Salt/minerals for horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Salt/minerals for horses?

So, I don't give my horses anything more then the basics; hay/grass, water, oats. Do you feed your horses any minerals or salt? In what form (salt/mineral blocks, or powder)?

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post #2 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 12:24 PM
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I visited a barn yesterday(I don't have my own horse), and they give each of their 22 horses a tsp of salt in their feed every day, especially in the summer because it encourages them to drink plenty of water. Other people use salt and mineral blocks in the pasture, though it would be best to cover it so it doesn't get rained on. Horses sweat out salt, so it is important to supplement them with it, but it would be best to consult your vet as to your horses personal needs.

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 12:50 PM
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I give my horses a vitamin/mineral mix, Yea-Sacc, flax, and a tablespoon of salt in pellets (I switched from alfalfa to timothy). They also have a plain salt block if they feel that they would like more. I don't use the mineral/salt blocks because I would rather know how much they are being supplemented with and they don't need everything that is put in them. Other than that, they just get mostly grass and some alfalfa hay.

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post #4 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks guys!

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 01:42 PM
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I feed loose salt in a pan, plus I put a tbsp a day in with their hay cubes, along with Zin-pro Availa (zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt), selenium, flax and biotin. I've added and removed many other minerals, but that's my basic standby. I've reduced the flax because they're going on grass, but will keep them on everything else year round.

I do not want to feed anything with iron because we already have too much here. On the other hand, our soil is selenium deficient, so I need to supplement that. The best thing to do is have your hay analyzed (it's not expensive and several companies do it by mail if there are none in your area), then supplement accordingly. All horses need salt though. The rest depends highly on local conditions.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I feed loose salt in a pan, plus I put a tbsp a day in with their hay cubes, along with Zin-pro Availa (zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt), selenium, flax and biotin. I've added and removed many other minerals, but that's my basic standby. I've reduced the flax because they're going on grass, but will keep them on everything else year round.

I do not want to feed anything with iron because we already have too much here. On the other hand, our soil is selenium deficient, so I need to supplement that. The best thing to do is have your hay analyzed (it's not expensive and several companies do it by mail if there are none in your area), then supplement accordingly. All horses need salt though. The rest depends highly on local conditions.
OK, thanks! We also have selenium deficiency; will have to look into that! Just curious, do you live in Alberta?

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post #7 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 08:00 PM
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A ration balancer, red block out in the pasture, and I've recently started supplementing salt to one as he isn't transitioning to summer as well as he could.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JoBlueQuarter View Post
OK, thanks! We also have selenium deficiency; will have to look into that! Just curious, do you live in Alberta?
New Brunswick! So not even close. Funny that our soils are both selenium deficient!
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 08:37 PM
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Oh, and there's a big debate on the type of salt you feed (in case our lives weren't complicated enough). Salt licks generally do not provide enough. Horse tongues are not rough, like cows, so they don't get enough off the block. Which is why I use loose salt in a pan by their water trough. Some people use table salt, but it's iodized. Some people think that's good, some people think it's bad. Iodine is necessary for good thyroid function, but in trace amounts generally already available in forage. There are also anti-caking agents in table salt. The more you read about it, the more you start thinking it has a lot of additives for straight salt. Some people will use sea salt (benefits of this remain to be proven), some use Himalayan salt (this one contains a lot of minerals, some good, some maybe not so much - for me, not a good choice, since it contains iron). I have personally settled on kosher salt flakes. No anti-caking agents, no iodine, just straight, boring salt.

There is also loose livestock salt (like Redmond salt), but again, I avoid anything that contains minerals other than salt because I already have their exact requirements measured out precisely and added to their hay cubes. I don't want to add anything to the equation.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-23-2017, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation! :) OK, I think I'll try kosher salt as well. And yea, that's funny! Wonder if most of Canada is like that...

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