Maker: Nelson Manufacturing.
Why buy: The removable watering bowl makes cleaning easy: Remove, run through the dishwasher, and replace.
Cool features: Stainless-steel material is rust-, chew-, chip-, sharp-edge-, and stain-proof.
More info: (888) 844-6606; nelsonmfg.com.
Price: Price ranges from $325 to $700.
Model: Single Drink UltraFount.
Maker: Classic Equine, by Ritchie.
Why buy: Self-regulated heating and full insulation features are just like the original, but in a smaller footprint to save space in smaller stalls and pastures.
Cool features: The stainless-steel waterer comes with a 10-year warranty.
More info: (817) 573-1884; classicequinebyritchie.com.
Model: Horse Post Waterer.
Maker: RAMM Fencing.
Why buy: Stand-alone post provides 50-degree water in every season, even if left un-used in a pasture or stall for months. Water comes from below frost line for fresh, temperature-controlled liquid at every use.
Cool features: Available in varied heights: 6-, 8-, 9-, or 10-foot post.
More info: (800) 618-5692; rammfence.com.
Price: Starting at $429.
Model: Horse Livestock Drinkers.
Why buy: A buried line provides fresh, charge-free water to the post for every new drinker. Leftover water evacuates, so there’s no standing water to allow algae to grow.
Cool features: Choose add-ons from these four options: non-insulated (warmer climates), insulated (cold, extreme climates), metal-chewing guard, and ice shield.
More info: (800) 451-2230; horsedrinker.com.
Price: $409–$474 delivered.
MASTER OF MAINTENANCE
Solid maintenance practices will help your horse stay healthy and are necessary to keep your equipment in tiptop shape for increased longevity. Keep your horse’s water clean and your equipment well-kept with these tips.
Prepare for purchase. Consider the needs of your facility and horses before you make a purchase. Less-spacious pens need small or shared waterers to optimize space, for example. Also think about your climate. Those with fluctuating evening and daytime temperatures might require automatic heat-regulating waterers, instead of those that must be manually adjusted.
Clean solutions. The University of Minnesota’s Equine Extension suggests using diluted bleach for deep cleaning. Add two drops of bleach per gallon of water. After you’ve scrubbed your waterer or trough thoroughly with the solution, rinse with water (at least twice). Refill and allow the water to stand so the chlorine dissipates. After an hour or more, your horse can safely drink. Apple cider vinegar is another effective cleaner. Add a splash to drinking water to curb algae build-up. It’s non-toxic, so won’t harm your horse.
Time to clean. Monitor your horse’s water supply to check for algae build-up, debris, manure, or even a stray animal that might’ve (sadly) ventured in. Note: A dead animal in a waterer demands immediate cleaning. Otherwise, complete thorough scrubs every other week, and more often if you notice algae build-up.
Tricks of the trade. A medium-sized rock will keep your horse from pulling the drain plug out that’s at the bottom of some automatic waterers.