In this very sensible article, you’ll find four myths about how horses stay hydrated.
You know that to be healthy, your horse must be well hydrated.
Now lets examine four beliefs that prove wrong regarding how horses remain hydrated by themselves.
- If you put salt out for your horse, he will lick it.
Most horses are more picky than our 6 year old. If he doesn’t like the salt block you have put out for him, and it doesn’t taste good to him, he won’t lick it.
He won’t lick it even if he needs the salt, needs the electrolytes or needs the minerals.
A good solution is to give him natural mineral rock that he will learn to appreciate.
- All the minerals he needs are found in a mineral block.
The industrial mineral blocks usually contain only 6 to 8 minerals. You should provide them natural mineral blocks that contain 60 or plus minerals… then they will not need to be supplemented, if they get good hay.
- Horses will lick all the salt they need from blocks and rocks.Hard working horses, real athletes, loose a lot of lectrolytes during effots and licking the best of mineral sal twill not be enough to compensate for the loss. You should feed them crushed natural rocks to maintian his balance in salt and minerals.
- A Horse will drink if he’s thirsty.Contrary to humans, it is not true that horses will drink if they are thirsty. They need the trigger taht salt provides.
Without salt available, some horses don’t get that trigger, and may end up dehydrated, causing a number of issues including compaction and colic. Give your horse a natural rock or crushed salt to ensure they are drinking regularly and stay well hydrated.
Of course, this is a general guideline. There will always be the ones who are not in the norm.
That said, it is a good idea not to take the spontaneous salt intakeby your horse for granted… and check if you need to do something more to keep your horse hydrated and healthy.
This excellent article can prove very useful. You can fin dit at 4 horse care myths that may be endangering your horse’s health
Katie Brady on Flickr took this funny picture of three horses licking their block of salt together.