I have found that my horses are not getting enough salt or minerals from the blocks so I switched them to Hoffmans loose minerals and loose salt. Their tongues are not made to lick things.So with the loose salt and minerals I know they are getting everything they need. My paddocks are sand and the horses have the option to go in the barn, but they track the sand in with their hooves, and they eat off the ground. (too bad they can't wipe their feet lol) So I sweep the sand out of their stall every day to every other day to make sure they are not eating a lot of sand.
You can buy Psyllium in bulk online and it is a lot cheaper than buying a brand name especially if you are treating a lot of horses. I actually use Equus Psyllium pellets because my horses LOVE the taste (Anise), but I only have 2, so it makes sense not to buy 50 lbs at a time. But you can get 50 lbs online much much cheaper than a name brand at the store. Some have free shipping.
Totally agree about the minerals, too. Loose minerals are awesome. If you can't get loose, mineral blocks are better than nothing.
Wow thanks to everyone I just learned a ton! I'm going to some research on every one of these suggestions and see what works best!!!
I know it makes me seam like a bad horse owner not to buy the sand clear but for 11 horses even only feeding them one scoop for a week each would cost around $275.
Btw we run a boarding and training stable so its not like we just have 11 horse cause there cute... Which they are adorable but we specialize in training horses that seam helpless and are going from one home to the other.
And we used to always feed all out horses beet pulp and salt twice a week but seance out older horse died we have not been needing gran all the time.
So I will tell the barn manager what I leaned and we will get some mineral salt/supplement and more beet pulp!
Thank you sooo much everyone!
This is out million dollar baby Latte that lived through a really bad case of sand colic when only 2 months old.
Loose mineral are 'cheap', especially if you get the ones marketed to livestock producers. It is true that beat pulp has more Ca in it than P, but the amount is so low it will not correct the low Ca level of many grass hays. One would have to feed 10# or more daily and there would still be an imbalance with most grass hays.
I used to make my own loose minerals. It was a huge PITA. Then I found a livestock mineral labeled as an 'Unmedicated Wheat Pasture Mineral'. Winter weat pasture and some lush green grasses are so low in Ca and Mg that stock, especially young stock and lactating females can die without a good mineral being available. It contains 24 - 25% Ca, 25% salt, only 4-5% P, and has 2% Mg. It has the added advantage of having 150,000 IU of Vitamin A per pound in it. Horses usually eat about 2 - 4 oz. Of it daily, but I have seen horses with a deficiency eat a pound or more at a time until they get 'caught up' with their deficiency. Most new horses coming in, eat it like grain.
The mineral we use costs less than $20.00 for a 50# bag. The same mineral marketed to horse people would cost 4 or 5 times that much and probably not be as good.
Here's a way to tell which of your horses could be needing psyllium (sand clear or other such product):
Get some gloves and a plastic freezer bag or glass mason jar with a lid. You'll need to collect some poop (make sure you know which horse it came from) and try to get some from a few different parts of the pile.
Put it in the bag or jar and add water. Then shake, shake, shake until the stool material is all broken up. The hay material will float to the top.
Hold the bag/jar up to the light and look at the bottom. If you see sand, it's time for psyllium.
Next time your vet is out, you can also have him show you how to use a stethoscope on the hind gut area to listen for the sand.
I give psyllium twice a year (April and October) just "because"- they are on a sand lot and it's so much cheaper the dealing with the consequences.
If you feed hay on the ground, putting down a piece of ply-board can help keep them from ingesting so much sand as they eat or dig around looking for fallen pieces of grain.