Salt licks for horses are blocks that your horse can lick or chew on which contain sodium chloride and other trace elements which are essential for your horse. These trace elements are selenium, manganese, cobalt, iron, copper, zinc and iodine.
Why Do Horses Need Salt Licks
The majority of plants do not provide your horse with enough sodium chloride or any of the other trace elements mentioned above. Without supplementation, your horse could become unwell. This is why salt licks for horses are necessary. It is the case that horses in hot climates or those who get regular heavy exercise are in need of more salt. This is because when a horse sweats he loses some of his salt reserves through his skin, so extra is needed to replenish what is lost. You need not worry about your horse getting too much salt, as he will only take the amount that he needs.
What Happens If a Horse is Deficient in Salt?
You will notice if your horse is deficient in salt, because he will start showing certain symptoms. You will notice the horse eating soil or bark, or licking at stones or wood. Watch out for your horse searching through the hedges for food when he is in a field full of quality grass. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to supplement with a salt lick right away, but it is much better to provide one for your horse before this happens.
Salt licks are a way of providing minerals that are an essential part of a horse’s diet, so they are not just for the horse’s pleasure or amusement. That said, many horses love their salt licks and they may even stop a horse from becoming bored while he is being kept in his stable.