Little Giant’s ST15 is one of the smallest troughs on our list. But if you’re looking for something that’s easily portable for short periods of use, it’s well worth considering.
It’s made of black polyethylene resin and is shaped as an elongated oval. The lack of any pointy corners means there’s nothing to injure your horse as it drinks.
There’s nothing here that will rust either. And the resin is strong enough to stand up to everyday wear and tear without cracking or warping.
It will work just as well for food or water. There’s a useful drainage hole at the bottom, so you won’t have to tip it up to get rid of dirty water.
You will, though, need to buy the plug to stop it up separately. It’s not expensive, but it’s a little annoying that it’s not included as standard. Blame the people who buy these to put their plants in!
Little Giant manufacture this trough in a range of different sizes. The 15 gallon is the smallest, but also the most widely stocked. You’ll need to shop around to find the larger 40, 75, 100 and 150-gallon versions.
No sharp corners to cause injury
Strong polyethylene construction won’t warp, crack or rust
Drainage hole at the bottom for easy emptying
You’ll need to buy the drain plug separately
The larger sized options may be more practical, but aren’t as widely available.
This trough from Tuff Stuff is a more practical size, with a capacity of 40 gallons. It’s a size that works well for one or two horses.
It’s made of LDPE flexible plastic, which gives it a rubbery texture. That plastic is made of 100 per cent recycled material. This is a product that’s doing its bit for the environment.
The oval shape means there are no sharp edges to injure you or your horse. And the material is tough enough that even determined horsey teeth won’t shred it!
One limitation with this design, though, is that there’s no drain at the bottom. You’ll need to empty out dirty water by turning it upside down. 40 gallons of water is pretty heavy, so be prepared for this to take some effort.
In most cases, the trough is an attractive shade of dark green, so it will blend in to grassy environments. But note, a few people have received black troughs. If color is important to you, make sure you check it on delivery.
Tough enough to cope with horses trying to chew the sides
Made of 100 per cent recycled material
No drain at the bottom
You may get a black or green trough, and there’s no way to specify which color you want.
The FF11 from Little Giant is designed to be mounted onto a fence. It’s primarily for food, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use it for water too. It will hold up to 4.5 quarts.
It’s made from polyethylene resin in a cheerful bright red. Little Giant also make a version in black if you prefer something more understated. The plastic is tough enough that it won’t crack, warp or buckle. And it will cope with knocks from enthusiastic horses!
Two metal clips at the back allow it to be mounted to your fence. These are easily detachable, so you can empty the trough. Note that there’s no drain, so you’ll need to unclip it if you want to empty it out completely.
Alternatively, you can mount it permanently by replacing the clips with lag screws. You can simply take out the clips and attach the screws through the eyelets. You’ll need to buy the screws separately, though.
Available in a choice of red or black
Can be mounted temporarily or permanently to a fence
Tough polyethylene resin construction won’t warp, crack or buckle
No drain at the bottom
If you want to mount it permanently, you’ll need to buy lag screws separately.
The KMT50 is the second trough from Tuff Stuff to make our list. This one is a little bigger, with a capacity of 50 gallons.
It’s another trough with a long, oval shape. There are no sharp edges here to cause injury. The lack of corners also avoids any weak points where a knock could cause it to crack.
The trough is made of the same 100 per cent recycled LDPE plastic as its smaller brother, the KMT101. If you buy this, you’ll be supporting a business that’s stopping waste plastic from heading to landfill.
It’s very strong too. It won’t crack or warp, and the rubber-like consistency makes it easy to carry.
This is another trough, though, where there’s no drain. And the larger capacity means it will be heavy when full. If you want to empty it completely, you’ll need to tip it over – and that will require some effort.
Generous 50-gallon capacity
Won’t warp or crack
Made of 100 per cent recycled plastic
No drain, so you’ll have to tip it up to empty it …
The FF16 from Little Giant is the big brother to the FF11. This one has twice the capacity, holding up to 9 quarts of water or 8 quarts of dry feed.
In other respects, the design is the same. You’ll get the same choice of fire engine red or black. And there’s the same option to mount it either temporarily or permanently on a fence.
With the extra size comes an additional tether to keep it secure. A metal chain at the front of the trough can be attached to wire fencing. Secure it so the chain is taut, and that will prevent the trough moving if it’s knocked from below.
Two metal clips at the top hold it securely in place on the fence. Just unclip them when you want to empty out the trough. They are a little stiff, though, so be prepared to apply some force!
You can replace the clips with lag screws if you want a permanent mounting. Note, though, that there’s no drainage hole at the bottom of the trough. So if you fix it in place permanently, you’ll struggle to empty it out completely.
Mounts securely to a fence with two clips and a chain
If your trough will be exposed to very low temperatures, the Brower MK32E could be the answer. This has an electric heater and is specially insulated to prevent the water inside from freezing.
It’s a cheerful red color with a picture of a horse on the outside. It’s made in both single and double trough versions. The latter will hold enough water for up to 25 horses, and it stands 18 inches from the ground. The trough measures 4.5 inches deep, and there’s a plug to drain away the water.
The walls are curved and constructed from heavy gauge metal, so they’re safe for animals to use. They’re insulated with heavy polyurethane foam to keep the water from freezing.
The insulation has an R value of 7.14 per inch, so it’s very effective. It’s also unappealing to rodents, so you won’t have to worry about it being chewed off. And it doesn’t contain formaldehyde or chlorofluorocarbons, so those chemicals won’t leach into the water.
Note, though, that the pipe to hose fittings here are made of plastic, rather than metal. That means they can become brittle in cold weather.
This is an automatic waterer, and it uses a float to determine when the water needs to be topped up. We’ve heard of some problems with the float fitting beneath the cover, causing it to overflow. If you have this issue, one solution is to replace the float with a smaller version.
Heating element keeps water from freezing in low temperatures
Effective insulation makes it energy efficient
Automatic top-up, so there’s always water for your horses
The plastic pipe to hose fittings can become brittle in low temperatures
The float fitting seems to be off in some units, causing the water to overflow.
This trough from Behrens is made of hot dipped galvanized steel. That means you can fill it with water without worrying about it rusting. It’s also coated in zinc so it won’t leak, and it has an attractive rustic finish.
It has a capacity of 16 gallons, so it’s not very big. It’s the kind of thing that’s best used as a temporary trough. The tough metal construction means you won’t have to worry about it being chewed by rodents. And the oval shape means there are no sharp corners to injure your horse.
Horizontal swedging gives it extra strength. And the bottom curves away from the ground, reducing the chances of the contents freezing in cold weather.
Behrens also make a 33.5-gallon version of this trough. But there’s no drain at the bottom in either case. If you want to empty the trough out completely, you’ll need to tip it upside down.
Tough galvanized steel construction, with horizontal swedging for extra strength
Zinc coating to prevent leaks
Bottom curves away from the ground to reduce the chances of the contents freezing
That brings us to the end of our look at eight of the best horse water troughs on the market right now! We hope it’s helped you narrow down your search.
Our favorite is the galvanized steel tub from Behrens. It’s not the biggest on our list, but it’s tough and watertight. The curved bottom reduces the chances of water freezing when the temperature drops. And the zinc coating means it looks good too.
Whichever option you choose, we hope you find the perfect trough for your horse. Happy shopping!