newsletter is a personal letter from me to you, a fellow horse owner and enthusiast.
goal is to answer some of your questions and send you interesting stories
helpful tips for your horse care, training, and riding.
I have an ex-reiner now roping horse, he gets bored very
easily. He is constantly playing in his water (even when I work him EVERY DAY).
He plays in his water and pees constantly. I do not have a pasture to put him
in but I can transfer him from my arena to stall daily. He is always ruining his
stall by peeing and making it a lake...what is the best bedding that lasts the
longest and stays dry for a continuous pee'er?? ANY info would be appreciated...
it is good to get your veterinarian involved in such a conversation since frequent
urination is a symptom of some serious health concerns. However, I'll try to head
you in the right direction with the information you provided.
all, a bored horse playing in his water won't necessarily urinate excessively.
It is a horse that drinks excessively that urinates excessively. So we need to
figure out why he is drinking so much.
Frequent urination in horses can
be caused by many factors. Here are a few:
- A sign
of a mare being in heat. But since you say "he", then this is not the
- A horse that has colic. But since this is a continuous
symptom, it is unlikely to be colic every day !
- A reaction to
a pasture plant or weed. There are so many that could cause a horse to drink more
water than normal to rid his body of toxins or other chemical compounds. I don't
have any details about your pasture but this is one area that is suspect.
symptom of Cushing's Disease or kidney or liver problems, most often in older
horses. You do say this is an ex-reiner, which may mean he is older so this could
also be a possibility.
- A glucose intolerance in an older horses
who after eating have increased thirst and urination. Again, if he is a senior
horse, this could be an explanation.
- A symptom of blister beetle
poisoning. Horses that ingest blister beetles in their alfalfa hay and suffer
toxicity show behavioral signs of repeated splashing of the muzzle in water and
frequent urination, among other symptoms. However, since you say your horse does
this all the time, it is unlikely that this is the cause, but for sake of completeness,
I wanted to include it. But it does lead me to the final item which is most likely
- A symptom of a horse that is fed alfalfa hay. Alfalfa
hay is very high protein feed, up to 20% protein. An adult horse does not require
that much protein. And in order to convert protein into an energy fuel, a horse's
digestive system has to work hard and as a result his metabolic rate and temperature
rise. That means, in most cases, a loose, watery stool and a warm horse. Already
I am getting thirsty.
Also, alfalfa is very high
in calcium, too high to meet the ideal 2:1 Calcium:Phosphorus ratio unless you
feed the horse a lot of grain (grain is high in phosphorus) to balance it out.
But that would not be good.
Excess protein can lead to kidney problems
and frequent urination to get rid of the excess protein in the diet. And excess
calcium can lead to kidney stones.
And speaking of stones, enteroliths
(intestinal stones) are directly linked to an alfalfa diet. I wonder if you live
in one of these states which have a higher incidence of enteroliths and which
are states where alfalfa is a common horse feed?
Well, you can tell I am not a big
fan of feeding horses alfalfa hay. Is that what you have been feeding your horse?
If so, it could explain his abnormal thirst and frequent urination. If you change
to a grass hay, his stall will probably no longer be a lake and you won't have
to search for that super absorbent bedding.
Best of luck,