Horse salt lick guides and the best online shopping? According to the Merck Vet Manual, horses most often become deficient in these 12 essential minerals and vitamins. Copper: Deficiency may cause a dull coat, poor hoof, weak ligaments and tendons. Selenium: Deficiency may cause white muscle disease and rhabdomyolysis (tying up). Vitamin A: Deficiency may cause night blindness, watery eyes, bone and muscle growth defects, a dull coat, reproductive problems, and increased susceptibility to disease and infection. Vitamin E: Deficiency may cause muscle weakness, typing up, impaired immune function, reproductive failure, and neuromuscular disorders. Vitamin D: Deficiency may cause reduced bone calcification, stiff and swollen joints, stiff gait, and irritability. Thiamine: Deficiency may cause confusion, weakness, weight loss, incoordination, and gait abnormalities.
According to this article by Kentucky Equine Research, sweat is predominantly made of sodium, chloride, and potassium, with other electrolytes like magnesium and calcium present in smaller amounts. The amount of electrolytes a horse loses through sweat depends on heat, humidity, and how hard and long a horse is worked. Electrolytes are also lost through urine and feces, particularly diarrhea. When large amounts are lost, they need to be replaced to help horses rehydrate and recover. Find additional details at garlic for horses.
Generally, a bare hoof is safer in winter than a shod one. Going barefoot gives your horse more traction in snow and ice. If your horse is shoeless, keep hooves trimmed to reduce the amount of snowpack into soles and decrease the chance of slipping. If you decide to keep your horse shod, that’s all right. Just make sure shoes are fitted property, and consider adding studs to the bottom. This increases grip and helps keep your horse surefooted and safe.
Other benefits of Redmond Rock: Contains natural electrolytes that encourage horses to drink. Packed with 63 trace minerals to nourish horses. (See this table for a complete mineral analysis.) Our minerals are created by nature and come in the right balance horses need. Holds up better in wet weather than pressed blocks. In taste tests, horses prefer Redmond Rock to manmade blocks. We believe Redmond Rock is simply the best natural mineral lick available for horses. Over the last 20 years we’ve heard many horse owners express how our rock improves mineral balance, provides horses a natural trigger to drink, and combats dehydration and colic. Here is Becky Imbornoni’s story of using Redmond Rock to help a colicing horse.
Try giving salt. Rub loose salt over your horse’s tongue. Some suggest this encourages horses to drink soon after. Of course, you should also always offer your horse a salt lick or loose mineral salt to replace electrolytes and trigger drinking. Add flavor to water. Horses prefer tastes that are sweet or salty. Consider adding a natural equine electrolyte drink mix like Redmond Rein Water or a sweetener like apple juice to your horse’s home water several days prior to a trip. Once you’ve arrived at your new destination, use the same electrolyte or flavor to mask the taste of unfamiliar water and give your horse a taste of home. See even more details at dehydration in horses.