A Redmond Story:  How Jo Got Her

Dehydrated Horse Drinking Again

May 20, 2021

Water plays an essential role in every function of a horse's body. But horses can be fussy about water, and certain situations may cause them to stop drinking altogether. A horse refusing water can quickly escalate into a scary situation, and without fluids, a horse will become dangerously dehydrated in just a few days.

Jo Green, a Redmond customer, had a dehydration scare after acquiring a new horse from another state. She used Redmond Rock Crushed to get her horse drinking again. Here's her story. 

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Jo's Story: What I Did When My New Horse Refused Water

It’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks. I hate it when I’m the “old dog.”

Recently I acquired a new horse for my Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program. We drove from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Redmond, Washington, to pick her up.

We brought 5 gallons of water from her barn to aid in the water transition. It didn’t help. She wouldn’t touch her water. Adding molasses didn’t help either, and neither did the other tried and true “tricks” I’d learned. She was REALLY drawn in.

Jo Green

I was worried as I reached for my cell to call the vet. As I dialed, I happened to look down and see a package of Redmond Rock Crushed sitting next to my package of Daily Gold Stress Relief. While I was a recent convert to Daily Gold, I’m embarrassed to admit this ol’ dog had not yet opened the Redmond Rock Crushed, let alone tried it.

I thought, “Well, I’ll just try this,” and I sprinkled it over a small amount of oats as I called my vet. Twenty minutes later I cancelled the vet call, as our new partner started drinking. Within a few hours, she looked noticeably better. And as I continued to monitor her, the situation kept improving.

We had been afraid to try her out because she was so dehydrated. But as she continued to drink, we just couldn’t resist. She did beautifully.

Later, the vet dropped by anyway, just to check. He did all his vet things and said she looked great. He also said to keep giving her salt.

Thanks, Redmond! I love it when I learn effective new tricks.

Jo Green

Why Won't Dehydrated Horses Drink?

So why did Jo's horse stop drinking? It's a good question. Some horses just have picky water palettes and others are affected by environmental factors like increased exercise or situations that create uncertainty and anxiety--probably like Jo's horse. Though each horse is unique, here are some typical reasons a horse may refuse water.

  • Smell. Horses are sensitive to smells; they may detect chemicals or odors emanating from water or new containers.
  • Flavor. A horse grows accustomed to the water it frequently drinks and may refuse water that tastes different.
  • Temperature: Horses prefer room-temperature water, especially during cold weather.
  • Acidity. Horses like slightly alkaline water. If water is too acidic, it affects palatability.
  • Dirty. Horses seek out fresh, clean water and will avoid dirty or stagnant water.
  • Travel. The rigors of hauling, leaving paddock pals, dealing with a disrupted schedule or a new environment can  create anxiety that affects a horse’s desire to drink.
  • Weather. Abrupt weather changes like intense heat, cold, or storms can upset a horse and put it off water.
  • Stress.  Many factors may increase a horse's stress. It could be a bully in the herd, performance anxiety, a new exercise or training schedule, or other situations that create uncertainty. 

How to Get a Horse to Drink More Water

Though they may need fluids, dehydrated horses will sometimes refuse water. Salt and minerals can provide a trigger to get many horses drinking again. Why?

A horse's brain monitors sodium levels, and tells horses to stop drinking when levels are low. This is to avoid flushing more sodium from the body. Providing a horse salt before strenuous exercise, during extreme hot or cold weather, or other times of need helps sodium levels stay balanced and stimulates a  horse to keep drinking.

Hydration productsRedmond Hydration Products Can Help

At Redmond, we have mineral salt products to help your horse drink and stay hydrated at home, on the trail, or on the road. Here's a look at our supplements:

  • Redmond Rock:  All-natural free-choice salt lick for horses that contains 60+ trace minerals and electrolytes.
  • Redmond Rock Crushed Crushed loose mineral salt that's added to feed to ensure horses receive all the salt, minerals, and electrolytes needed each day.
  • Rein Water: All-natural equine electrolyte drink mix (half Redmond salt/half Redmond clay) that stirs easily into a water bucket and masks and alkalizes the taste of unfamiliar water.
  • ElectrolyteQuick syringe paste with Redmond salt and vitamins to rapidly replace electrolytes, minerals, and trigger thirst response. 

Keeping your horse hydrated becomes simpler and less stressful with Redmond. Horses love our mineral products, and we've heard many stories like Jo's recounting how effective they are at encouraging horses to drink and improving horse health. Decrease your worries over horse dehydration. Click the button below to try a Redmond hydration sample pack featuring these products!

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Learn More

Does your horse stop drinking on the road? Read this article with tips specifically geared for hydration when hauling.

Do you know if your horse is drinking enough? Read 5 Ways to Tell if Your Horse is Dehydrated.

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