Last Updated on January 4, 2023
Stopping your horse’s water from freezing in the winter is a troublesome problem, and a heated water trough for horses may seem like the ideal solution! But do you need automatic heated horse waterers, or is a water heater for horse trough a better idea? Let’s find out!
What Is A Heated Water Trough For Horses?
It is not uncommon in the cold winter months to find your horses water trough frozen in the mornings. In fact, in some colder regions, it may stay frozen throughout the day. This means you need to visit the barn or paddock several times a day to crack the ice and ensure your horse has access to water.
Although breaking the ice will give your horse access to water, you will find that many horses do not like drinking icy cold water. This can lead to the horses water intake dropping considerably during the colder winter months. In some horses, this could lead to dehydration or other issues such as an impacted gastrointestinal system.
So to ensure that their horses have constant access to water at the correct temperature, many horse owners are turning to other methods to keep the water trough free of ice. This is normally achieved by using a heated water trough for horses, which incorporates some form of heating element which gently warms the water and prevents it from freezing.
There are several different types of horse hot water system available, to suit different horse watering systems. The type of trophy is an important factor as different types of heaters are suitable for galvanized metal troughs or rigid rubber water troughs. When installed in rubber troughs, it is important that the water heater is protected with a metal cage to prevent it from coming into contact with the rubber.
If you tend to use water buckets instead of a large trough, some manufacturers now make heated water buckets with an integral heater system. These normally come with a range of different safety precautions, but if used correctly they can be a great solution to the problem of your horse’s water freezing over in the winter.
Many horse barns now have automatic horse watering systems installed, and preventing these from freezing can be a big problem. All of the pipework will need to be covered in insulated lagging to prevent water from freezing inside the pipes. Some manufacturers have now developed automatic horse watering systems that allow water to drain away when the horse stops drinking, reducing the chances of the system freezing.
How To Use A Horse Hot Water System Safely
if you are considering using a heated water trough for horses, remember that water and electric can be a lethal combination if they come into contact with each other! Systems that are installed badly or incorrectly could lead to a potential fire risk, or the possibility that you or your horse could be electrocuted. In order to avoid this, it is normally a good idea to enlist the help of an experienced electrician to install any new wiring necessary.
Whether your heated water trough for horses is going to be indoors or outdoors, there are some safety precautions that should always be followed. Any electrical cables should be enclosed in a protective sheath and kept away from horses. The hooves and teeth of horses can easily damage electrical cables, leading to an electrocution risk or breakage of the water heater.
Any electrical cables that to be used should be suitable for outside use, and a circuit breaker should be incorporated for safety reasons. Ensure you select the right type of trough heater for the type of water trough you have and follow all manufacturers guidelines when it comes to installation. It is essential that any electric water trough heater is correctly grounded to reduce the risk of minor electrical shocks or electrocution.
Take Out Time to Also Read:
How To Keep Horse Trough From Freezing – Top Tips Revealed!
If heated water trough the horses is too expensive for your budget, there are other ways to keep your horse trough from freezing. In milder climates, it may be sufficient just to break or remove the ice from the trough every morning. However, take care to monitor how much your horse is drinking, as some horses do not like to drink icy cold water.
The location of your horse’s water trough is also important. Place it in an area of the paddock where it gets the maximum amount of sun during the day. The water will gradually absorb heat, which prevents it from freezing as much overnight.
You can also insulate the outside of the trough to help prevent it from freezing. Cover the outside of the trough with thick padded material such as insulation or blankets. Boxing in the outside of the trough with wooden boards will help to keep the insulation secure and away from your horse.
A great tip to stop water from freezing is to use a float inside the trough. This helps move the surface of the water around and prevents it from freezing as easily. The area around the float will also remain unfrozen, giving your horse access to water.
Many people tend to use a soccer ball as a float, although an empty soda bottle can also work well. Many horses learn to push the float to one side to access unfrozen water when they want a drink.
Summary – Heated Water Trough For Horses
So, as we have learned, a heated water trough for horses can be a great solution to prevent your horses water supply from freezing solid during the cold winter months. Frozen water can lead to your horse becoming dehydrated and suffering from other health problems such as colic due to reduced water intake. However, heated water troughs for horses must be installed correctly to eliminate the risk of fire or electrocution.
We would love to hear your thoughts on heated water troughs for horses! Do you have a hot water system for horses installed in your barn and paddocks? Or maybe you’ve got questions about the best way to prevent automatic horse water from freezing. Leave a comment below and we will get back to you!
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE