Salt

So, a while back, I started buying Connor Himalayan salt blocks, as an experiment to  see if Connor could be trusted with a salt block.

Two things about Connor: he drinks.  A lot.  And he pees. A TON.  We have done all the requisite veterinary work to be able to say that this is just normal for him.  And besides, it seems to be somewhat genetic.  The first Castleberry Cob I ever lived with, Shae, peed so much the barn manager at the college relegated him to pasture life.

But I was taught in Equine Nutrition that horses should always have free choice salt and water, so I gave it a try out of curiosity.

Everything seemed to be okay.  His peeing wasn't totally out of control, he was enjoying it but not too much.  And then...


I came out to the barn one night around 6pm, when he had been in for about two hours, and his hind legs were TOTALLY stocked up.  The above picture was taken after lunging, which caused them to go down pretty quickly.  It was the week before championships, so I wrapped him overnight as a precaution.

Trainer said he was fine the whole next day, but Liz texted me to tell me he stocked up again about an hour after getting into his stall for the evening.

Now, I know standing around in a stall can cause them to stock up, but it's never happened to Connor, so I started looking for another reason.  I had her pull the salt out of his stall that night as an experiment, and...

He never stocked up again.

So the moral of that story is, my horse can't be trusted with a salt block.  The end.

28 comments:

  1. Glad you found a solution to stop the stocking & that Connor o's right as rain again

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  2. My horse spirit would literally eat those red bricks of salt. All of it. In a mere few hours. I never thought about salt stocking them up, interesting!

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    1. I mean, I don't have scientific data to prove it, but it seems like it's the culprit.

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  3. Interesting!! I have a Himalayan salt blocks for my guys but they don't seem to use it much. Guess j should be happy about that, haha.

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  4. Huh! I nevertheless would have though of that!

    Out of curiosity, did taking away the free-choice salt decrease his peeing at all? A friend of mine is actually having the problem with a mini she recently acquired. The little thing both drinks and pees more than a full sized horse. It's kind of astounding actually

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    1. It did not. He's pretty much always been a hearty drinker and a hearty pee-er.

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  5. I'm super happy to see this post. Emi also drinks and pees a TON! I never really noticed when she lived with Roz as they weren't locked in and there were two of them. Once she moved to NDF and had a stall at night that's where it became very evident. I'm planning to have her checked out in the spring but I do believe that it's normal for her. She loves her salt block and at one time I experimented with taking it out of her stall to see if that would reduce the amount of drinking and peeing she does...it didn't help.

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    1. That's fascinating, especially since they are the same breed but come from different lines. Yeah, if you're like me, you'll do the bloodwork and the urine tests and they'll all come back normal. I just pay extra for more bags of pellets than come standard in my board and shrug my shoulders and move on with my life.

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  6. Can you blame him? they are too delicious!

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    1. Haha, I have some in my kitchen, I really can't.

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  7. That's really interesting! Katai has one in her stall and I have noticed that occasionally she'll be minorly stocked up. She does go through it pretty fast so I'll have to try taking it out and see what happens!

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    1. Totally anecdotal evidence here, but it's worth a shot! I can't possibly think of what else it could have been for him if taking the salt out resolved it pretty much immediately.

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  8. Whoa, I've never thought of salt leading to stocking up!

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    1. Me neither. I almost hated to start this rumor without evidence, but it seriously has never happened before he got salt, or since the day the salt came out of his stall.

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  9. Replies
    1. Haha yeah, now he knows how I feel once a month!

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  10. My horses don't touch their mineral block hardly at all- I haven't changed it in 3 years.

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    1. They are so different individually!

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  11. Interesting! Does make sense tho. (Also, Hampton is also an amazing pee-er. Like seriously where does it come from?!)

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  12. Shasta will eat entire salt blocks if left with them. She's not a huge peer though and she has been going slower with the redmond salt rock we got her.

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  13. Huh, that's crazy! I would have never thought a salt block would do that.

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  14. Good to know! Fergie does not drink much in her stall but drinks much more out of the water trough in the run in when turned out. Riva out pees her big time!!!

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  15. Huh... I wonder if there have been any studies done about too much salt making them stock up. Interesting!

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