Eating Sand?

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Eating Sand?

This is a discussion on Eating Sand? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    01-25-2010, 05:02 PM
Eating Sand?

I had Amber out in the Indoor 2 nights ago, just playing with her, and I noticed that she was very intent on eating the sandy footing in the ring, something I have never seen her do before. And Last night she was the same way. I know it only a little bit, but I still worry about sand colic. I just can't figure out this new habit. Any ideas? Do you think she needs more salts/minerals in her diet? Could it be a boredom thing? She was inside for 3 days because I had to wash her blanket and she's clipped and then yesterday it was so gross outside no one went out.

I'm just worried, cause it's something she's never done before. Usually when im free lunging her or we're playing in the indoor she is very intent on me, or kicking up her heels and running around, but the last 2 times all she wanted to do was eat the sand! Any input would be great! Thanks!
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    01-25-2010, 05:15 PM
I never heard of this either. The horses that I work with are eating sand just because the hay is given to them on the ground and they eat sand accidentally. But anyway you should be careful with your mare's new habit. I had 5 horses once all with colic sand for this reason and it's awful. I know that horses lick metal when they feel the need for more salt in their diet. I saw a lot of horses that lick the metal bars from their stall because they do not received salt for a long period of time.
    01-25-2010, 06:47 PM
It sounds like she needs more minerals to me. You might consider getting her a loose mineral powder that she can lick along with whatever standard saltblock she has got. Make sure to avoid anything with urea as an ingredient though, that is really bad for horses and is generally found in minerals found for cattle.
    01-25-2010, 09:00 PM
Thanks guys! Going to make a trip to the tack store to get her some loose mineral powder and a big mineral block!
    01-25-2010, 11:21 PM
I don't know that you would need both the mineral powder and a mineral block. Probably the best bet would be the powder and just a standard white salt lick, that way there is not as much risk of her getting too much of some of those minerals.
    01-26-2010, 01:36 AM
My Mustang likes to lick the mud at the edge of the ponds out on the forest. I bought him a mineral block (not the mineralized salt, but truly a mineral block) and he uses it some but not much. I have never figured out what the deal is with licking the mud, but I figure there is something in the pond sludge that he wants or needs. Otherwise he is a picky horse, always leaving little clumps of dirt and such that get baled with the hay at the bottom of the feeder.

I would be worried about the sand though, because if she has access to sand and you aren't around, she may be eating lots of it. In that case, a psylluim regime would be called for to prevent sand colic. If she only has access to sand in the arena, then try not to let her have it and try the minerals as everyone suggest.

My guy still licks pond mud occasionally even with the mineral block. One of the mysteries of life I guess!
    01-26-2010, 06:12 PM
My horse did the same thing...all she needed was a mineral block!
    01-26-2010, 07:32 PM
Thanks guys! Going to tractor supply tomorrow

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