Horses that are used for driving and for light work are usually in higher physical condition, not necessarily fatter, than farm- and draft-horses. Since their hours of labor are usually not so many nor their work so exhausting, they do not require so much water as farm-horses, but they are likely to be injured by drinking large amounts of water at one time. Horses which are driven long distances may perspire freely for eight to ten hours per day, and they are apt to come to the stable at night not only depleted of vitality but over-thirsty as well; in which case great care should be exercised in restricting the amount of water until the animal has recovered some of its normal vitality. Under the conditions described, the horse should first of all be given a small amount of thin oatmeal gruel. If this be fed at from 90° to 100° Fahr., so much the better. It is not so much the amount of water nor its temperature as the amount of vigor which the horse possesses when he is watered that governs the result.
The horse, like the man, has far less resisting power on some days than on others, - that is, he is not always at his best. The careless driver fails to discover this, and, when the horse shows weariness, it is accounted to him as laziness and the whip is used to stimulate his flagging energies. When he arrives at the stable, he may be in just the right condition to be injured by even a single pail of cold water. Horses which are fed all they will eat of hay that is dirty or that contains a large per cent of clover desire much water. In time they get into the habit of eating and drinking too much. This results in large and unsightly abdomens, difficult breathing, and general sluggishness, and is likely to result in the horse's having the "heaves." The animal becomes inefficient, not because of its breeding, but through the ignorance or carelessness of the driver. The horse that is driven four to six hours continuously should be watered midway on his journey; though he be quite warm, no harm will result therefrom. However, he should be driven somewhat slowly for the first few minutes after he has drank. No horse should be called on for his highest effort immediately after eating or drinking heartily. It will do no harm to again emphasize the need of furnishing the horse a full and frequent supply of water, if he is healthy, and it is desired to keep him so.