• Drinking problems? • Weather-related colic • Spotting troubled hocks • -aintaining herd harmony
Watch a herd take turns at the water trough and you’ll likely see a variety of drinking styles. One horse may take dainty sips, while another fills his mouth and proceeds to spit water all over the surrounding area. Don’t let those differences concern you.
A horse who spits or dribbles water may enjoy rinsing his mouth, even when he isn’t thirsty. A horse who lingers quietly over a bucket after drinking might be sucking his tongue, which is a harmless sensory habit. And a horse who dunks his nostrils under the water line and blows bubbles is probably just naturally playful.
The only time to worry is when you notice a radical change in drinking habits. If a horse who typically dunks his hay suddenly has a clean bucket of untainted water, for instance, it’s possible dental or mouth pain is keeping him from eating. A horse who used to be a neat drinker but now dribbles everywhere may have trouble swallowing. If your horse’s drinking habits change suddenly, describe the situation to your veterinarian. It might be one clue to uncovering a larger health issue.