Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Product Review: Horse Quencher

I found out about a product called Horse Quencher from this post by Saiph a little over a month ago.  It is a small packet of grain and flavorings that is added to 1/2-1 gallon of water to inspire the horse to drink.  When I mentioned it to my riding instructor, she said she'd had pretty good luck with the product and happened to have some free samples from the company on hand, which she gave me to try.  Although Nimo is pretty good about drinking when he's thirsty, I thought it wouldn't hurt to have something to motivate him to drink a little more, especially as we start increasing our mileage.

So, I gave Horse Quencher a try after a lesson a few weeks ago.  It was not particularly warm out, nor was Nimo sweating, but I figured if it worked in a situation like this, it would definitely work on a warmer day after a harder workout.

I grabbed a packet...

Dumped it in an empty bucket...

Added about 1/2 of a gallon of water...

Let it sit for a minute to build anticipation...

And then waited while Nimo looked at the bucket and then at me, and then at the bucket and then at me, as if to say, "Seriously, I know there's only a tiny little packet of food in there and it's totally not worth me drinking the water to get it.  How stupid do you think I am?"  I should mention that Nimo is very into cost-benefit analysis, particularly when it comes to food.  While he is very food-oriented, he has made it very clear that he will not perform stupid tricks for a single treat, nor will he drag himself across a swampy paddock for anything less than his full feed ration.

So, to sweeten the pot, I dumped about 2 cups of Pennfield Fibregized into the bucket.  That inspired Nimo to hold his breath, dunk his nose to the bottom of the bucket, grab what he could, and come back up for air to chew it.  He continued the bobbing-for-apples approach for what seemed like forever before he finally figured out that he could drink the water level down and eat normally.  Once he figured that out, he had a field day snuffling around in the bucket to get every last piece of goo.

I was encouraged by the test, but because I had two more packets of the Horse Quencher, I tried twice more after rides to get Nimo to drink water with just the Horse Quencher in it.  Unfortunately, maybe because he had already experienced me adding the Fibregized the first time, he would hold out each time for me to add it to the bucket with the Horse Quencher in it.

So, on my ride last Saturday, I was out of the Horse Quencher samples.  It was pretty warm - getting up to the low 70s, and we did 10 miles in 2 hours, 15 minutes (oh, so close to my intermediate goal of 5 mph!).  Nimo wasn't even sweaty after the ride, except under the saddle pad, but I used a whole gallon of water and added 2 cups of Fibregized.  Nimo drank the whole gallon and then enjoyed the mess at the bottom, which was a great response, and leads me to believe that I don't really need Horse Quencher in order to get my horse to drink.  Instead, I can probably use any high-value food.  And because I normally soak some Fibregized or beet pulp to give him after a ride, just dumping it into the bucket and letting it soak at the bottom while Nimo drinks (it usually takes him a few minutes even if there is just a half-gallon) seems to work well.

That said, Horse Quencher does have salt in it (according to the packet, 18-22%), and that would be useful in warm weather or for a sweaty horse.  However, I can just add a little of my own (which I do anyway on hot days) or I could use a commercial electrolyte.  One thing that the Horse Quencher website points out is that proper hydration of a horse includes both electrolytes and water, and that giving electrolytes without giving water can be dangerous.  So, using Horse Quencher to inspire the horse to drink and giving electrolytes is a good way to keep your horse hydrated.

The single-serving packets cost $2.50, which is kind of pricey for frequent use.  On the other hand, if you wanted to try the product (there are 4 delicious-sounding flavors), it's a great option.  Then, if the product does work for your horse, you can buy the 20 lb bucket for $99.  The website says the bucket contains 144 servings, so that would work out to about $0.69/serving.

My conclusion is that Horse Quencher isn't going to work for Nimo, but I really like the concept of the product.  In fact, it never would have occurred to me to just dump some feed in Nimo's water if I hadn't found out about this product.  And it is entirely possible that if I used more of the Horse Quencher (I think the packet is about a half cup), Nimo would drink the water with just the Horse Quencher.  But that would really drive the price up per serving and I'd get a better value from using any kind of horse feed instead.


  1. That inspired Nimo to hold his breath, dunk his nose to the bottom of the bucket, grab what he could, and come back up for air to chew it.

    Ha, what a clever dude!

  2. Thanks for the review! I have a bucket for Q...haven't tried yet. Probably won't until No Frills! Haha.

  3. ^ What Hannah said! I laughed out loud with that paragraph. :) I'm glad the Horse Quencher at least helped you find a different (and less expensive!) way to get Nimo to drink more after hard workouts. Great review!! I may copy your discovery. ;)