Guest Author - Kim Wende
Automatic waterers can make your life easier, but you should take into consideration the pros and cons before you make the purchase. There are several different styles of automatic waterers to choose from and some are designed not to freeze during the winter and will provide cool water in the summer.
When purchasing an automatic waterer a lot will depend on where you're going to put it and how many horses it will need water. There are those that are designed for the stall while others are designed to water several horses that are out in the pasture.
When installing a stall waterer take into consideration where it is mounted. If you have the waterer on the wall that is next to a dominant horse and the one in the stall is timid that horse won't get enough water. In the pasture make sure there is plenty of room around the waterer to avoid injury.
If you purchase an electric waterer with a heater you will need to periodically check the thermostat to make sure the water temperature doesn't get too hot to drink. The other thing is if the power goes out your waterer won't work.
Automatic waterers are more expensive as an initial purchase and take more labor to install them. Make sure they are installed properly for proper operation.
*You won't have to fill buckets or troughs
*No cleaning of buckets or troughs
*Your horse will have constant access to fresh water
*Don't have to worry about your horse playing with the bucket and soaking the stall
*The can run over and flood the stall
*May get unbalanced or clogged and will stop working
*You won't be able to monitor your horse's intake of water which is critical with a sick horse
A mature horse that weights 1,000 lbs requires 10 gallons of water daily. This amount will increase when the temperatures are warmer, with exercise or lactation by two or three times the amount.
If you choose to go with an automatic waterer make sure you hang a bucket as a backup for several reasons. If the waterer malfunctions your horse will still have access to water and the other reason it will take your horse time to get used to drinking from the automatic waterer.
Water is more important than food as horses can't survive long without water. A horses body contains up to 75% water so choose wisely when choosing their water source.