DIY Salt Block on a Rope

First of all...99 followers.  You know what that means.  When we get to 100 there will be a cool contest!  Promise it will be a cool contest, too.  One more person!

Today I'm sharing a (VERY) simple DIY poor man's solution to a basic problem: salt blocks and ponies.  Connor likes them, but like anything else, if it can be played with, he'll have it on his head/off its hanger/under his hooves/thrown in the air/some combination of all of that within minutes.  See also his last salt block:

Salt block: 0, pony: 1.  This photo was taken in March, and this block was provided by the barn.  The pieces got too small and the whole block was wasted.

We've done pre-purchased Himalayan salt on a rope, and it works well, but it's more expensive and just not necessary.  Plain old white or brown mineral salt licks provide everything they need at less cost, and are available locally at the farm goods store a mile from my house.

But I don't have a salt block holder in his stall and obviously...see above...putting it in his feed pan doesn't end well.  So I do it myself.  This also can be done with smaller pieces of salt that they've broken off.  There's not much to it, just drill and hang!

Step 1: Procure salt block and rope.  Twine works fine.  I used clothesline and expect to replace it regularly.


Step 2: Prepare drilling surface.  I used scrap wood to lift the block off of my workbench.

Step 3: Insert appropriate drill bit into drill.  I used my second biggest bit, about the diameter of my pinkie, because my clothesline was thick.  As a general rule, use a slightly thicker diameter bit than the rope you're using.

Step 4: Drill, baby, drill.


Step 5: Admire



Step 6: Tie it up in the stall.  Try to take a picture for blogland, get thwarted:



Step 6, take 2:


Anyone else ever done DIY salt on a rope?

25 comments:

  1. Neat DIY! I actually just have one of the giant blocks in the corner of Fiction's stall. He doesn't touch it much :(. He does the same thing Connor does if I put it in his feed bin, so maybe I'll have to give this a shot!

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    1. Don't feel too bad about him not touching it, I've always heard that you should offer it free choice to every horse, but they won't touch it if they don't need it. Let me know how it works for you if you try it!

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  2. I almost wish I wasn't following you so then I could be your 100th follower!!!! Such a cool DIY!

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    1. Got 100 right after this post, how's that for shameless self promotion! You'll always be 100th in my heart?

      Thanks!

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  3. I haven't tried this, but great idea!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! A couple girls did this at the equine college so our stable management horses couldn't get their salt blocks dirty.

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  4. This is so clever! Thanks for sharing :)

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  5. Great idea! Don't know why I never thought of it myself. My horse always broke the block holders on the wall. This is a perfect solution!

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    1. Yeah, we have several broken and rusted ones in our barn. I don't know that any are in use, actually.

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  6. I always feel like I should be a good inventor of horse stuff, but somehow it never happens. Stampede doesn't understand licking a salt block (he's smart!) and P loves them. I usually just get P the big white block on the floor and he rolls it around and poops on it and licks it (ok they sounds really gross) until it gets small then he pulverizes it. Currently though my husband had me get him a fancy himalayan salt block that is hanging. He actually seems to choose one over the other at different times of the year which is a bit curious. Either way he still doesn't drink enough water!

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    1. I have the opposite problem, Connor drinks too much! But I still believe in free choice salt for him. It's funny how they all have different and specific preferences, though.

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  7. Great idea! I wish I had your workbench:) and it appears that you are now at 101, yay!!!!

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    1. Thanks! I built it, but the legs are from a kit, shhhh! I love it too, and just working on the house in general.

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  8. Great idea! I love being ingenious!

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  9. Great idea!

    I usually buy the giant salt blocks at the feed store, but Harley never touches them.

    What are your thoughts on loose salt? Some people say that horses should have loose instead of blocks.

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    1. I'm not sure about loose salt, I know people do it but I've never encountered it myself. I think if you're feeding it loose and free choice, it would be messy and just one more thing for (at least my horse) to play with. If you're feeding it in SmartPaks, like I would have to, it would be hard for the horse to self-regulate his intake the way he can with a block. I know it works really well for cattle, though, and I can see it working for horses.

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    2. Loose salt is actually the way you are supposed to feed salt. Blocks are designed for livestock (think cows, sheep, etc). Horses tongues are smooth and can not get the salt into their system the way they can with loose salt. You should feed a teaspoon of loose salt with every meal. A salt lick is still fine to give them something to do - they seem to enjoy them still.

      Any equine nutritionist and food distributor will tell you the same - source - Im a certified equine nutritionist lol

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    3. I just wanted to add that horses are not good at self regulating salt, and that's why it's easier to just throw it into their feed.

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  10. This is fantastic! I've been seriously contemplating a salt block rope for Miles... And this will be perfect!!

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  12. Thank you so much for the great tip! Harrys Himalayan salt lick was on the floor this morning when I went to clean the stall, and I found your blog. I pre-drilled with 2 smaller bits then the one that was 3/8". I used an old leather flash attachment that was in my repair box, cleaned it up and put that through, as I could not find suitable twine that was not dyed or made from hemp. Am I able to add a photo?

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    1. I am so glad you found it useful! It's a simple thing, but not necessarily an obvious one. I don't have a way for commenters to add photos, but if it's on Facebook or something similar you could link it. Nice to meet you!

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    2. Oh, and a tip: rinse your drill bits really well with water to avoid them rusting from the salt! Ask me how I know... :)

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