How much is too much? (Salt)

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health

How much is too much? (Salt)

This is a discussion on How much is too much? (Salt) within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse danger salt health
  • Excessive consumption of salt by horses

LinkBack Thread Tools
    12-28-2011, 02:09 PM
Green Broke
How much is too much? (Salt)

This may seem like a dumb question, but it is just something I have never encountered with any of my previous horses.
Okay, Yahzi will not leave the salt lick alone. At the moment, we only have a straight (white) salt lick out in the field. She has been with us a week, now and has spent more time at the salt block in that time than the other two, combined, in the past year probably. I am not exaggerating when I say she has easily cut it's size by 1/4
At first, I just chalked it up to the fact that she had not had anything available at the previous locaiton, but she has not slowed down, at all, on her licking. Is there a point at which this would become a concern? I have never had a horse that was this persistent about the lick. Are there possible underlying issues that would be of concern that would lead to this seeming over-consumption? What, if any, would be the possible dangers of too much salt intake? She is eating, drinking and eliminating all in what I would consider normal ranges and giving me no overt, outward concerns of anything being wrong.
Sponsored Links
    12-28-2011, 02:28 PM
First of all, yes, this could be a problem, as to much salt intake can cause kidney damage and even failure. Does your horse get fed any grain? If so, look and see if there is an salt added in it, and if so, how much?

A horse with moderate work needs about 3 tablespoons of salt, but horses at rest with no work need about 1.5 tablespoons, and horses in heavy work about 5 tablespoons per day- based on a 1000 lb horse that only sweats when they are worked. This is all dependent on how much your horse sweats, so during summer if your horse sweats due to warm air, you may want to add another tablespoon of salt to your horse's diet.

How often do you work your horse? What is the environment like in summer and winter? How much does your horse weigh? You don't want to feed more than one tablespoon of salt per 200 lbs or 100 kg per day for a horse.
    12-28-2011, 02:36 PM
Coming from an environment without free choice salt or mineral, it took several weeks for our horses to realize they didn't need to overindulge. They always had available water and I monitored manure & urine and it worked itself out.
    12-28-2011, 03:06 PM
Good Tufts article

Dehydration and Electrolyte Losses in the Sport Horse : Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
    12-28-2011, 03:39 PM
Is there food available in the lot? Will the horse eat hay instead of the lick? Is he doing it out of boredom? I've got one horse at my barn that we cannot leave a lick in his stall. I let him do the initial OMG I love my salt lick routine... but he will LITERALLY eat a 5 lb salt lick in two days if you allow him. So he is allowed a lick only every other day while im cleaning for a few hours... every once in a while you'll get a nut :) lol
    12-28-2011, 10:39 PM
Green Broke
We have free choice hay (grass - orchard/timothy) and minimal grazing at the moment as the pasture is in winter mode. She is not currently receiving any grain. With the daylight cycle we are currently in, she is not in heavy work at all - I work M-F and get home with half an hour of daylight left, if that - so my main time to work her is weekends. She will not be a heavily used horse, she is meant to be a pleasure/trail horse for light/casual riding.
I think, for the time being, we will go with the rotational offering of salt in the field, salt taken out until/unless she starts to show a lessened urge. I think my primary concern was if she was demonstrating an excessive intake as a sign/symptom of some sort of deficiency - and then if the excess would create an issue.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Too Much Salt? Clementine Horse Health 8 01-22-2011 04:23 PM
Salt Eye wash waterbuggies Horse Health 2 10-08-2010 05:00 PM
Question about salt SaratogaTB Horse Health 6 10-07-2010 03:02 PM
what kind of salt? geewillikers Horse Health 2 06-23-2008 02:30 AM
salt oOJESSOo Horse Health 8 03-08-2007 10:21 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:32 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0