Buckets and Snaps

Buckets and Snaps

Safekeeping: Hazards of Buckets, Hooks and Snaps

By Ruthann Smith


Nipped Nose

Simple things can make all the difference to the lives of horses and owners. In this new monthly series, I am delighted to share easy tips to avoiding problems. May they save you lot of heartache.


Buckets are important: if a horse is dehydrated, all his body functions are disabled. Keep plenty of clean water available to make sure your horse drinks lots of water. To encourage drinking, wipe and empty buckets daily- twice when it’s really hot. Soap and scrub buckets weekly. Hang buckets in the front of the stall, so the horse will think to drink. If he does not drink as much as normal: heads up. He is sick or almost. When shipping, make sure the horse drinks at least every 6 hours. He may need to wait a minute first. On the road, put apple juice, cider vinegar or Dengi in the water to make it irresistible. At home, such additives will ferment and prevent him from drinking. Always have at least one full bucket of clean water available in the stall and if outside for hours.


Bucket Position

Some horses eat out of low-to-the-ground rubber tubs. They offer a natural feeding position and the tubs work well for being soft and not having a handle. Though, they should be removed after each feeding and washed weekly.

Indoors, water is usually served in hanging buckets because they don’t get knocked over. Never serve water in a bucket with a handle on the ground. A horse will put his foot through the handle and get seriously hurt. Larger vessels may be secure, but are not efficient for daily cleaning. So, water buckets are hung in stalls with the bottom at least as high as the horse’s chest to prevent the horse pawing into the bucket and getting injured.



The most important thing about using hooks and snaps is to always put the fastener side toward the wall, with the smooth side toward the horse. The risk is about much more than the tail getting caught and pulled out. Horses regularly get their nostrils ripped open and off by getting them caught on the small release knob of the snap or edge of an open bucket hanger. And, there is no reason for it. Keep an eye out- you’ll see lots of scared nostrils. Remember: Snaps face the wall.

Snap Tips to prevent injury

© 2011, Ruthann Smith, All rights reserved.
Originally Published in Equine Journal

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Bio Pic

Ruthann Smith has spent a lifetime studying sound horsemanship- both as a groom for top international horses and as a renowned braider. Quietly twisting manes atop a ladder, she watched and learned in some of the best stables in the world.

As her passion for great grooming grew, Ruthann became focused on researching, collecting and sharing the best practices of the world’s keenest horsemen. Ultimately, Ruthann used her vast experience to develop exceptional equine grooming products to help raise the bar of horsemanship.

The knowledge she dispenses and the products Ruthann developed solve age-old grooming issues. Making quality horse care easier, they have received the highest honors in the equine industry*. Her Lucky Braids for Top Turnout coat care and braiding products are the best, most versatile, cost-effective and easiest solutions available on the market today.

Now Ruthann offers her LOVE, LOVE Guarantee. If not totally thrilled with a product she developed, Ruthann will refund you in full, regardless of where you purchased it.

It’s her life’s mission to empower horses by educating, motivating and equipping their people to be true horsemen. You can access Ruthann’s tips at: The Grooming Resource on LuckyBraids.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and her Horsemanship Clinics.

*After testing 350 products, Lucky Braids All-In-One Horse Shampoo was named product of the year by Horse Journal, the “Consumer Reports” of the industry. They also named Lucky Braids Shampoo and Top Pick for greys and whites. Lucky Braids specialized braiding yarn also got stellar reviews.