Horse Water Trough – Complete review guide. Serve your horse safe water every time. Learn how to buy the best horse water trough for your horse and how to clean and maintain it.

Water is a necessity and no living thing can live without it, whether they are humans, animals or plants. Animals like humans need a lot of clean water and horses especially require a great deal of it.

An average sized horse doing normal activities, living in normal conditions requires 38- 40 litres of clean water to drink per day. Race horses or horses who are very active, pregnant or lactating mares require even more quantity of drinking water. 

Horses living in hot climate zones and those who eat a large amount of dry fiber in their diet also need more water as compared to those living and feeding on lush green pastures.

A horse water trough is a long lasting and a reliable solution to the problem of filling up water in buckets every day for the animals to ensure that they remain hydrated. When installing the best water trough it’s important to give it proper thought.

They can be movable ones or permanently placed ones which can allow the horses to drink water anytime. The amount of water a horse drinks should be monitored as excess water can also make them colic.

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There are different types of water trough available, so depending on your requirement and usage you can choose one that fits your needs.

Automatic Waterer

In farms due to modernization and the need to avoid filling up heavy buckets with water and carrying them to the stable, people have opted for automatic waterer

These ensure that the animals get a regular supply of clean water throughout the year. There are many models available.

Electric Heated Double Water Trough

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A premier range of the best horse water trough which has a heating system that provides fresh water the whole year with no worry of the climate. It has a stainless steel drinking area while the main body is made of heavy duty material. 

It is cost effective as it saves energy, conserves water and has a quick refill function. It comes with a 10 year warranty and all its parts are tested and approved.

Flagline Automatic Horse Trough

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This is a bulky horse water trough and is made from good quality plastic. The bulkiness prevents horses from pulling it

  • It is very easy to install in the stable as it has 2 holes on the back making mounting on the fence or post easy. 
  • The water trough is small in size and is really worth buying as it is cost effective too. 
  • The trough has a convenient tap which helps you to fix and disconnect easily to the pipes of the house. 
  • However care should be taken to choose the right hose that fits perfectly to prevent it from leaking. 
  • The only negative issue is that it rusts easily after a few months and water overflows if not checked on time.

Mira Fount 3330 Water Trough

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On of the best horse water trough which works with no electric power saving all your energy requirements

  • The fountain in the water trough works even at -100 degree temperatures with wind chills making the need for external energy.
  • It works on the thermos bottle principle wherer the water enters at 45-48 degrees temperature and remains so as the float seals the mouth from the outside. 
  • The water remains free from algae as its not exposed to sunlight.
  • Whenever the animal drinks from it the water used is immediately replaced through a valve at the bottom.
  • This keeps the water temperatures constant even in the cold climate.

FW16 Automatic Water Trough

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A convenient and easy to use water trough which connects easily to your garden hose. 

  • It’s made of top quality steel and is anti-corrosive
  • It’s large size creates difficulties while cleaning. 
  • It has a float which controls the water levels in the horse water trough and prevents overflow.  
  • The apparatus has metal brackets molded with impact-resistant polyethylene resin.
  • One of the best horse water trough available in the market.

Lucky Farm Automatic Water Trough

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This is a solid, thick stainless steel horse water trough which is resistant to corrosion.

  • It is durable and can be cleaned easily. 
  • The float valve in the water trough automatically controls the water level as well as controls the water intake by the animal. 
  • It is very convenient to fix on the fence or vertical post as it comes with all the bolts and screws. 
  • The manufacturers also provide a float valve, adaptor and a 80 cm pipe.

Duramate Automatic Horse Trough

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  • This is a very large water trough with a capacity of 15 litres.
  • It is made of impact resistant polyethylene and the trough has a strong and long lasting metal cover. 
  • Horse Water Trough has metal brackets to attach it on a wall or a fence and a ¾ inch hose with metal brackets to attach it to help maintain an optimum pressure of the water. One of the best horse water trough available in 2020.

Harris Farms Heated Troughs

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These are thermostatically controlled troughs which help to prevent water from freezing down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. 

They are provided with an anti-chewing metal spring which is put on the cord to prevent animals from damaging it. 

It can be easily and conveniently used with plastic or metallic drinkers whether indoors or outdoors. One of the best horse water trough this year(2020) available in the market.

Cemented Horse Water Trough

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In the earlier times there were large cemented permanent troughs made for the horses in the cities and farms. 

These were made near the posts the horses were tethered to, to save the rider the hassle of arranging water for the tired animal.

How to Maintain Horse Water Trough?

Clean drinking water is a must for the horses. Their water troughs need to be cleaned regularly to help maintain the freshness in the water. 

An average horse drinks about 10 gallons of water or more depending on his activity and kind of hay given to him in a day. 

They may consume more water in hotter climates and if the mares are pregnant or lactating. Care must be taken on how to keep the horse trough clean. 

Horse water trough Cleanliness is very Important

Choosing a correct sized trough is a must depending on the number of animals you have in the stables. Whether these troughs are large or small cleanliness is of utmost importance.

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Choosing a correct sized trough is a must depending on the number of animals you have in the stables. Whether these troughs are large or small cleanliness is of utmost importance.

Smaller Horse Water Trough

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Smaller troughs are easier and more convenient to clean everyday while bigger and bulkier ones are not convenient for everyday cleaning. 

Ideally these water trough are to be rinsed and cleaned thoroughly every day and filled with fresh water just like we wash our crockery every time we use it.

  • Smaller troughs are can be scrubbed clean each day to prevent any algae or mud or hay sediments in settle in them. 
  • Horses tend to drop a lot of hay in the water so it has to be kept clean.

Medium Horse Water Trough

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Medium sized water trough can’t be scrubbed clean every day but once a week the water in them can be drained out fully.

  • They can then be scrubbed clean of any algae or other settled sediments with a brush or the spray attachment of the hose.
  • Mostly every morning the water can run in the trough for a few minutes to run off the hay and grass floating on the top. 
  • The water hose can be put at the bottom of the tub to stir up the sediments and help them drift upwards so that they are easily removed. 
  • This way the water at the bottom also gets displaced with fresh water. 
  • Once the tank overflows for around 5 minutes the trough will have mostly clean and fresh water.

Large Sized Horse Water Trough

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Large sized troughs are difficult to clean as emptying them and washing them is not realistic and practical. They can be cleaned once in 3 to 6 months to help maintain the hygiene in the tank. 

We can follow a few steps to help maintain the freshness in the water:

  • The old water in these troughs can be displaced everyday with new water by letting the trough overflow for a few minutes each morning. 
  • A fishnet can be used to remove the debris in the trough and also to scoop it out from the bottom.
  • The trough can be placed on a slightly raised ground so that the horse dropping don’t go into it and it also prevents mud from their hooves to enter.
  • Adding a few fish to the tank help keep the algae and the mosquito larvae away.
  • Do not use bleach or chlorine to keep away the germs, mosquito larvae or the algae as this will kill the fish in the tank and normal tap water is already treated with chlorine so will overdo it which will make it harmful.

Buckets for Water Trough

Buckets can be used in places there is no provision for running water. 

  • These can be large sized buckets but care should be taken that they are easy to handle and not cumbersome.
  • These can be changed daily for fresh water.
  • If you have a large number of horses and need a large trough but no direct water connection then hand fill the trough with fresh water daily and make sure you clean the debris with a net every day without fail.

How to Maintain the Freshness of the Water Through?

Algae grows in water troughs regularly during the hot summer months. To ensure that the horse continues to drink the water regularly during these warm months, the water should be free from this recurring problem. 

Though most of the algae do not cause health problems but there are some types of blue-green algae which causes Diarrhea and lead to colicky symptoms.

Thus here are some ways to reduce these blooms from forming in the troughs:

  • Keep the trough in a shady area as it reduces the exposure to sunlight which decreases their growth.
  • Regular emptying and scrubbing of the best horse water trough is a great way to keep them at bay.
  • Adding copper sulphate after dissolving it in warm water and ensuring it mixes well in the trough is also a beneficial remedy.
  • Gold fish or Plecostomus is also an excellent way to rid yourself of the problem, but care must be taken when you empty the tank as you may injure or kill the fish in it.
  • Researchers have recommended the use of barley straw which can be made netted together or made into balls and kept in the tank. These straw emit an chemical slowly and prevent growth of the algae.

Thus freshness of the water has to be maintained at all costs to have a healthy and active horse as a pet. Whether their troughs are outdoors or indoors, during summer or winter they have to be scrubbed clean with a bristle brush, cleaned daily of the debris and new water added every day. 

Algae and mosquito larvae have to be kept at bay. If they are accessing the water from natural sources, the cleanliness and safety of these sources has to be monitored regularly.

Pastures have natural water sources like a spring, pond or a stream to provide them their daily requirement. Care should be taken to ensure that the banks are not slippery as it may not be safe for the animals to approach or get out of them. 

Quality of water in these natural sources can become unsafe for consumption due to rains or landslides, so their quality should be checked regularly as horses can’t distinguish between safe and unsafe water.

During winters these natural sources can freeze even the troughs in the padlocks and pastures freeze leading to major health issues. 

The animals can get dehydrated and this can cause various problems like lethargy, dryness of the skin and mouth, thickening of the saliva and high levels of protein in the blood. 

If their dehydration is left unattended to it can lead to death of the animal.

Thus water is of great importance for horses. It’s the life force of all living beings.


About the Author


Harsh has worked in publishing and marketing since 2012. He started his career at Journal and has since worked and written for several top equestrian publications and Technology websites. Most recently, he worked in corporate marketing with a focus on strategic and digital planning. A lifelong dog, & horse owner, Harsh currently writes for A website that Provides complete details of products like saddle, girth etc which can provide maximum comfort to your horse. He is also a certified therapeutic riding instructor and previously managed the care and training of a 12-horse therapy herd. Harsh holds a B.SC in Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism

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