Using cat-litter containers is a simple and practical barn hack that fits on the reduce-reuse-recycle continuum. I like to carry water when I travel with my horses for three reasons.
(1) I want to have water in case of trailer break down
If I have a trailer issue and am stuck on the side of the road, I want to have a way to offer water to my horses.
(2) I want to have water easily accessible when I arrive at my destination
Since I am typically alone when I travel, I like to make things as easy on myself. There have been several horse shows where I was parked out in a field somewhere, quite far from the barn water source. Having to walk from wherever my trailer is to wherever the water source is at my destination while hauling water buckets? Ugh. On an even worse note, have you ever gotten to a trail head only to realize that there is no water source? Not a problem if you have brought your own water.
(3) I want to reduce the likelihood of an equine infection transmission
My horse, Bear once came down with influenza after attending a small, local horse show. The other horse that I took to the show did not get sick. I suppose that Bear could
have caught an airborne bug, but the vet who diagnosed him surmised that Bear might have caught it from the water. I had used the show water source with attached hose when I filled up his water bucket.
The easiest way that I have found to transport water is to use a plastic cat-litter container with a handle because
(1) The containers are quite sturdy, last forever and are easy to handle even when full.
(2) You can stack them easily on top of each other if you want to take multiple containers of water.
(3) The lids snap on and prevent water from sloshing all over the inside of your trailer.
I usually fill up my horse’s water buckets with the container water, but the opening is also big enough that the horse can drink directly from the container while you hold it for him. Obviously, you want to clean it out thoroughly before first use. I clean it by hand and then run it through the dishwasher by itself to remove any litter residue/smell.
If you find that you get back from your travels without having used all the water that you brought with you, use it refill your horse’s home water buckets, help clean out the trailer or water the barn plants/flowers. I don’t usually leave the water in the container as I want to take fresh water with me for each trip. I also don’t want the water to freeze in the bucket during a cold snap.
If you don’t have cats yourself, ask a cat loving friend if you can have their cat litter container leftovers.