Can a Horse Drink Too Much Water?

Almost every living thing needs water, and an animal like a horse can drink from 10 to 15 gallons per day, which is a lot of water.

However, drinking excessive amounts of water can disturb horses as well. The purpose of this article is to discuss how much water horses should drink. In addition, some horse owners wonder if their horses drink too much water. And they often ask if a horse drinks too much water.

Yes, a horse can drink too much water. It might get triggered by the weather. But, if this drinking behavior persists then it can be because of certain health complications. For example, a horse may suffer from equine Cushing’s disease or a condition known as polydipsia which can make one suffer from extreme thirst.

What happens when a horse drinks too much water?

A horse can drink between 10-15 gallons per day and if you think your horse is drinking too much water, you should find out what is causing it.

A normal drinking behavior by a horse is extremely crucial to its wellbeing. However, if your horse has started to drink water excessively – it can severely impact its health.

Yes, it sounds like an exaggeration but have you heard about the saying “excess of everything”?

Similarly, water is a healthy resource that has many benefits but its excess can cause extreme pressure on the kidneys leading to a potential kidney failure.

A kidney failure can lead to excess urine which can dilute nutrients in the bloodstream of the cause causing a regulatory in maintaining body temperature.

How many Litres of water should a horse drink?

On average, a horse should be able to drink around 20-55 liters of water every day. However, it is variable to the change in weather and health of the horse.

Therefore, it is important to keep track of how much water your horse consumes. Sometimes, the amount of water your horse drinks every day is an indicator of its health condition.

How do I take care of the Drinking Behavior of my horse?

According to experts, horses need a total of six nutrients to lead a healthy and balanced life. They include fats, proteins, minerals vitamins, carbohydrates, and water.

You can keep track of the rest, but keeping track of the water intake is a tricky task especially if you have an automated water system installed.

However, as a horse owner, you should know these few facts that might help you take care of your pet!

1. Keep an eye on your horses’ water intake

On average – stated by experts, a normal horse can consume anything between 20-50 liters of water in a day. But, it is variable to the weather condition and the health of your horse.

But as a horse owner, you need to take care of your horse’s water intake. If you have a manual water supply system, you can keep track by converting the liters (20-50) into gallons (around 15 gallons).

However, if you have a communal pasture or a number of horses living together – you can keep track of how much water is being used overall – and look for signs of dehydration in all the horses. A checkup every month will suffice.

2. Take the environment into account

Yes, you drink more water when the sun is out – it’s common sense! And the same applies to horses. As the level of mercury goes up, your horse will have an increased urge to drink water ad that is normal.

However, it is also normal for horses to drink more water during winters too – this is why you should monitor the water intake of your horse all year round.

However, in summers you should monitor it closely – because when the temperatures rise and it is the same as the horse’s body – their heat management system can be ineffective, causing dehydration.

3. Take care of the variables

Athlete horses are varied to lose more nutrients while they exercise, simply because they sweat all those nutrients. This is why, it is important to replenish all those lost vitamins – by adding molasses and electrolytes to the water.

However, according to experts – horses tend to avoid water when they feel like they are not in a safe environment (or away from home). So, keep a plan with you if you are looking to travel anytime soon.

Because you do not want a dehydrated horse when you are partaking in a race or just away from your home town.

4. Health and water intake

The health of your horse is directly proportional to its water intake. Some diseases like crushings disease can increase the water intake of your horse.

It is concerning, as it can put pressure on the kidneys of your horse. However, some conditions – like a lactating horse will require your horse to drink more water.

This is why it is important to monitor the overall health of your horse as it can have a direct impact on the water intake of your horse – which will again impact the health of the horse. So you see, it’s a never-ending cycle.

5. Does excessive drinking mean my horse is sick?

Yes, and no. this question is a tricky one to answer. Mainly because horses can drink more water due to an increase in the temperature or their physical activity.

However, if you keep these factors aside and monitor your horse’s excessive drinking habit – it can be an indicator of its health.

For example, when a horse is suffering from equine Cushing’s disease – it can show signs of polydipsia – which is excessive drinking.

Therefore, yes – excessive drinking in some cases can mean that your horse is sick.

Can horse colic from too much water?

No, horses can not colic from drinking too much water, however, they can colic from dehydration.

That means, if your horse is experiencing crushing abdominal pain and are “colic” – they need to be ingested with fluids that can hydrate the body and stop the pain.

On top of this, you can also take care of the drinking habits of your horse to avoid them from getting colic.

For example, in winters – when the water intake of your horse may decrease, you can provide the horses with lukewarm water and add hay cubes and pellets to the water – for an increased water intake.

How much water does a horse need on average?

A healthy horse on average needs around 20-50 liters of water daily (5-10 gallons). However, ensuring enough water will not suffice the needs.

You also need to make sure that the water is fresh and clean – free from any toxins that can harm the horse.


Water is very critical not only to stay fresh and healthy; it is very critical for digesting as well. You can stop food and the horse can live for 20-30 days but without water, after 12-18 hours your horse will be colic.

That’s how critical the water is.

But too much water can lead to your horse having different issues like digesting. Along with providing enough water make sure the water will be nice, fresh, and clean.

Another thing you should consider is that some horses do not like the taste of outside water, which means when you’re on track they might avoid drinking water.

There could be many reasons discussed above and to make sure they drink water the best practice you can do is to use flavor.

But start that from home and make sure he likes the flavors so whenever you’re on the track you add the flavor into the water and he/she can drink without any worry.