Fluid needs: How many liters of fluid does your horse contain

3 min.

The horse’s fluid need is quite large. So how can you stay on top of the heat and make sure your horse is not going to get thirsty when the sun is shining? Here we highlight a number of good tips that can help you ensure that your horse stays hydrated during the hot summer months and gets enough fluid.

[adrotate group=”16″]


The smart thing about heat is that it is quite easy to see when the horse is losing fluid. It starts to sweat. But are you aware that the horse can sweat about 15 liters per hour during hard training? In addition to fluid loss through sweat, the horse also loses fluid through the urine. Here it excretes about 10-30 ml. fluid per kilogram of body weight per day. So, if your horse does not get enough water, its amount of urine will decrease. This can also happen if the horse eats large amounts of roughage. The horse’s manure should have a water content of 60-80% liquid.

You may also like to read: Heat regulation: How to best help your horse in the summer


The horse needs about 25 liters of water a day. If it is hot and your horse is sweating, the need for water can increase a lot. An average horse in light work, has a fluid requirement of about 35 liters of water per day. If your horse does a lot of hard work, the fluid requirement can be up to 50 liters of fluid a day. Like humans, the horse is made up of a large amount of fluid. About 65%. An average horse therefore contains about 350 liters of water. Interesting, right?

Secure that only your horses drink the water – and that the dog does not bathe in it. Photo: Archive.


If you have several horses around the same water source, it can be difficult to keep an eye on your horse’s fluid intake. If your horse lacks fluid, there will be an increased risk of colic and heat stress. Therefore, the following is a good idea.

• Make sure your horse has access to water – preferably much more than you think it will need.

• Check that the automatic water source is working.

• Keep the water source clean. If the water tank smells strange, some horses may become picky and drink less.

• Secure that only your horses drink the water – and that the dog does not bathe in it.

• Refill with fresh water frequently.

• Possibly entice your horse to drink more water for example by giving your horse electrolytes that promote its desire to drink.

[adrotate group=”16″]


A good rule of thumb is that your horse should always have access to fresh water. Even though you may not find that it drinks often. If the water is too cold, it may cause your horse to not drink enough. Often the desired water temperature is 10-20 degrees Celsius.

If your horse has an automatic water source, such as a water cup, it should provide at least 8 liters of water per minute. If you are in doubt about this, you can test the water source yourself by holding a bucket under the water cup. Make the water run for a minute. If you subsequently have 8 liters or more in the bucket, the water source works optimally. If your horses drink water from natural streams, be aware of any contamination. The most optimal is to use the same type of water source for your horse that you would drink yourself.

If your horse needs of fluid or perhaps even dehydrated, its ability to perform may be impaired. Photo: Archive.


If you are in doubt about whether your horse get enough fluid or is dehydrated, contact your veterinarian. If your horse shows signs of being dehydrated, something needs to be done about it. The symptoms may be some of the following.

• Hard, dry manure or difficulty getting rid of the poop

• Dry gums

• Sad / lazy eyes

• Quiet, fast breathing (usually 10-24 breaths per minute for an adult horse)

• Fast heart rate (more than 60 beats per minute)

• Abnormal body temperature

If your horse needs of fluid or perhaps even dehydrated, its ability to perform may be impaired. The reason for this is that the blood flow is impaired, and the cells of the muscles get less oxygen. At the same time, the body’s waste products are transported away more slowly. Therefore, it is very important to keep track of the horse’s fluid needs.

Related tags

Similar Articles

Content, competitions & community - Straight to your inbox