Horses need salt all the time and it’s a very important electrolyte that is found in the blood. Salt helps with muscle contraction, nerve functions and it helps balance the water in tissues.
I provide my horses with loose salt, not a block. The reason is that blocks were designed for cows with a sandpaper like tongue. Horses have smooth tongues and they cannot get enough salt from a block. Keep in mind that salt blocks have chemical binders to hold them together and have been bleached which is not really a healthy choice.
If you think your horse is not drinking enough water it could be because they don’t like the taste. You may find that your horse does not like the water because of heavy chlorination.
Salt is especially needed in the summertime (here in the Caribbean all the time) because they sweat more. In the winter time, it is also important because horses tend to drink less because of the cold weather. If you see your horse licking the ground, pipes, you or other objects this is probably a good indication they need salt or other minerals.
If you think all salt is equal.. think again.
Salt should clump when the weather is humid if the salt doesn’t clump that means it’s been treated with flow enhancers or anti-caking agents. Additives like this prevent the salt from mixing with water in the body. Salt should be gray, tan, pink but not white white. When you see white salt it is likely to have been bleached.
For loose salt, I use just natural salt that does not contain any artificial ingredients, is dried naturally, is free of additives, bleaches and anti-caking chemicals.
Salt plays an important role in your horse’s diet and if they don’t have it they can get dehydrated and colic. Loose salt is great for horses and they will know the amount their body needs so don’t be afraid to keep the salt container filled up.
Make sure your horse has access to plenty of clean water.
In the next blog I will talk about our riding adventures with Shoni and how he is getting prepared for the upcoming liberty training clinic in November – right here on the beautiful island of St. Vincent in the Eastern Caribbean.
Sun, Sun and much Heat from the West Indies!
Stina and the herd