No conscientious horse owner likes seeing their horse harassed by flies. The swishing and twitching, flicking, and stomping can make both a horse and rider crazy.
Occasionally you may come across a horse with a large appetite for salt, whether it’s salt blocks, salt licks, or loose salt. Can a horse have too much salt? Will it harm your horse?
This is a question we've heard from horse owners for decades. We've been in the salt business for many years, and have yet to see a case of a horse eating too much salt. In rare situations, however, in can occur.
Why do horses eat salt? Salt, especially mineral salt, provides many benefits to horses. In fact, it's the most crucial mineral horses require. While horses usually only consume as much as their body needs, occasionally a horse may eat too much salt.
Salt toxicity in horses includes symptoms of colic, diarrhea, drinking too much water, frequent urination, and general weakness. A horse displaying these signs should be seen by a vet immediately.
Salt is water-soluble, so generally a horse will naturally balance salt intake by drinking water to flush out any excess. You should always ensure your horse has access to fresh, clean water when using a mineral block or loose salt mix.
How to Interpret Mineral Requirements and Label Values
If you live in an area with real winters or just have a horse that grows in a super heavy winter coat you know that riding and conditioning this time of year can be a challenge. It’s hard to get in good rides not just because of the shorter daylight but because you don’t want to bring back a sweaty horse that is going to stay wet for hours, often past dark if you aren’t able to ride early in the day.
Those of you that have indoor barns are sure lucky but since I know many don’t here are a couple of tips from an endurance rider on how to manage keeping or getting your horse conditioned through the winter months.
I have 10 horses. They all have jobs: jumping, driving, lessons, etc., but their most important job is helping people. They are therapy horses. A lot of people depend on them. They depend on me to keep them healthy and hydrated. I depend on Redmond’s Daily Gold, salt Rocks and Redmond Rock Crushed salt added to their other daily supplements. I love seeing their water buckets half emptied during the night. Their 100 gallon water trough in turnout has to be filled daily. I love hydrated horses.
One of the favorites of the herd is Donkey. He came to The Barn when he was five months old. He was a rescue. He was being fed 4 squares of dry hay blocks a day, had had no vaccines, vet checks or hoof care. The vet said he hadn’t grown appropriately because he was severely underfed. He was also dehydrated. We put him on free feed, scattered salt rocks, added Daily Gold and Redmond Rock Crushed salt to his morning supplements. Before long, he was healthy, hydrated and well fed. This was extremely lucky for Santos. Santos was a reservist in the National Healer Competition. He loved his job and had won a lot of money. Then he was put into a slide stop without his slide boots. He was permanently disabled. Everyone who came on the property said he was depressed. Who wouldn’t be? In one moment he lost his health, his job, his herd, his home and his leader. He was donated to our non-profit when it became clear he would never fully recover.