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Natural Ways To Keep Your Horse's Water Trough Clean

So you've just worked up a sweat with the scrubbing brush to empty out and clean the water trough yet again...... only to watch it go green again with algae after just a few days.

However, here is a couple of easy ways to prevent further build up of that nasty green gunk, without having to use any of the nasty chemicals either.......


To be clear about this, barley straw won't clean up existing algae, but after a good clean of your trough, if you pop a handful of barley straw into a mesh bag and weigh it down with a brick or stone, it does prevent further build up. 

We use a sock bag designed for the washing machine for ours at a cost of $2 from our local cheapo dollar shop, and just add a couple of handfuls to it which works well. You can also buy various pre-made gadgets from garden centres who also use this approach to keep ponds and decorative water features clean.

Small amounts of barley straw are best purchased from local pet stores.  


Algae thrives in water due to a mixture of nutrients being in the water, in addition to sunlight exposure. 

Therefore, if you can reduce the sunshine onto the trough, you can significantly reduce the growth of it. 

You don't need to spend heaps of money doing this-you could just put up a windbreak next to the trough to keep it in the shade. 

Ideas for this include to use a doubled up shade cloth or some garden wind-break material stretched over 3 posts to make an L shaped area that keeps the sun off the trough. Plastic posts such as those made by Gallagher as shown here, or plastic covered (think equine safety) garden stakes or even tall standards can be used to do this as to keep the costs down or to keep landlords happy for grazers who can't put in permanent structures. 

We hope this will help you to keep your water troughs cleaner for longer so you get to spend more time enjoying your horse. 

Happy Horsing :)