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Regardless of the weather, horses require a daily supply of salt. In cold seasons, salt helps promote enough water consumption to prevent dehydration. In warm seasons, salt replaces what is lost from perspiration. A full-sized horse requires at least one ounce (two level tablespoons or 30 ml) of salt each day for maintenance, this much provides 12 grams of sodium. Heat, humidity, and exercise increase the horse's need.
There are several ways to accomplish this. The best ways include offering free-choice granulated salt, or adding salt to your horse's meal (for palatability, limit the amount to no more than 1 tablespoon per meal). A salt block should be available should your horse want more. A naturally mined sea salt rock, or a white salt block are preferable, but many horses do not lick them adequately since they can be irritating to the tongue. Mineralized blocks often go untouched due to their bitter taste; however a Redmond Rock* or Himalayan salt block is often preferred.
Calculate the amount of sodium your horse is getting from any commercial feeds or supplements and add salt accordingly. Always have fresh water nearby.
* Redmond Rock is available on Dr. Getty's Free Shipping Store.
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Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
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Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. is an independent equine nutritionist offering nutrition services for all life stages and integrative support for disorders and diseases. Your horse's quality of life is Dr. Getty's priority.
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