8 Best Automatic Horse Waterer [Review & Buying Guide]

What is the best automatic horse waterer?

It is more and more popular for equestrians to use these types of water sources for their horses and they have many benefits.

What are the best types of horse waterers for you depends on your specific needs and circumstances.

My review guide covers my favorites that will suit every type of horse owner.

This post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.

Here are my top picks for all budgets and horse owner needs. Let’s get started with my automatic waterer reviews!

Top Automatic Waterer for Horses at a Glance

Don’t have time to go through the whole list? Here is a quick overview.

PREVIEW
Editor's Choice
Little Giant Automatic Animal Waterer (Blue) Float Controlled Automatic Waterer for Livestock (4 Gal) (Item No. FW16BLUE)
Best Water Bowl
Little Giant 88ESW Automatic Waterer, Black
Best Paddock Waterer
Classic Equine Ultra Fount
Best For Multiple Horses
Ritchie Omni Fount 2 Automatic Heated Cattle, Horse Waterer
Best Stall Heated
#2 Classic Equine STALLFOUNT with Heater - Best Stall Heated
TOP BENEFIT
bigger than many of the small automatic water feeders
Heavy gauge steel
Built-in heating system
Two drinking pans
Styrofoam floor for an insulated base
Editor's Choice
PREVIEW
Little Giant Automatic Animal Waterer (Blue) Float Controlled Automatic Waterer for Livestock (4 Gal) (Item No. FW16BLUE)
TOP BENEFIT
bigger than many of the small automatic water feeders
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Best Water Bowl
PREVIEW
Little Giant 88ESW Automatic Waterer, Black
TOP BENEFIT
Heavy gauge steel
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Best Paddock Waterer
PREVIEW
Classic Equine Ultra Fount
TOP BENEFIT
Built-in heating system
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Best For Multiple Horses
PREVIEW
Ritchie Omni Fount 2 Automatic Heated Cattle, Horse Waterer
TOP BENEFIT
Two drinking pans
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Best Stall Heated
PREVIEW
#2 Classic Equine STALLFOUNT with Heater - Best Stall Heated
TOP BENEFIT
Styrofoam floor for an insulated base
CHECK LATEST PRICE

ALSO CHECK: Type of Sand for Horse Round Pen

8 Best Automatic Horse Waterer [Reviews]

I’ve come across many different types of horse waterers over the years. Some of better than others, but the majority of horses adjust well to using them.

#1 Little Giant Automatic Animal Waterer (WINNER)

Little Giant Automatic Animal Waterer (Blue) Float Controlled Automatic Waterer for Livestock (4 Gal) (Item No. FW16BLUE)

The Little Giant is a versatile automatic waterer for horses that you can mount in a stall or to a paddock fence. It is bigger than many of the small automatic water feeders for horses that equestrians put in the barn.

To total capacity is 4 gallons, so your horse will have plenty of access to drinking water, even when the water trough is refilling. 

It comes in three colors, which is great for those who want a break from the boring stainless steel look or green plastic.

The waterer comes with a standard hose attachment that you can attach easily to your water supply. The float is well hidden, which keeps it protected from playful or cheeky horses that like to pull at things.

Another positive about the Little Giant is that it is owned by the Frandsen Corporation, a family business that has been making products for farms and pets for over 60 years. The majority of which are made in the USA.

The price is pretty good too! This automatic horse waterer is a good in between option for those who want something with more capacity than the bowl styles but don’t want to invest in a large, expensive product.

Features & Attributes

  • 4-gallon capacity
  • Mounting brackets
  • Comes in blue, black, red

Measurements

  • 18 x 15 x 12 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Little Giant Automatic

BenefitsDrawbacks
Easy to mountPlastic hose connector
Easy to connect the water supplyDifficult to clean as no drain
Good capacitySlow refill
Durable material

How it Compares to Others

This water stands out due to its size. It is bigger than the standard wall or fence-mounted options and smaller than corner waterers or a paddock horse trough.

Expert Tips

Other equestrians recommend that you replace the plastic hose connector with a metal one. This will last longer, is more durable, and makes it less likely to leak.

What Equestrians Say About Little Giant Automatic

“This is a great product!” says Michelle, who also says “Wish I had purchased one of these much sooner in life. My horses are enjoying having fresher water daily.”

Little Giant Automatic Animal Waterer (Blue) Float Controlled Automatic Waterer for Livestock (4 Gal) (Item No. FW16BLUE)
  • FLOAT CONTROLLED - This automatic cattle waterer has float controlled refill feature that automatically refills the tank based on it's water level.
  • STANDARD HOSE CONNECTION - This automatic watering device connects to a standard 3/4 inch garden hose, making it easy and convenient to set up.
  • 4 GALLON WATER CAPACITY - The waterer has a 4 gallon water capacity making it perfect for large animals such as cattle and horses.
  • EASY FENCE OR WALL MOUNTING - This product includes metal brackets for over-the-fence or on-the-wall installation (hardware not included), also 30 in of hose is included with a female hose attachment.
  • MULTIPLE COLORS AVAILABLE - This product is available in a variety of colors including Blue, Green, Black and Red

#2 Classic Equine STALLFOUNT with Heater – Best Stall Heated

#2 Classic Equine STALLFOUNT with Heater - Best Stall Heated

Classic Equine makes several different STALLFOUNT models. I’ll be talking about a couple of them in this guide.

This is the first one and it is designed to fit into the corner of the horse’s stall. What I really like about this, and what makes it one of the best automatic horse waterers, is that it is heated.

That means no more frozen buckets of water in the winter. It also keeps the water at a nice temperature, which is more appealing to horses than freezing cold water.

Features & Attributes

  • Stainless steel cover
  • Thermostat activated heater
  • Quick refill
  • Waterer with heater

Measurements

Adjustable height

20lbs weight

Benefits & Drawbacks of Classic Equine STALLFOUNT

BenefitsDrawbacks
Keeps water temperature temperate year-roundExpensive
Drain for easy cleaningA little bulky for stalls
10-year warranty
Quick refill

How it Compares to Others

This is a bit bulkier than many options for stall waterers. It is also pretty expensive but it is great quality and will last you years.

Expert Tips

It is important that your horse drinks enough water. When it is cold outside and the water gets freezing, they are less likely to drink.

That is why it is important to ensure water stays temperate. Learn more about how much water your horse needs in this video.

What Equestrians Say About Classic Equine STALLFOUNT

In this video an equestrian talks about the Classic Equine STALLFOUNTS he installed in his barn.

#3 Little Giant 88ESW Automatic Waterer – Best Water Bowl

Little Giant 88ESW Automatic Waterer, Black

I’m back with a different model from Little Giant. This is one of the best automatic horse waterers that comes in a bowl style.

It has an epoxy coating over stainless steel, which adds to its durability. 

Features & Attributes

  • Hose connection
  • Heavy gauge steel
  • Single waterer

Measurements

  • 11 x 11 x 6 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Little Giant 88ESW Automatic Waterer

BenefitsDrawbacks
Good size for stallsPlastic hose connector
Durable bowlA little awkward to install
Doesn’t rust

How it Compares to Others

This is a sturdy horse waterer that is designed for inside stalls or your barn. It is not suitable for paddocks like some of the others. It is good value for money.

Expert Tips

Horses like to drink from clean buckets or troughs and it is important that you keep them clean.

Dr. Roberta Dwyer of the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center explains what you need to do in this video.

What Equestrians Say About Little Giant 88ESW Automatic Waterer

This equestrian had this to say “Well made and everything it said it was it is. Works really well and is easy to clean.”

Little Giant 88ESW Automatic Waterer, Black
  • All-purpose automatic stock waterer for horses, cattle and other outside animals
  • No special training required
  • Easily connects to 1/2 inch pipe, flex hose, or garden hose water supply
  • Heavy-gauge, prime-quality drawn steel with nontoxic black epoxy coating for corrosion resistance
  • Easily installed at any given height

#4 Classic Equine Ultra Fount – Best Paddock Waterer

Classic Equine Ultra Fount

The Classic Equine Ultra is one of the best automatic horse waterers for pasture and outdoor areas shared by multiple horses.

You can place it on a fence line so one side is in one paddock and the other side in another.

It is a heated waterer which is ideal for the winter. No more breaking ice and your horses will drink more as the water will be a more appealing temperature.

It is a heavy-duty waterer and can take a lot of abuse from horses and the weather. 

Features & Attributes

  • Built-in heating system
  • Double trough design
  • 120V thermostat
  • Maintenance-free float system

Measurements

  • 29″H x 30.5″W x 20″ front to back

Benefits & Drawbacks of Classic Equine Ultra Fount

BenefitsDrawbacks
Low maintenanceExpensive
No frozen waterPoor installation instructions
Great for multiple horsesRequires purchase of stainless anchor bolts
Quick refilling

How it Compares to Others

This is one of the most expensive automatic horse waterers in my guide. However, it is also specifically for outdoor areas and provides water for multiple horses.

It lasts a long time, so you still get value for money, despite the price.

Expert Tips

Learn more about this premium horse waterer in this video.

What Equestrians Say About Classic Equine Ultra Fount

Equestrians are very happy with this water. Here are what some are saying – “It works great. No problems freezing during a week between -20F and 0F.” And – “One of the best investments I’ve made for my pasture.”

Classic Equine Ultra Fount
  • Stays cleaner
  • Safe construction
  • Minimal water waste
  • Saves time- no more daily filling water buckets and no more dumping dirty stagnant water
  • Provides a long term solution- virtually maintenance-free

#5 Ritchie Omni Fount 2 Automatic Heated Horse Waterer – Best For Multiple Horses

Ritchie Omni Fount 2 Automatic Heated Cattle, Horse Waterer

The Ritchie Omni is another type of large, double trough design horse waterer. It is a cheaper option than the Classic Equine Ultra, though still pricey.

This US made waterer is insulated and heated, so you don’t have to worry about your horses not having adequate water access in cold weather.

Features & Attributes

  • Polyurethane foam insulation
  • Waterer with heater
  • Stainless steel trough
  • Two drinking pans
  • Adjustable float

Measurements

  • 14.5” wide, 28.3” long, 25” high

Benefits & Drawbacks of Ritchie Omni Fount Horse Waterer

BenefitsDrawbacks
10-year warrantyNot cheap
Easy to cleanRequires concrete pad and anchor bolts for installation
For multiple horses
Prevents the freezing of water

How it Compares to Others

This waterer has two single water troughs so you can provide water to horses in separate paddocks or pens. It is large compared to the single waterers that suit stalls.

Expert Tips

The manufacturer of this waterer shares in this video the differences between two different models of Ritchie Automatic Waterers, to help you find which one is best for your needs.

What Equestrians Say About Ritchie Omni Fount Horse Waterer

“BEST thing I ever bought for my horses!” and “It seems SUPER study.” are the glowing comments made by one equestrian who has bought this product.

Ritchie Omni Fount 2 Automatic Heated Cattle, Horse Waterer
  • MADE IN USA
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Large access panel for easy access to heating components and waterline.
  • Insulated with highly energy efficient polyurethane foam, providing an r-factor of 7 per inch
  • Heating elements are located directly under the stainless trough for exceptional performance

#6 Behlen Country Insulated Horse Waterer – Best Insulation

Behlen Country AHW60 Insulated Calf, Sheep or Horse Waterer with Heat

Here is another heated horse waterer, that I really like. It has two drinking troughs so you can place them so that multiple horses can access it.

Like the other models of this style, it isn’t cheap. But investing in these types of waterers will save you time, worry, and frustration that make them worth it.

Features & Attributes

  • Styrofoam floor for an insulated base
  • Insulated walls
  • Double trough design
  • Removable drain plugs

Measurements

  • 28 x 18 x 22 inches

Benefits & Drawbacks of Behlen Country Insulated Horse Waterer

BenefitsDrawbacks
Double insulation prevents stray voltage possibilitiesExpensive
Comes fully assembledPoor instructions
Durable
For multiple horses

How it Compares to Others

Due to its size and purpose, this is one of the more expensive options. It is best for those who need to provide water to more than one horse.

Expert Tips

Behlen shows you how to install one of their waterers in this helpful video.

What Equestrians Say About Behlen Country Insulated Horse Waterer

“This unit has so far been the best thing that I have ever invested in.” “My horses all took to it immediately and I know they are happier getting that fresh water supply on demand.”

These are just some of the great things on user has to say.

Behlen Country AHW60 Insulated Calf, Sheep or Horse Waterer with Heat
  • Thick styrofoam floor keeps the frost line below the waterer
  • Urethane in the walls provides over four times the insulation of competitors’ models (tested to -20° f)
  • Double-insulated design eliminates the possibility of stray voltage
  • Built-in hold downs, removable drain plugs, and easy access doors
  • Fully assembled, ready to install. 28-inch by 18-inch by 22-inch

#7 Stainless Steel Automatic Waterer – Budget Friendly

304 Stainless steel Automatic Livestock Waterer with Float Valve and 39 inch Water Hose(one end 3/4''), Automatic Water Bowl for Dogs,Horse,Calf,Chicken,Goat, Farm Livestock Horse Waterer Dispenser

If you’re looking for small horse waterers that you can stick in a stable or the corner of a pen, without spending a fortune, check out this really popular option.

Features & Attributes

  • Stainless steel waterer
  • Steel water hose
  • Water float
  • Single waterer

Measurements

  • 10.55” wide, 10” long, 3.9” high

Benefits & Drawbacks of Stainless steel Automatic Waterer

BenefitsDrawbacks
Small size for stablesSome rough edges
Budget-friendlySome leaking issues
Reduces water waste

What Equestrians Say About Stainless steel Automatic Waterer

Users like the convenience of this waterer – “Great for your pets to assure they have a constant supply of water.”

304 Stainless Steel Automatic Livestock Waterer with Float Valve and 39 inch Water Hose(one end 3/4''), Automatic Water Bowl for Dogs,Horse,Calf,Chicken,Goat, Farm Livestock Horse Waterer Dispenser
  • -Working Principle: Use the float ball water level floating principle, the floating ball rod is connected to the valve, and when it rises to a constant level, the rubber piston will close the valve. When the water level drops, the float also drops, and the rod drives the piston to open. It keeps the water bowl full of clean water at all times.
  • -Material: Made of the high quality 304 stainless steel ,not easy to deformation, no rust, ,and easy to clean
  • -Wide application: Can be used in courtyard, garden, farm, etc. It is very suitable for small and medium livestock animals such as horses, goat, dogs, chickens, geese, calves, alpacas, etc.
  • -Save labor and water, reduce animal drinking pressure, provide a clean drinking environment for pets, easy to clean, and effectively reduce drinking water waste. It can holds about 2.5 liters water (0.66 gallons) Large capacity for your pet's water needs.
  • -Regarding the specifications of the 39" long water hose: As soon as we received feedback on the water hose, we replaced it with a new batch of 3/4" female GHT water hose. If the water hose you received still leaks, please contact us directly and we can give you a free Replacement or refund !

#8 Push-Paddle Automatic Waterer – Heavy Duty Waterer

Little Giant Automatic Livestock Water Push-Paddle Epoxy Coated Automatic Stock Waterer, Great for Horses, Cows and Hogs (Item No. 77)

If you want a small automatic waterer for horses that are made from a sturdy material, then take a look at this option.

The paddle design means that your horse always has fresh water instead of water that has been sitting around.

Features & Attributes

  • Stainless-steel push paddle
  • Heavy duty cast iron
  • Nontoxic black epoxy finish
  • Single waterer
  • Non-heated waterer

Measurements

10” x 8.5” x 5” 

Benefits & Drawbacks of Push-Paddle Automatic Waterer

BenefitsDrawbacks
Always provides fresh waterSome horses take time to figure them out
Small size for stallsSome issues with the valve
Sturdy

What Equestrians Say About Push-Paddle Automatic Waterer 

“I’ve had all types of automatic waterers for my horses and this is by far the sturdiest! My Jake figured it out immediately and he always has clean fresh water now.”

This is just one of the positive comments users have to say about this waterer.

Little Giant Automatic Livestock Water Push-Paddle Epoxy Coated Automatic Stock Waterer, Great for Horses, Cows and Hogs (Item No. 77)
  • AUTOMATICALLY DISPENSES WATER - This automatic waterer automatically dispenses fresh water to livestock when the waterer's paddle is pushed.
  • CORROSION RESISTANT - Heavy-duty cast iron with a tough, nontoxic black epoxy finish for corrosion resistance.
  • STAINLESS STEEL PADDLE - This waterer has a heavy-gauge stainless-steel push paddle for pump activation.
  • STOPS WATER SUPPLY FROM FREEZING - Non-siphoning valve keeps water supply from freezing.
  • SANITARY - The livestock waterer's continuous fresh water supply helps reduce breeding of disease-carrying organisms

How Does An Automatic Horse Waterer Work?

Automatic horse waterers are fairly simple items. They all have a connection that you attach to your water supply. Then they either have a float or pump.

Those that have a float refill when the level of water drops below a certain level. It then stops filling when the water is high enough. These work well most of the time.

The main issue that you can fun into is if the float stops working and it either doesn’t fill, or worse allows the water to keep running, causing a flood. Sometimes this is because the horse breaks something.

It’s no fun to walk into the barn in the morning to find water everywhere! I’ve been there! Thankfully, it is a rare occurrence.

The other type of automatic waterer does not have a float. Instead, it has a paddle that the horse pushes so that water is released. This type avoids issues that can arise from a float.

However, they make some noise when activated which some horses are wary of. The majority figure them out quickly and are fine. Though there are rare horses that just never figure out how to use it.

And there are the rare horses that never get over being afraid of the sound it makes.

Are Automatic Waterers Good For Horses?

For the most part, automatic horse waterers are good for horses. Using them means that your horse is never without water access.

They also ensure fresh water is always available which is better than water sitting in a trough going stagnant.

Since the water is fresh, your usage is also more economical. You don’t need to dump out large amounts of water every day to clean and refresh the supply.

Not only are they great for horses, but they are also great for horse owners as well! No more lugging heavy water buckets around and they save you a lot of time.

The main drawback of using automatic waterers is that you can’t monitor water consumption easily. This isn’t ideal as it is very hard to spot a change in drinking habits, which can indicate your horse is sick.

Alayne Blickle, a well-respected environmental educator for horse owners says – “they provide a clean, fresh source of water that’s always available.” [1]

What Are the Benefits of Automatic Horse Waterers?

Here is a quick summary of what the benefits of automatic horse waterers are.

  • 24/7 water supply
  • Fresh drinking water always
  • Some are heated
  • Easier to clean
  • No lugging a bucket of water around
  • Keeps water clean
  • Time-saving
  • Reduces Mosquito
  • Reduces water waste
  • Prevent standing water
  • More palatable water
  • Fewer algae growth

How to Choose the Best Automatic Waterers for Horses

There are only a few things to consider when choosing the best automatic waterer for horses. I’ll talk about them here to help you find the perfect option.

#1 Number Of Horses

If you want to supply fresh water to more than one horse it is a good idea to look at the larger troughs. These waterers are suitable for outside spaces such as pens or paddocks. 

Many have two troughs so you can place them on fence lines. They are also the best option for corrals and paddocks, even if you have one horse as they are designed to stand up to outdoor use.

If you want something to give water to your horse in its stable, then the small water bowels are the best option.

Horses tend to prefer larger, float-type waterers according to a study.

“In that study, horses never consumed water from the push valves,” Hiney said. “It was believed the larger available reservoir of water in the float-valve waterers encouraged the horses to drink more.” [2]

#2 The Environment & Climate

If you live in cold regions, then you know the struggles of providing water in the winter. Ice is frustrating, tiring, and puts your horse off drinking. In this case, a heated waterer is a way to go.

#3 How Easy It Is To Clean

While most automatic waterers are easy to clean, some are easier than others. When looking for one to purchase, try to find one that will be easier for you to keep clean.

#4 The Waterer’s Durability

Look for waterers made from durable materials that will last you years. Keep an eye out for poor-quality parts that will break easily. You would be surprised how rough horses can be on a waterer.

You want your system to be able to withstand harsh environments, especially if it has to deal with both cold and hot weather.

FAQs

How high should I put my automatic waterer for my horses?

Place automatic waters are a height of 36 to 47 inches. How high will depend on the size of your horse. Ponies will need it lower than large horses.

What is the best automatic horse waterer?

The best automatic horse waterer is one that is reliable, durable, easy to maintain, and ensures your horse always has a fresh supply.

What is the main disadvantage of using an automated watering system for horses?

The main disadvantage of automatic watering systems is that you can’t monitor water consumption.

Do automatic waterers freeze?

Some automatic waterers freeze is they have no heating element. It is more the frozen hoses supplying the water that have problems than the waterer itself. Those with heating should not freeze.

How long does an automatic horse waterer last?

A quality automatic waterer should last several years.

Conclusion

I hope you found my review guide to the best automatic horse waterer helpful. They make a great addition to your stall, barn, and ranch.

The benefits for you and your horse make the investment worthwhile. They aren’t 100% perfect, but make life much easier!

Plus, it’s nice to know you are giving your horse cleaner water, avoiding water wastage, and are unlikely to have a thirsty horse.

a horse drinking water under title Best Automatic Horse Waterer

Do you use automatic waterers? If so what is your favorite?

Resources

  • 1. The Benefits of Using an Automatic Waterer for Horses. The Horse. Published November 6, 2015. Accessed June 6, 2022. https://thehorse.com/155134/the-benefits-of-using-an-automatic-waterer-for-horses-2/
  • 2. Stillwater OSU, Campus O 74078, Maps744-5000 P. Be sure to optimize a horse’s water intake this summer – Oklahoma State University. news.okstate.edu. Published June 12, 2018. Accessed June 6, 2022. https://news.okstate.edu/articles/agriculture/2018/stotts_horse-water-intake.html
Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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