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Horse likes rusty metal?

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  • Horse likes rusty metal?

    My horse is in love with metal. I normally don't cross tie her because she breaks them and normally just leave her loose because she doesnt go anywhere. But everytime I come back she is always licking the metal on the stalls that is lightly rusted. And yesterday when I was pulling her mane she was just nosing around on the ground and all the sudden I heard metal clanking around in her mouth. THANK GOD I thought quickly and grabbed her mouth and pulled out th eobjects which was a SHARP RUSTY SCREW but it baffles me why she would pick that up and then be so reluctant to let it go. She DID NOT want to give up that screw. Whats even more wierd is she picked it up out of a pile of loose stuff that more than 50% of it consisted of hay. And of all that hay she picked a rusty screw?

    Please help me understand

  • #2
    I've never heard of that before. My first thought is iron deficiency...
    I'm no expert though.

    Is your horse getting the right amount of vitamins?


    • #3
      Sweet iron bits supposedly tastes good and helps salivation I understand. Its a rusty bit for those that might not know. Might be the same idea.
      "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


      • #4
        An iron deficiency is highly unlikely - just not common with horses.

        It may be an acquired taste, but it may also indicate a general lack of sufficient minerals. What is the diet, and are there any minerals/salts available to him outside of what you actively feed?
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          Our gates are slightly rusted and the horses love it. I've heard that rust is sweet to the taste. I'm thinking that its the same as the sweet iron bit.


          • #6
            Have you ever tasted rust? It's pretty good, kind of tangy.


            • #7
              I actually thought about one day when I was cleaning the paddocks.
              My 4yr mare love to lick the gate after her feed. I have smelled it before.. it does have a sweet smell... Many years ago I went completely blind for several hour ever since then I try to put life into a smelling prospective.


              • #8
                My pony doesn't have any mineral deficiencies to my knowledge, but she loves rusty pipes. She will lick them all day. She'll lick new pipes too. I think it's the taste.

                [sorry about my spelling ]
                Rebel Without Cash!


                • #9
                  Mine will lick anything wood or metal after having a treat, for a good 10 or 15 minutes. She, too, will go for a rusty spot over a regular spot if one is available. She eats 5 horses worth of food- so there is no chance that she is deficient in anything. Her last bloodwork in the spring proclaimed her to be in perfect health. We've accepted that she's just special.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                    Mine will lick anything wood or metal after having a treat, for a good 10 or 15 minutes. She, too, will go for a rusty spot over a regular spot if one is available. She eats 5 horses worth of food- so there is no chance that she is deficient in anything. Her last bloodwork in the spring proclaimed her to be in perfect health. We've accepted that she's just special.
                    It kind of reminds of the after dinner cigarette....

                    A friend of mines 18 yr old Appy will go to the nearest pole and suck wind for 10-15 mins after he eats..I often wondered if that is a sign of ulcers, the wind sucking...


                    • #11
                      Horses like the taste of rust. I think it is sweet. That is why bits have been made with iron and referred to as "sweet iron". It's not unusual at all that she likes the taste of rust.
                      Altamont Sport Horses
                      Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
                      Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
                      Birmingham, AL


                      • Original Poster

                        Ok good I knew she was special but that was just a little wierd. I think it was finding the rusty screw in her mouth that freaked me out.

                        For those of you who asked, she gets 2qts Ultium in the AM and 2qts PM. AMSupplements: GLC 5500, double dose quiessence, robaxim, and (just finishing up the last tub of) StreeDex. PMSupplements: double dose quiessence, and 1 scoop grand complete.

                        So between the Grand Complete and the absurd amount of Quiessence she's on (to keep her and everyone else who handles her happy) I dont think there is a deficiency.

                        Thanks All!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Not So Practical Horse(WO)man View Post
                          So between the Grand Complete and the absurd amount of Quiessence she's on (to keep her and everyone else who handles her happy) I dont think there is a deficiency.

                          Thanks All!
                          Between those 2 things, it's possible you're creating an excess of something (perhaps the Mg, perhaps something else) that is then creating a "deficiency" of something else.

                          Perhaps she's just in mineral overload.

                          You could stop all vit/min supps for a week and see if her habits change
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                          • #14
                            One of the TB's I ride is obsessed with 1) sucking his tounge, which I think is adorable and it's how I know I've found the right spot with the curry and 2) licking the rusty bolts that used to keep a feed bin in the corner of his stall.

                            I always just laugh and say he's trying to replace his loose screw (which he has, of course.)
                            It keeps him busy and he's not cribbing, so I'm not worried.

                            But you aren't alone.

                            I would make an effort to keep the tempting little hors d'oeuvres hidden, as impossible as that task may sound!
                            Spell-checked prior to transmission. All errors occured en route.


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by JB View Post
                              You could stop all vit/min supps for a week and see if her habits change
                              We took her off the Quiessense for a month so it would get totally out of her system and she totally flipped out. She is slightly back sore until her custom saddle comes in (thus the robaxim) and the quiessence really helps with that too. And she is a nut job without it. And then for the next month we tried just 1 scoop AM and 1 scoop PM and it just wasn't enough for her to keep her sane and safe.

                              Her vet knows how much she gets and has witnessed what she is like without it and I have asked her about the dosing and she said do what works and there's not going to be too much of a problem if any at all with that much.