How Long Can A Horse Go Without Water?

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Home / Horse
  • Post last modified:March 22, 2023
  • Reading time:17 mins read

There is a common saying that you can take a horse to the water, but you cannot make the horse drink.

While that is just a phrase, it can often lead one to wonder, how long can a horse go without water?

Are you one of them right now? Is that why you are here, wanting answers to a horse’s capacity to go without water? 

This article is to answer just that and give you a few other facts. Read on to learn about the horse and its water and to get all your answers. 

Do Horses Get Thirsty?

How long can a horse go without water? Brown horses are running in clear water, flowing over a stream.

Of course! Is that a question? Don’t you ever get thirsty? Then what makes you think that your horse comes with superpowers, unlike you?

He is going to get tired and thirsty and will need some rest and a break, during which he can take in his share of the gallons of water that he needs for the day. 

Don’t forget that horses are living beings with feelings and will get thirsty at the end of the day. 

How Long Can Horses Run Without Water?

For most, a good horse is one that can run fast and for a long time, making its owner proud as he uses him for his performances.

However, the question here is, what about the horse’s thirst? How long can a horse run without water? For a while, the owner sits there riding, and it is the poor horse that goes galloping. 

Isn’t it going to need some water? Don’t worry, a horse can live for 48 hours without water, and that makes two days for which it can go without water. 

You don’t have a race that is this long, do you? You can now happily take your horse along with you, but make sure that it does get its required amount of water lest it suffers from colic and lethargy, which is true in the case of a horse that is not provided with the right quantity of water. 

Do Horses Need Water Overnight?

Horses need about 30 to 50 liters of water a day, even though they can survive without it for a maximum of two days. 

Do not deprive your horse of the water he needs if you can afford to give him this much water every day. 

Letting your horse go overnight without water may not be a very healthy thing for your horse at the end of the day, especially not if he has been running for you all day. 

Must Read: How Often Do Mares Go Into Heat?

How Often Do Horses Need Water?

While you saw the answer to the above, this may vary, and a horse may need more water than the usual amount on a hot day. On a cold day, he can do with a little less. 

Apart from this, if a mare is nursing, she will need a little more water to make up for the water from her body that she is losing. 

Why Does A Horse Drink So Much Water?

How long can a horse go without water? Majestic white horses lowered their head to drink from a calm pond on a sunny day.

Because he is a horse and he is made that way, but on a serious note, horses have a digestive system which, to work, will need a lot of water. 

This is why not giving your horse enough water can lead to diseases like colic, apart from dehydration and, in some cases, even death. 

Horses need a high-fiber diet, which further needs a lot of water, and this is why a horse needs to drink a lot of water. 

In addition to that, an owner need not be told that a horse can easily get dehydrated as this is an animal used to a lot of hard work, and it is only fair that this is rewarded, isn’t it?

Do Horses Enjoy Water?

As a horse owner, you would probably know the answer to that by now, but just in case you don’t, horses enjoy the water. You just have to take your horse to the water, and you will get your answer that very day. 

After all, horses are hard-working beings, unlike cats who eat and sleep all day, and so it is only obvious that they wait for their time in the water at the end of a long day, be it to drink or to swim, so don’t hesitate to take your horse for a dip when he has had a long day. 

Do Horses Like Getting Wet?

Perhaps you brought your horse to the stream and are wondering whether he would be up for a good swim. As you would have seen above, horses do like getting wet. It is the heavy rain and, with that, the thunder and lightning that follow because of the weather that scares them away. 

Don’t hesitate to take your horse for a swim unless the weather is bad. If that is the case, keep it in the stable where it is cozy and safe. 

Give them a bucket of water to sip their drink instead, and they will be grateful to you at the end of the day. 

Do Horses Prefer Warm Or Cold Water?

That was a wise question to ask, for little things do show that you love and want to provide the best for your horse or mare. 

Horses like warm water. This is more so in the winter, where warm water could be hard to get. It would be kind for an owner to make an effort to provide his horse with warm water in a bucket.

Taking your horse to an ice-cold stream may sound very convenient, but it is not exactly a kind thing to do to your horse in the winter. It could even lead him to drink less than he needs. 

Why Won’t A Horse Drink Water?

How long can a horse go without water? A group of horses clustered around a metal water trough, drinking eagerly.

If your horse is not drinking water, chances are the water you gave him is stale, unclean, or simply inappropriate for him to drink. 

You wouldn’t drink from a glass containing dirty water, would you? Well, it is the same with your horse. He deserves a little more respect and clean water than like you do. 

Sometimes a horse may not drink because he is nervous. It could be because the stream you have taken him to seems unfamiliar. 

In such a situation, an owner must be kind and not force his horse to drink. Remember the age-old saying, you can take a horse to the water, but you cannot force him to drink. 

That saying needs to be implemented here. 

What Can Horses Drink Other Than Water?

Here is one blessed horse with a more than kind owner. If you are thinking of giving your horse a little treat apart from his usual gallons of water, apple juice is one good option you have here. 

Prepare some and mix it in his water bucket, and then watch him as he feasts on it. 

This is also one good way of luring a fussy horse that is refusing to drink. He will now drink away and be grateful for the kindness that you show to him. 

If your horse has been running all day, you can add salt to his water to bring back all the electrolytes that his body has lost. 

That Was All About Your Horse and Its Water

In the end, it is inevitable to spot signs of dehydration in a horse and get him enough water to drink because a horse can survive longer without food than without water. 

That should tell you how important it is for your horse to get enough water and why it is essential to check how well your horse is drinking his water. 

In the end, remember that water is one of the most important nutrients in a horse, and if you want to keep your horse, you must have access to lots of water. 

Faqs on (How Long Can A Horse Go Without Water?)

  1. Can A Horse Go Eight Hours Without Water?

    Three to six days are the maximum that he can go, so eight hours may pose no risk. However, this does not mean that your horse will not feel thirsty, so don’t deprive yourself of it just because you were lazy and wanted to retire to bed earlier that day. Give the poor creature his share of water as he, too, ends his day. 

  2. How Often Do Horses Need Water?

    While you saw the answer to the above, this may vary, and a horse may need more water than the usual amount on a hot day. On a cold day, he can do with a little less. Apart from this, if a mare is nursing, she will need a little more water to make up for the water from her body that she is losing. 

  3. Do Horses Drink Water Everyday?

    If you take it to the water or place a bucket before him, chances are he will drink the water you give him each day, for horses can feel thirsty, you know, and this is especially if you make him run all day. Poor horse, one can almost feel for him, so give him his water every day.