Books & DVDs

from HorseBooksEtc

Related Topics

from the Forums

Free Newsletters

Sign Up for our Free Newsletters

Why Does My Horse Dunk His Hay?

Here are just a few reasons your horse might be dunking each mouthful of hay he eats.

Horses who dunk hay in their water buckets can make a real mess, with water and soggy debris splattered everywhere. Often it's just a harmless habit that might even help a horse get more water into his system. In some cases, however, hay dunking may be a sign of discomfort that warrants further investigation.

  • Sore throat. If a horse has recently scratched his throat a little on some coarse forage, he may be adding water to his hay to make it easier to swallow.
  • Dental problems. Dunking hay can soften it and make it easier to chew. If a horse has dental issues that cause pain he may discover that chewing wet hay feels better.
  • Nasal irritation. A horse may dunk his hay to avoid the nasal irritation caused when the dusts in hay are inhaled.

Ask your veterinarian to evaluate your horse to rule out any of theseĀ possibilities if your horse is a hay dunker, especially if the behavior started suddenly.

If everything else is normal, wetting hay prior to feeding it may reduce any messinessā€”but if not, you might just have to accept the behavior as one of your horse's special quirks.

Advertisement
Posted in Behavior, Health, Horse Care | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Get 12 issues of Dressage Today for only $19.95!
Name:
Address Line 1:
Address Line 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email:
Subscribe!
Untitled Document

Subscribe to Dressage Today

Subscribe to Dressage Today

Subscribe today
& Get a Free Gift!

Subscribe 
Give a Gift
Customer Service
Digital Subscriptions