Supplementing salt? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 21 Old 06-16-2013, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Supplementing salt?

So I was wondering if it is safe to feed a horse straight salt like that you find a grocery store? I was curious cause I hear about a ton of people feeding salt, but my friend said she had read somewhere that salt is bad for horses? We wanted to know b/c it gets kinda hot here in CA during the summer time, and our horses get pretty sweaty. We wanted to make sure they were drinking enough water, and were kinda curious about supplementing salt and electrolytes.

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post #2 of 21 Old 06-16-2013, 11:06 PM
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buy the commercial horse elytes, while nothing wrong with regular salt, there are other elements horses need, Potassium, Magnesium, calcium. Etc.. You can make your own but it really isnt worth the hassle. Especially as you can buy a 5 lb horse flavored block for about $3.99 You can't buy table salt for that.
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-16-2013, 11:13 PM
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My own horses refuse to use a salt block, free choice salt gets crusty and dirty so I put some in their evening bucket each night.
I use plain old non-iodized salt as they get plenty of iodine in their mineral mix which is also added to their bucket.
Has worked fine for us for many years.

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post #4 of 21 Old 06-16-2013, 11:16 PM
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Buy a mineral lick AND also give her loose salt. Horses love plain pickling salt that is coarser than household salt. I mix them about 50/50. Horses do need salt and a lick will not provide them with enough. The lick is designed for the raspy bovine tongue not the smoother horse tongue which gets sore before enough salt is ingested. Always provide salt to maintain the finite balance with potassium and other minerals.
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post #5 of 21 Old 06-16-2013, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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How much should we supp. A day? And also, our horses are both pasture boarded, and they do have salt licks available, but we know they need more to stay healthy!

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"Love is just a word, but you bring it definition." - Eminem
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-16-2013, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Buy a mineral lick AND also give her loose salt. Horses love plain pickling salt that is coarser than household salt. I mix them about 50/50. Horses do need salt and a lick will not provide them with enough. The lick is designed for the raspy bovine tongue not the smoother horse tongue which gets sore before enough salt is ingested. Always provide salt to maintain the finite balance with potassium and other minerals.
that's why you don't buy cattle salt blocks, the horse ones arnt as hard,

But to answer your question. Buy a commercial HORSE elyte, the dosage will be on the lable. There is no reason whatesoever to use table salt which lacks the other minerals they need. And still play guessing games with dosage.
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post #7 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Do I need to use a loading dose even with salt?
Would smartlytes be a good choice?

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"Love is just a word, but you bring it definition." - Eminem
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 10:43 AM
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Salt is one nutrient you must supplement because all horse feed products are naturally low in it. I would never waste my $$ on packaged horse electrolyte products. They are mostly salt, sugars and some minerals and vitamins. Offer free choice salt in a loose form to start. I put out plain white salt blocks as well but one 50# blocks will last 6 months while in the same 6 month period they will go through 200# of loose white salt. There is no way you can give your horse exactly what they need on a daily basis so let him regulate what he needs. Electrolytes are nothing more than minerals. You will satisfy those needs with a mineral/vitamin blend either in a granular form (AMD Grostrong, Hoffman's and Progressive Nutrition are all great products) or a ration balancer. The granular products are about 20% salt so you aren't wasting money on shipping inexpensive salt and a 2 oz dose is going to run less than $.20. A 50# bag of stock salt at the feed store runs about $7 and 50# of my locally milled vitamin/mineral blend runs $34. I offer both free choice and find they typically eat less than the recommended 4-6oz. They will go through a loading phase where if they are deficient they will eat as much as 2# over a few days than drop down to 2-6oz a day.
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
buy the commercial horse elytes, while nothing wrong with regular salt, there are other elements horses need, Potassium, Magnesium, calcium. Etc.. You can make your own but it really isnt worth the hassle. Especially as you can buy a 5 lb horse flavored block for about $3.99 You can't buy table salt for that.
Not for my horse! Potassium is exactly what she doesn't need. I feed salt as doing so is linked to stopping headshaking by reducing K, and it works!! This year no headshaking and I can't tell you how fantastic that is.

Many barefooters in the UK are supplementing salt as it helps with footiness and many horses (in the UK) are deficient as they can rarely get enough from salt licks.
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-17-2013, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyluver420 View Post
How much should we supp. A day? And also, our horses are both pasture boarded, and they do have salt licks available, but we know they need more to stay healthy!
I feed at least 50 gms. (a large tablespoon full).
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