We're in the midst of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which means a large amount of beer has been, and will be, consumed throughout the month of March and the beginning part of April. But that leads me to wonder how many pints will be served to the horse at the end of the bar?

I know what you're probably thinking, "Huh??" But think about this--who hasn't heard a story, or two, about horses drinking beer? Some of you might even own one or two horses that like to partake in some pub action.

Beer

You’re gonna need a bigger beer mug than this to treat your horses.

Growing up, my dad used to help us with the chores at the barn. Every once in a while, when it was a nice day and he wanted to relax, he'd bring down a bottle of Heineken beer to sip while he scooped manure. At the time we had a Quarter Horse gelding that was stall-bound for some sort of injury, so he was always in the barn during chore time. A couple of times dad would set his bottle of beer down on the front wall of Lightning's stall, thinking it'd be safe. A few minutes later, he'd go to grab the bottle ... only to find it empty. The next day, he'd do the same ... once again, an empty bottle. It wasn't until then that dad actually stopped to watch the event unfold:

Dad set the bottle in front of Lightning's stall and walked away. He'd turn around only to catch Lightning grab the bottle by his teeth, tip it back, then set the bottle back almost exactly where it had been. Needless to say, dad stopped placing beer anywhere near Lightning or any of the other horses in the barn.

The most famous equine beer drinker of all, though, has to be the queen of horse racing herself, Zenyatta. It was well-documented on ABC's 60 Minutes how she enjoys a pint of Guinness (around 8:30 into the video). "If she's really good, I'll give her a Guinness," trainer John Sherriffs said to Bob Simon of the news magazine. He even stated how she won't drink any other beer than Guinness Stout.

One horse owner in Australia believes beer saved his horse's life after a long bout of colic. Steve Clibborn, an endurance rider, was feeling down about the leg injury and subsequent bad turns in health that plagued his horse Diamond Mojo. After two days of battling colic episode after colic episode, Clibborn told the Northern Star that he decided he needed a drink. That's when it hit him that he remembered an "old farmer's remedy for colic--you give the animal something gassy ... " and he opened up a beer called XXXX and poured it down Diamond Mojo's mouth.

The horse's vet didn't seem that convinced that the beer saved the horse's life. "What I think is ... that horses just like beer," he told the news bureau.

TheHorse.com spoke to Laurie Lawrence, PhD, professor of equine science at the University of Kentucky, about how horses seem to have a propensity for alcohol, as per a poll on the site about what horses will eat/drink. She said, "I am confident that enough alcohol would affect horses like people (except they probably don't become loud drunks)." She believes a horse’s blood alcohol content would be affected much like a human’s would. It might take a few more rounds, though, since he weighs in just a wee bit heavier than his human companion.

Do you have any fun horses and beer stories you'd like to share?