Just as with us humans, a sufficient supply of important quantity elements such as sulfur, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium as well as chlorine and sodium is also of enormous importance for horses. While the need for the first-named can be met without any problems through conventional horse feed such as grass or grain, this is not the case for sodium and chlorine. These minerals are essential for the horse’s health and are usually ingested in the form of salt. Even if you always feed high quality hay, there is no salt in this feed. That’s why experts advise always providing horses with a salt lick. You can offer it to your horse both in the stable and in the pasture.
Find out everything you need to know about the salt lick for your horse in our guide.
How much salt does a horse need per day?
If your horse is of average weight, its salt requirement is about twelve grams per day. However, this is only a rough guide. How much salt your horse actually needs depends not only on its weight, but also on how intensively your horse works physically. For example, every time they are exercised in the riding arena, animals develop heat and begin to sweat. Electrolytes are lost with the sweat, which in turn contain potassium, chlorine and sodium. That is why the need for minerals is increased by about twenty percent in sport horses. The loss of potassium can be compensated for through normal feed. Sodium and chlorine, on the other hand, must be taken in additionally. Horses can usually regulate their salt requirements themselves. To do so, they need access to a salt source. Therefore, when they become “salt-hungry” after a lot of sweating, it is ideal to have a lick available to them.
Which salt lick stones are offered in the trade?
In general, you will find different types of salt lick stones in the specialized trade. Among others, a distinction is made between the following stones:
- Simple cattle salt lick stones
- Lickstones made of natural minerals
- Lickstones with aroma
- The simple white cattle salt lick
The ordinary white salt lick is industrially produced by evaporating the mineral, refining it and finally enriching it with artificial additives such as iodate. This type of stone was not specifically designed for horses, but also serves as a mineral source for sheep, cows and other livestock. Therefore, it is also called cattle salt stone.
Lickstones made from natural minerals
These include, for example:
Crystal salt lickstone (Himalayan stone).
Carpathian salt lick stone as well as the pressed crystal salt lick stone.
In contrast to the classic salt lick stones, these are purely natural products, i.e. the stone is untreated, consists of natural minerals (such as natural iodine) and contains no chemical additives.
More variety with aroma lickstones
A particularly tasty variant for horses are lickstones that contain certain aromatic substances, such as apple. Vitamins are often added here as well. Although these are not natural lickstones, they are still good as a welcome change. Lickstones with herbs are also popular with horses. However, this type of lick usually contains a lot of sugar.
What should be considered when buying a lick stone?
Meanwhile, there are lickstones in all possible sizes and designs. The disadvantage of this large offer is that it is often not clear whether the stone really keeps what its presentation promises. In addition, not every stone is equally suitable for every horse. Therefore, you should consider some important criteria when you want to buy a salt lick for your horse:
- the right size
Salt lick stones are now available in various sizes and finishes. Make sure that the size of the stone also fits the respective horse. After all, a pony should be able to get by for a longer time with a smaller lick than a large riding horse. In practice, it has also proven useful to use a lick holder. Here, too, there are different models and sizes to choose from. You should mount the lick holder in an easily accessible place.
- pay attention to the manufacturer
Certainly, a well-known manufacturer is not automatically a guarantee of good quality. Nevertheless, the salt licks of renowned manufacturers have proven themselves time and time again.
- read customer reviews and test reports
If you are unsure about the quality of a particular lick, customer reviews or testimonials from other buyers will tell you whether the lick actually delivers what it promises.
Here you can find out first-hand what experiences other buyers have had with the product. Test reports from trade journals or consumers also make it easier for you to make a purchase decision.
A salt lick is a very good way for you as a horse owner to ensure that your horse is sufficiently supplied with sodium and chlorine. When choosing the right lick, you should first and foremost pay attention to the quality, although there are now also inexpensive licks that are in no way inferior to the expensive models. Therefore, it is advisable to compare the different products in advance. Customer reviews and product tests can be a great help here.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
I take great pride in being the best possible author and giving you the knowledge that i have on all different types of animals!
I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
The website will draw have authors who are vets, pet owners, and local pet breeders. All who will contribute their fantastic knowledge which in turn will be able to help you i hope.
There is a lot of information on the internet so it may be hard to know where exactly is the best place to start learning. But we will write articles that get straight to the point, and give you all the information that you need with no fluff!
If you have any questions please leave a comment on the article, and i will reply to you!