During a drought, ever drop of water matters. These 11 tips can help you eliminate waste and conserve water on your horse farm.

  1. Check all your hoses, faucets and fittings for leakage, and fix where appropriate.
  2. Position sprinklers to rain over the plants rather than extraneous areas such as roads, ditches, etc.
  3. Water early in the day to minimize loss from evaporation as temperatures rise.
  4. Water for longer periods of time, but spread out intervals between watering to encourage plant root growth.
  5. Add soil amendments can enhance water-retention properties.
  6. Mulch (when appropriate) to further reduce evaporative losses.
  7. Eliminate weeds as they tend to compete with grasses for water and nutrients.
  8. Cover water tanks halfway to limit evaporation.
  9. Check water sources—water tanks, creeks, ditches, and ponds–making sure that they are palatable and free of algae and debris. Treat standing water against mosquito larvae using mosquito dunks or crumbles.
  10. Collect rainwater from gutters and runoff if allowable in your state.
  11. Refrain from giving the horses baths.

By using common sense, you can use your water resources most effectively for managing your horses and your pastures.

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM