Keeping your horse hydrated is perhaps the cheapest colic insurance around and also sets your horse up for performance success. Horses that are dehydrated are at a greater risk of impaction colic which is a leading cause of equine death. Being dehydrated also has performance consequences. It has been estimated that a horse dehydrated by as little as 5 percent may experience a 20 percent drop in performance.
The complication is that it is hard to tell visibly that your horse is dehydrated (using a skin pinch test or capillary refill test) until they are dehydrated by at least 6 percent. Therefore, your horse may be at risk but you might not know. This is just one reason why providing your horse with a source of salt every day is so vital to their health.
Horses have a minimum daily requirement for around 10 grams of sodium per day and sodium is one of the factors that trigger thirst. If circulating sodium levels drop, the desire to drink is reduced and dehydration may occur. Add to this the fact that as horses sweat, they loose large quantities of sodium and chloride. This can further deplete circulating sodium levels and remove their desire to drink. This may just be where the saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” comes from. Your horse just doesn’t know he should be drinking!
The solution to this conundrum is to make sure that your horse is consuming adequate amounts of salt per day. This is achieved by ensuring that each day, your average sized horse is consuming the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of salt. This will provide the amount of sodium needed to meet maintenance requirements although it won’t replete sweat losses.
Did You Know:
The complication is that horses often do not eat salt from blocks and many just don’t like the taste of loose salt in their feed. Show Horse Conditioning Salt is a unique solution to this problem. This patented product utilizes a unique process whereby the salt ends up being coated in vegetable oil. This not only masks the taste of the salt but it also makes it less caustic so that it is easier on the tongue and the stomach further improving palatability.
Show Horse Conditioning Salt has been found to be highly palatable, and when fed at a level of 2 scoops per day provides an average sized horse with their daily maintenance sodium requirement. This is just one of several benefits of feeding Show Horse Conditioning Salt. You can learn about its other benefits on the product page.