Should the horses have minerals?

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Should the horses have minerals?

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    01-29-2009, 10:43 AM
Should the horses have minerals?

I'm wondering if I should be giving the horses minerals. I always keep a salt block in with them, but how important are minerals? If I should be giving them a mineral block, do I need to keep it in with them all the time or just once and a while?
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    01-29-2009, 11:12 AM
My horse has the option of a mineral block and he uses it as he feels it is needed in the summer. I don't give him one in the winter because he finds it funny to play with it instead of actually uses it and he does just fine without having it so I don't think its necessarily a need for them to have

But someone might prove me wrong.....
    01-29-2009, 03:37 PM
I've only heard of using a salt block, especially in the summer when they sweat a lot. Otherwise, I would think they'd get the nutrients they need from a healthy diet.
    01-30-2009, 04:13 PM
My horses get a salt block in their stalls (or my geldings get a mineral block depending what my BO has)
Out in the field, they have access to a large salt block. We cannot put a mineral one out there because my mare has hypp.

They all seem to be doing fine with what they have.
    01-30-2009, 06:59 PM
Green Broke
I leave out a mineral block. You can also buy loose minerals to leave out or add to their feed. Purina makes one called Free Balance that is affordable. You don't need a salt block if you put the minerals in their feed.
    01-31-2009, 11:04 AM
I think adding minerals is always a good idea. Whatever their body doesn't need or use they will pee out so there is no harm done. My horses always got supplements. Not my horse is out in a pasture with other horses and I board so getting a new black is not an appealing thing to me but if I had my own place I would get one :)
    01-31-2009, 03:11 PM
You could always put out both. Horses lick the blocks when they need the minerals/salt, not because they like it.

It also depends on what kind of grain they eat. If they are on a complete feed then they do not need the mineral block. But if they live off of the pasture or a mix of whole grains then yes, they should have one.
    01-31-2009, 10:19 PM
Horses needs minerals. But if your horse is outside and grazes outside, he should be fine. Horses get minerals from dirt, trees, just about any where.
    01-31-2009, 10:21 PM
Horses use the blocks when they are bored, the vets I have spoken to have all agreed that the horse won't KNOW that this block gives them salt or minerals or whatever. I would suggest adding it to their feed
    01-31-2009, 10:53 PM
Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
Horses use the blocks when they are bored, the vets I have spoken to have all agreed that the horse won't KNOW that this block gives them salt or minerals or whatever. I would suggest adding it to their feed
Of course they don't know, but it's a drive that they have when they need something. It's like when people have vitamin or mineral deficiencies and they have weird cravings and eat weird things to satisfy their body.

Regardless, if a horse is getting a complete feed and they have a mineral block and they lick it they can take in too many minerals since the feed already supplies them to the horse. And that can upset the balance of things.

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