Salt: An Essential Component of the Horse’s Diet

Salt is made up of the minerals sodium and chloride and is an essential yet often overlooked/forgotten component of the horse’s diet.

If you aren’t providing supplemental salt to your horse or pony’s diet, they are most likely falling short of their needs. Although many processed feeds and balancers contain sodium and chloride, they are generally very low in these minerals and fail to meet a horse’s daily requirements of them.

Sodium and chloride each play crucial roles within the body. Sodium is involved in central nervous system function (including nerve impulse transmission), transporting numerous substances such as glucose across cell membranes, and muscle cell activation. In addition, it is a key electrolyte involved in maintaining body fluids’ acid-base balance and osmotic pressure regulation.
Similarly, chloride plays an important role in acid-base and osmotic regulation. Chloride additionally is essential for normal digestive function in the horse, being a component of bile and hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Sometimes the simplest inclusions in a horse’s diet make the most significant difference.

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