The Importance of Water in Your Equine's Diet
So, just how important is water in your equine's diet? Very important!
This goes without saying I am sure. We all know the importance of water in our diets; water is just as important for your equine as well. So, let's dive in a little deeper as to why physically water is so important.
1) Water makes up 65% to 85% of an animal's body weight at the time of birth. When they mature that percentage drops to 45% to 60%. Now that is a huge percentage! So let us do a little math here. The average adult horse weighs about 1200 pounds. 60% of 1200 pounds is 720 pounds. This means if your horses weighs around 1200lbs than 720 of that is water. That means the weight that is left, 480lbs, is devoted to muscle, bone, ligaments, intestine. Thats a lot of water!
2)All nutrients that are consumed or used in the body must be dissolved by water to either use for energy or eliminated. The bile that is in the stomach is made up of water and this helps to dissolve food that is eaten. All feces must be softened by water in order for the body to eliminate it. All waste products removed via the liver or kidneys must be diluted with water in order to leave the body. Without the proper water consumption the elimination of waste can not happen efficiently.
As you can see right off the bat water is very important for the performance of the horse's body already!
Lets keep going...
3) Electrolytes are minerals that are dissolved into bodily fluid. And what kind of bodily fluid could that be? Water. Minerals are made up of inorganic, solid, and crystalline chemical elements that are essential to keeping all the body parts (ligaments, bone, muscles, intestine, brain) functioning.
4) Water is essential to bring nutrients to muscles to function properly. Have you or your horse ever suffered from muscle tremors/cramps? This is probably due to a lack of potassium. Potassium is a mineral. How do minerals get transported around the body? Water.
Are you sensing how important water is to the equine athlete? I hope you are. Oh and by the way all of these points I'm making apply to you as well (except for number1 of course, that math would be a little different).
There is so much more I could explain to you all but I am afraid I will loose you in all the science. (if you are interested though and if I get enough requests for it; I'll write another article.) I want you all to learn the why behind the important stuff like proper nutrition and exercise. Stay on the lookout for "The Importance of Water, Part 2". There I will explain steps one can take to insure your equines are consuming enough water.
Courtney loves God, nature, horses, homemaking, essential oils, herbs & CrossFit, Yoga, BJJ, Natural horsemanship. Learn more about the author in her Bio section.
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