Call us 24/7 - 1-800-461-8898

Water Woes: How Electrolytes May Help Your Horse this Winter


Ice cold water buckets mean many horses don’t drink enough in the winter. But many riders aren’t sure of the best way to tackle this problem, so we’re here to help.
We’re busting five common myths to help keep horses happy, healthy, and hydrated!

Myth #1

My doctor says I should have a low sodium intake, so my horse should, too.

Horses and humans have very different nutritional needs, so don’t let what your medical doctor tells you affect your horse’s diet. Horses in no work need at least one ounce of salt per day, and that need goes up with increased exercise.

Myth #2

Feeding my horse table salt is the same as feeding him an electrolyte.

Many electrolyte supplements provide more than just salt (sodium chloride). When your horse sweats, he loses key minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. SmartLytes is designed to replace what your horse loses in sweat, helping bring those key minerals back into balance.

Myth #3

My horse only needs an electrolyte supplement during the summer.

Many horses drink less in the winter because of cold water, but proper hydration is essential no matter what time of year it is. The salt in SmartLytes helps encourage your horse to drink, which is vital to keeping him hydrated all year long.

To battle frozen buckets, try the Heated Flatback Bucket, which helps keep your horse’s bucket ice free and the water a more inviting drinking temperature.

Heated Flatback Bucket

 $43.95 - $169.95
(52 reviews)

SmartLytes ensures that he gets the right balance of essential electrolytes and stays hydrated daily.- Jenna N. from Chandler, AZ

Myth #4

My horse gets all the salt he needs from his hay, grain, and salt lick.

Pasture, hay, and grain provide very little salt. A salt lick can help your horse get what he needs, but some horses lick them excessively while others won’t lick them at all, making it difficult to monitor their intake. A daily electrolyte supplement can ensure your horse is getting exactly what he needs.

SmartLytes® Powder

As Low As: $11.95
(397 reviews)

SmartLytes® Pellets

As Low As: $15.95
(231 reviews)

Myth #5

My horse “knows” the minerals he’s lacking, so free choice minerals are best.

Horses aren’t capable of self-regulating their mineral intake. Some horses love to eat their free choice minerals while others turn up their noses. If you feed an electrolyte supplement like SmartLytes, you know exactly what your horse is taking in every day.

Posted in Health & Nutrition

Recent Posts

3 comments on “Water Woes: How Electrolytes May Help Your Horse this Winter
  1. Susan Wellborn says:

    I don’t confine my horses to their stalls except for feeding/medical needs. They have a 150 gallon water tank which we keep from freezing with a bucket heater that is plugged into a heavy duty timer. The timer turns on and off during a 24 hour period so that the water stays about 60 degrees. The bucket heater will also boil a smaller bucket of water if needed. The plug/timer/heater/cord is all protected from nibbling/chewing by being in one end of the oval tub which protrudes into the hay stall and can’t be reached by the horses. A pool/spa thermometer hangs in the water so I can monitor the temperature.

  2. Alexis scanlon says:

    I have a tank heater, but I also have heated hose! I also feed beet pulp and feed it almost soupy in the winter so that’s a bit more fluid consumption. My animals drink more if the water is warmer, too. Like Susan , my horse has 24/7 turnout with stall access if she wants. She’s much happier. I lock her in at night if weather is really nasty, but otherwise, she makes her own choice. Plenty of hay and shelter.

  3. Debe Van Auken says:

    Be very careful using bucket and tank heaters. I live in Michigan and have used them for years until this year. I noticed that my horses were not drinking the water from their tank but were standing by it looking at it. I went to investigate only to find that my trusty tank heater had electrified the water and they were getting shocked when trying to drink. I no longer use tank or bucket heaters. They each start the day with 5 gallons of warm water. Then they have access to cold water all day. At their night feeding they get 5 gallons of warm water again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Share it:
SmartPak is an Official partner of AQHA.
Members save 5% off all purchases.
You'll this

SmartCombo™ Senior Pellets

As Low As: $57.95
(168 reviews)
Have questions? Contact us »
Connect with us:

Jen and Tally
Apparently I've been obsessed with horses since I was born, and I used to beg for pony rides on a regular basis. I started showing in 4-H, progressed to equitation and jumpers in high school and rode on the IHSA team in college where I also discovered the joys...

Learn more »

Ask the Vet
Every week our staff veterinarian, Dr. Lydia Gray, answers tough horse health questions from riders just like you.

Read her latest answer now »

Download our mobile apps

Put SmartPak in your pocket with these awesome apps!

Check It Out »

Healthy horses, happy riders.
SmartPak is committed to a greener planet.
Sign Up Now!
Free Catalog Get Yours Now!

SmartPak Equine is the premier online provider of horse supplies and equine supplements.
Questions? Call us Toll-Free at 1-888-752-5171. © Copyright 2013 by SmartPak Equine LLC. All Rights reserved.