Salt is an important part of any horse's diet - but is often overlooked! Why is salt vital for your horse? Let's look at some quick facts about salt!
How much salt is enough? For the average, 1000lb horse, 1-2 ounces of salt per day is recommended. That is about 1-2 tablespoons of your average table salt. For horses in hot weather or a horse in heavy work that sweats heavily on a daily basis, 4-6 ounces per day is ideal. Salt is important for normal sweat production, healthy muscles, a normal heart rate, and a well hydrated digestive tract. Horses not getting enough salt will often bite, chew, or lick non-food items like wood, metal, and dirt.
Some horses absolutely love their salt blocks and will happily lick away... and others let the block collect dust, untouched. If your horse doesn't use their salt block, loose salt may be a better option. Loose salt is easier to consume than a hard salt block. It can be set out in simply a spare feed bucket, or they also make loose mineral feeder tubs as well.
A dehydrated horse is a horse at risk for colic. Making sure your horse consumes enough salt can help prevent colic. When a horse gets enough salt in their diet, they are encouraged to drink more. The adequate water intake helps hydrate and lubricate their digestive system, allowing feed to move smoothly through their tract. This reduces the risk of impaction colic.
Salt is often overlooked once the weather turns cold, but it is important all year round. Horses need their minimum 1-2 ounces of salt regardless of season. They also often tend to drink less in winter time, but also eat more food low in water (hay). Making sure your horse consumes enough salt through the cold months is important for their health.
Make sure your horse gets their daily recommended level of salt, every day, every season. I hope these quick tips will help ensure your horse gets a healthy amount of salt in it's daily diet, from January through December.
The Info Pony