Salt block for horses tricks? What Causes Nutrient Deficiencies? Numerous factors increase a horse’s risk for nutrient deficiency. Let’s look at six of the most common. Caloric deficiency. Insufficient calorie intake, or not eating enough, is the most obvious way horses may become nutrient deficient. All-hay diet. Hay satisfies horses urge to chew and provides essential nutrients, but because it’s dried, even high-quality hay may not provide all the nutrients horses need. Deficient soil. Intensive farming practices have left many soils depleted of life-giving minerals and nutrients. That means crops grown in these soils, and which we feed our animals, are also deficient. Stall confinement. Many horses spend time in trailers, stalls, and paddocks. We limit horses’ access to sun exposure and diverse forage when we pull them from their natural habitat of pastures and prairies. Copious sweating. High-performance horses can lose up to 12 to 18 liters (3 to 4.75 gallons) of sweat with intense exercise.5 That sweat also contains critical nutrients and equine electrolytes. Pregnancy. Pregnant mares’ nutritional needs change during pregnancy, requiring more nutrients to support fetal growth.
Further electrolyte supplementation is also necessary when large quantities need to be replenished. An electrolyte should be given in addition to daily salt rations and is indicated whenever a horse experiences prolonged or repeated sweating. Important: If you’re feeding an electrolyte in water, never add it to your horse’s only water supply. Always provide a separate fresh water source. Now that you know the importance of electrolytes, how do you choose a supplement that’s best for your horse? Look for these three important factors when selecting an electrolyte: High salt content. Sodium and chloride (salt) and potassium should be the main ingredients. Low sugar content. Sugar should not be the main ingredient. Electrolyte supplements shouldn’t contain more than 15% sugar. Isotonic to sweat. An isotonic supplement provides electrolytes in similar concentrations as sweat. According to this PubMed article, an isotonic sweat-like electrolyte is the best solution to rapidly restore fluid and plasma electrolyte imbalance in horses. Read extra information at garlic for horses.
Cooling down your horse is crucial in winter. A sweaty horse can easily become chilled in cold or damp weather once exercise is over. Cool your horse slowly by walking at least ten minutes, then dismount and hand-walk your horse for several more minutes before removing the saddle. Make sure to dry your horse thoroughly before putting her back in the paddock/stall or turning her out to feed. Winter exercise burns up more calories, and your horse is already expending a lot of energy just to stay warm. Working in cold weather can also increase your horse’s risk of dehydration, since horses are less interested in drinking during winter months.
Have You Tried Redmond Rock on a Rope? Looking for a versatile and travel-friendly mineral rock for your horse? Try Redmond Rock on a Rope! It provides all the same benefits, equine electrolytes, and 63 trace minerals as original Redmond Rock—but comes on a handy hemp rope. Our smaller-sized salt rock is great for hanging in your horse’s stall, tying to a gate, or traveling in your trailer. How to Use Rock on a Rope (ROR) Tie ROR tight against a post to make it easy for horses to lick. Hang ROR slack in a stall as a healthy alternative to candy balls and boredom busters. Tie ROR to a fence outdoors to keep it out of the dirt and mud. Tie ROR low on a gate so horses can lick and maintain their natural foraging posture.
Bring “home water.” If you can, bring two five-gallon containers of water from home. This helps your horse transition gradually to “away water” and lessens the likelihood she’ll be put off by unfamiliar smells or tastes. Add moisture to feed. Consider soaking your horse’s hay to aid in hydration, and offer a wet bran mash or beet pulp once or twice a day. Peak your horse’s interest. Toss a few apple pieces or carrots into your horse’s water bucket to tempt her nose into the bucket to take a sip. Stress. The rigors of hauling, leaving paddock pals, dealing with a disrupted schedule, and a new environment can all create anxiety that affects a horse’s desire to drink. See even more info at garlic for horses.