Written and Submitted by: Martha M. Faraday, Ph.D.
Learn more at www.4oaksequine.com
I am a scientist and equine nutritionist. I help owners who have horses that are sick or injured or have chronic conditions that are difficult to manage. The first step in addressing why a horse is not in vibrant health is to determine whether basic macronutrient requirements are met. The overwhelming majority of horses that I see have significant gaps in nutrition coverage and one of the most common deficiencies is the lack of salt. SEA-90 is my top recommendation for equine salt.
Why? Horses require, on average, a minimum of 1 oz of salt a day (2 tablespoons), most prefer about 2 oz a day (4 tablespoons), and some may need much more in hot weather or when in work and losing salt from sweating. Salt is critical in the equine diet to maintain optimum body pH, to ensure adequate drinking and hydration (which is an excellent way to prevent dehydration-induced colic), and for the proper functioning of virtually every tissue in the equine body.
The best way to meet these needs is to provide loose unrefined sea salt (SEA-90) – a small amount in the feed bucket (1/2 to 1 tablespoon) and free choice salt in the horse’s environment so that he or she can easily address the body’s needs. Most horses cannot or will not lick enough salt from salt blocks. Salt and mineral blocks were designed for rough cattle tongues – not smooth horse tongues. In addition, red mineral blocks or pink salt blocks contain iron, which most horses in the U.S. do not need. The best choice is gray or brown unrefined loose sea salt which is low in iron.
Why unrefined salt? Because unrefined sea salt contains needed trace minerals and is highly palatable. In my experience sick horses who have been salt-deprived, and who have very high salt needs as part of the process of restoring them to health, may not readily consume refined salt but will eagerly consume SEA-90.
The other concern of horse owners is cost. SEA-90 is not only the best product on the market for horses, it is also the most cost-effective. A 50 lb bag of SEA-90 will last one horse to 9-10 months. Buying a similar product from boutique equine stores will cost 5 to 10 times as much over the same time period.
I recommend SEA-90 to all of my clients. My personal horses consume SEA-90 twice daily in their feed and always have SEA-90 available free choice. One of my horses, a 21 year old Friesian named Ari, is a particular fan of free choice SEA-90. He carefully increases his consumption in the heat of the summer as well as during the coldest days of winter to keep his body running well. He may look familiar; he was the main horse in the 2005 movie The Legend of Zorro. You can see him here as a youngster in one of his most famous scenes, racing the train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_O0J66490k
Martha M. Faraday, Ph.D.
4oaksconsulting (at) gmail (dot) com