Salt Block, Mineral Block, No Block? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 07-04-2012, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Salt Block, Mineral Block, No Block?

Ahh, I'm back again. It's been awhile since I've been to the Nutrition forum. So here's my problem:

My mare gets electrolytes in a mash quite often (talked to my vet since this was posted before, she said it works for my horse and poses no threat to her). She also has free access to a salt block all the time. Before she was using a mineral block, which I've been lead to believe is better, but I bought the salt block because that was all the store had and we were kind of in a hurry. Well, she plows through them. She doesn't gnaw on them or anything, she just likes licking it A LOT.

Well, because of this, she drinks A LOT of water, which she has free access to all the time, also. But obviously all this water has to leave her system, and so she pees. And once again, she pees A LOT. Like four times in approx. Two hours. Now, I'm no vet, and I haven't called mine yet, but that has to be pretty hard on her bladder, right? I just want some more opinions on this. Maybe just the electrolytes would be enough and I don't need a salt block? I think that's where I'm at right now. Thoughts?

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post #2 of 11 Old 07-04-2012, 08:13 PM
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Horses should always have access to a salt and mineral block. In certain areas, a selenium block.

I have all 3 in my pasture. My horses take what they need. They made stand there for an hour, or not touch it for weeks. But its there.

In my experience, a horse will only take what they need from those blocks. But your mare might just be goofy...?
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-04-2012, 08:14 PM
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free choice water, free choice electrolyts, lots of peeing. That's a good thing. Especially in the heat.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-04-2012, 08:16 PM
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^^^ yes. When she stops urinating or has very very minimal output, that's when you should be worrying.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-04-2012, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Haha okay, thank you so much! Very helpful :)

Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-05-2012, 12:03 AM
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Yep, horses are just like people in that respect. When they drink a lot, they are going to pee a lot. Like others said, so long as she is peeing an amount that matches up with the amount she drinks, then it's a good thing and it's a pretty sure sign that her kidneys are in good shape.

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-05-2012, 02:30 AM
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Hi,

I think a salt &/or mineral block in the paddock is always a good idea, so long as it's molasses/grain free. But nutritionists have said they don't get much of anything aside from salt from them & perhaps only enough of that if they lick them a lot.

So... I prefer to provide a straight rocksalt lick and ensure my horses are adequately supplemented with what's missing from their diet/pasture otherwise.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-05-2012, 03:50 AM
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If you think she's over-licking the block and peeing more than she would normally, have you considered backing off her electrolytes and maybe trying some loose salt? I've heard that overuse of electrolytes can create imbalance depending on the diet. Some thoughts to throw out there to you.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-05-2012, 04:06 AM
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Forgot to comment on the electrolytes, that they are generally unnecessary & sometimes harmful, but if the vet's advised the horse needs them & if it's based on a blood or diet analysis, of course your horse may need these specific nutrients supplemented. I'd personally run it by a nutritionist, unless of course your vet's one of those too.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-05-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, thank you so much for the helpful thoughts! I'll definitely talk to my vet about giving her less electrolytes and questions about the salt block. Thank you so much everyone for the input!

Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.
- Brian Littrell
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