Question: My horse dunks his hay every time he takes a bite. It’s very annoying and I wish I could get him out of this habit but I’m not sure how to do this. Do you have any suggestions? His water bucket gets dirty and then he won’t drink from it.
Answer from April Reeves: Your horse is trying to tell you something, but you are not listening. No horse performs an action on his own without value and use.
Buy a second water bucket and hang it on the other side away from his current water bucket, and make sure he has lots of water to dunk his hay.
He is trying to make his hay more palatable by wetting it. Hay that is soaked for an hour or two before eating is easier for the horse to chew and smells better. It takes the dust away – dust that may have caused him problems in the future with his respiratory system.
You can soak your hay before feeding it. Soak it for a few minutes and then take the water out, letting it drain well. Make sure you feed it within 4 hours, as it will tend to get moldy otherwise.
You can test your hay for sugar content by soaking a flake in a bucket for one hour. The level of brown color in the water is the sugar. The darker the brown, the more sugar is in your hay.
Humans tend to ignore the language of our horse, and take our own personal opinions “into the corral”. Listen to your horse by watching him. They tell us, in no uncertain terms, when they want or need something