Providing your horse with a source of salt in the summer is considered by many horse owners to be a no-brainer. With the weather being hot and horses sweating it is not hard to see that they need to consume salt to help keep them hydrated. However, the need to feed salt in the winter is perhaps less obvious.
However, the need to feed salt in the winter is perhaps less obvious. As it turns out though, equally as important as providing salt in the summer. Often times horses in the summer have access to pasture and are eating grass that has a relatively high water content. However, in the winter most grass becomes dormant or the growth rate slows down significantly. In some areas it may even be covered in snow!
These realities result in a switch to feeding hay which is a much drier feed and means that the horse will have to rely more heavily on drinking water for hydration rather than relying on water in forage. Giving salt will help your horse to continue drinking an adequate amount of water in the face of dry hay consumption.
Clearly these are not compounds you want your horse to consume in any great quantity but if they are present, even in small quantities, what can you do about it?
Did You Know:
Many horse owners are aware that there are an increased number of colic cases in the fall and there is a belief that this is weather related. In fact, it is less linked to weather and more the result of changing management styles which include; a switch from pasture grass to hay, less turnout time and movement and more stall time (this affects peristalsis and movement of feeds through the gut), and potentially less ridden exercise in some horses. All of this can result in an increased colic risk.
One way to reduce the risk of impaction is to ensure that your horse is drinking enough water and one of the best ways to achieve this is to feed salt every day. Show Horse Conditioning Salt is an excellent and cost-effective way to achieve this. Conditioning Salt can be added to your horse’s diet through the winter and for the entire year. Just 2 ounces per day not only provides an average size horse with the sodium requirements for maintenance and to stimulate thirst, but the bentonite clay also has digestive tract conditioning properties that promote gut health. Together these ingredients promote hydration and digestive health and will help to keep your horse happy and healthy through the winter.