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- - Salt (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-nutrition/salt-145254/)
Salt plays a large role in helping a horse maintain fluids. A dehydrated horse loses weight and isn't thrifty. Providing a salt lick is not a guarantee the horse is getting enough salt, in fact it's not. The lick was designed to be set out in a field for cattle. A bovine has a raspy tongue whereas a horse's is smooth. Therefore a horse has to lick many more times which results in a sore tongue due in part from salt irritation. A bovine licks with the top side of it's tongue whereas the horse will lick with the underside as well. A trace mineral lick which is about 97% salt should be provided in a sheltered area but loose salt should also be provided. A mix of course pickling and iodized kitchen salt will provide the horse with the salt it needs. What is the diffence in how much was ingested? Two horses went thro a 2lb lick about every 2-2,1/2 weeks. The same two horses go thro a 2 lb box of loose salt within 10 days. About a year ago a research paper on this was published which came to the same conclusion me and probably thousands of other concluded a long time ago.
I feed a tablespoon of salt in feeds as loose salt isn't an option (too wet) and salt licks are simply destroyed in the fields. Most horses do not get enough salt in their diets and sometimes are not inclined to self medicate (high potassium can "trick" the body into thinking salt is not required).
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