The Importance of Salt for Horses and Ponies

Whether you’re somewhere in the world currently enjoying warmer weather, or contrastingly, at the other end of the spectrum and starting to experience cooler conditions, salt is a crucial part of our horses’ and ponies’ diets.

Salt is a mineral which remains an important part of the diets of our equines year-round, yet is easily overlooked. Most fortified feeds on the market don’t contain enough salt to meet the needs of our horses and ponies. If we’re not actively providing salt to our equines, then they’re likely falling well short of their requirements.

Salt is an electrolyte which helps to maintain fluid balance and hydration. It is continually lost through saliva, urine and sweat, so, therefore, must be provided in the diet to be replenished. Horses need salt on a daily basis, even when they’re not visibly sweating.

Salt is needed for proper functioning of the nervous system, digestion, balancing pH levels in the blood and helping muscles to function correctly.

Sodium also stimulates the thirst response in our horses and ponies. Without adequate salt in their diet, many equines will not drink enough water. This is one of the many important factors to consider in horses who have suffered from spasmodic or impaction colic, where gastrointestinal (GI) motility and/or dehydration play a role.

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