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How to Use a Horse Trough as a Pool

By Ryan Johnston
A large horse trough similar to this one can be used as an inexpensive wading pool.
paint drinking water image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com

Most people would love to have their own pool, even if only to cool off during the hot summer months. The problem is that many cannot afford their own full-size pool. And even if you get a small pool, it requires upkeep and usually needs to be stored during the winter. One solution is to use a horse trough, which is also known as a livestock tank. They're easy to find, cheap, will stay around for years, and have multiple uses if you decide to no longer use them as pools.

Prepare a level area for your horse trough (livestock tank) to sit.

Place the horse trough on the newly leveled area.

Ensure that the drain plug at the base of the trough is screwed in tightly.

Use the water hose to fill the trough with water until it is approximately six inches from the top of the trough.


Things You Will Need

  • Water hose


  • A livestock tank is circular and six to eight feet in diameter. This is most likely what you want to use. A horse trough is usually oval shaped and much smaller.
  • Applying silicon caulk to the plug will help prevent leaks.
  • Sand is the easiest material to level for use under the trough.


  • Horse troughs can be slippery on the bottom. Applying no-slip bath treads could help.
  • Horse troughs are two feet deep at the most and should only be used for wading.

About the Author


Johnston began writing professionally in 2010. He has been published in various online capacities including for Small Group Trader and Be Deviant. Johnston has a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from Kansas State University, majoring in horticulture with an emphasis on greenhouse management and nursery management.