise capacity. Together, they can markedly affect a horse’s performance. If you want your horse to perform at her best, then they need time to rest, drink, eat, and replenish their bodies after a long trip. This need for rest and renewal should be factored in to your travel schedule so that your horse is back to peak condition by the time competition begins. Here are some helpful tips to keep your horse hydrated and healthy before, during and after transport:
  1. Most horses don’t drink readily during transport, so starting the trip with a well-hydrated horse, is very important. 2-3 days prior to travel, mix electrolytes and Horse Quencher (to ensure they drink the whole bucket) in their water. However, please remember that while giving electrolytes is excellent for already hydrated horses, giving an already-dehydrated horse an electrolyte can further the problem and even lead to electrolyte poisoning.
  2. During transport have ample amounts of clean, home-drawn water available- approx. 12 gallons.
  3. Leave one easily accessible bucket for your horse, filled about halfway up to prevent spillage.
  4. On longer trips, stop every 4 hours and give the horses at least 20 minutes to relax, urinate, eat a small meal of soaked beet pulp, alfalfa or grass forage and drink a bucket of home-drawn water mixed with Horse Quencher to guarantee ample water consumption.
  5. At your destination, let you horse get comfortable, stretch their legs and offer them wet hay and another bucket of home-drawn water mixed with Horse Quencher. If staying overnight, make sure your horse has comfy bedding and allow them to roll around and get comfortable.
Happy Trails!

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