Let’s take a look at our teacher, the wild horse. Wild horses typically only visit a watering hole once or twice a day at the most. Typical watering hole behavior includes drinking, pawing, rolling, and bathing. All in the same hole that they drink from. To us, this doesn’t sound very sanitary, but for horses, it’s exactly what they need. To drink the water, horses usually wade in the hole, allowing their hooves to soak and be slightly softened by the water. When the horses return to walking over rocks and hard packed dirt, their slightly malleable hooves are trimmed to perfection. Horses who roll in the water or mud are helping their coats and protecting their skin from bugs. This “dirty” water also provides the horse with bacteria that may help boost a horse’s immune system.
- Using a watering tank, fill it up so that it overflows quite a bit and creates mud or even a small pond around the tank. Even if the horses don’t drink directly from the “pond”, they will walk through the mud to reach the water tank.
- Dig your own pond in a corner of your horse’s pasture. If doing this, create a gradual slope into the water so that the horses walk in and don’t “fall” in.
With a little creativity, it can be very simple to replicate another part of a wild horse’s lifestyle for your own horses.