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How do you get em to leave the salt block ALONE?

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  • How do you get em to leave the salt block ALONE?

    Youngster has mineral block in his stall for when hes not out. I have gotten him about 4 over the summer. I put it in there and the next day its gone. Just. totally. gone. I figure he chews it into pieces and plays with them. He does that with likits. I think hes bored but I dont want a new salt block every week. How can I put it in there (metal holder) so he wont do that--or would lose minerals be better?
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

  • #2
    First I'd try just a plain, white salt block. Some horses seem to think the brown ones are just delicious and gnaw on them like beavers.

    Then I'd probably get a little one that mounts on the wall, I think it'd probably be harder for him to bite and play with that way. If that doesn't work, the Himalayan Salt is MUCH harder than just the standard salt blocks.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      It was on the wall --metal holder--and it was brown salt. I think hes just a goof.
      “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

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      • #4
        If your guy is like my guy, loose minerals might not help. My gelding would go through a full cup of loose minerals every night. Then he'd empty both his five gallon buckets because he was thirsty. Then he'd pee because 10 gallons of water has to go somewhere. Then, having run out of other forms of entertainment, he'd stall walk for a while. After a few hours of circling he would have reduced his bedding to a slurry, requiring the stall to be completely stripped in the AM. My boy was very popular with the barn staff.

        My suggestion was that they should give him more hay at night to keep him from getting bored. He only got two flakes around 6 or 7 PM, and this was expected to last until 7 AM the next day. (From what I saw, most of the horses finished their two flakes by 10 or 11 PM, leaving them with no food for the next 8 or 9 hours.) Barn manager made me buy my own bedding instead, as I was going through so much of hers. We eventually moved to a different barn.

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        • #5
          Also reevaluate his diet. He may be missing something.
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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by wingedmare View Post
            Also reevaluate his diet. He may be missing something.
            Like...? If hes missing something Ill get it for him but I have no clue what would cause this. Oh Mikey doesnt do this to his salt black and theyre fed the same thing. Goofball gets more actually.

            carp I hear ya. Our BO decided to give more hay pm to those who eat it. Hes much happier now that he gets 1/2 bale of sweet smell sundried grass!
            “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

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            • #7
              I provide one each of the 50lb plain white salt, iodized salt, and trace mineral salt (I have a thing, lol)

              Anyway, with my saltoholic boy the 50lb blocks seemed to slow him down-not so much fun to play with as the 4lb ones.
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              • #8
                Totally agree with Grataan...love those big white blocks.

                Here's what I would do...if the horse has access to a salt block when he is turned out (and he is turned out every day), he does not need a salt block in his stall. If he is supposed to get his salt in the stall, then buy one of those big white blocks and set it in the corner. Yes, the barn staff may have to roll it back into the corner every morning, but it won't disappear.

                Blocks with trace minerals in them are unnecessary. If you calculate the amount of trace minerals actually in the block, the horse would have to eat a ridiculously huge amount of salt to get any worthwhile amount of trace minerals. For horses, any mineral deficiency needs to be corrected in the feed, not with a salt block.

                I also agree to check your horse's diet. If he doesn't eat much grain, consider adding a ration balancer to make sure that he is getting all the protein, vitamins, and minerals that he requires. And that's great BO increased the hay, that should help.
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                • #9
                  Some blocks are more crumbly, some are solid. You might have better luck with the solid ones.

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                  • #10
                    I would try one of thos big Himalayan pink salt licks. They are much harder than the red or white manufactured blocks, so horses really can't bite off chunks. A friend's horse used to devour the manufactured blocks, but the Himalayan salt licks (the 6-8 pound cylindars) last him several months.
                    Amateur rider, professional braider.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by carp View Post
                      If your guy is like my guy, loose minerals might not help. My gelding would go through a full cup of loose minerals every night. Then he'd empty both his five gallon buckets because he was thirsty. Then he'd pee because 10 gallons of water has to go somewhere. Then, having run out of other forms of entertainment, he'd stall walk for a while. After a few hours of circling he would have reduced his bedding to a slurry, requiring the stall to be completely stripped in the AM. My boy was very popular with the barn staff.
                      OMG, you have my gelding's TWIN. He will go through a white salt block in a week to ten days. Two five-gallon buckets a night, huge pee spots, tons of bedding and an unhappy BO -- EVEN though I do his stall myself, and pay for his hay and bedding.

                      The BO insisted on taking his salt block away and giving him loose salt in his food. She claims he's getting enough, but the small container of sea salt that I buy him seems to last way too long to me. I think she forgets to give it to him and only gives him about a couple of tablespoons at a time when she remembers. It's hard to argue with her, she always says that yes, he's getting it and he gets enough. (He doesn't get ridden much, isn't sweating in heavy work-outs or anything, so maybe she's right.)

                      I would prefer to be able to let him have free access to a salt block, but he really was downing it pretty quickly. Anyone have a better idea than restricting his intake to what he gets put in his food instead of free access?



                      He gets half a bale (small square bale) a day, so he was getting enough hay (usually left a little). Until two weeks ago, that is -- the most recent batch of hay that I got is so soft that he goes right through it very quickly and it doesn't last him anywhere near as long as it generally does. I'll try to find the coarser stuff for him for winter to keep him busy during the longer nights. He's a very easy keeper and loves his food.

                      One thing that DID seem to help the stall-walking: moving his hay. My horse's stall has two doors, one next to the tack room and on the opposite side, one that opens out to the run-in and pasture. The BO always put the hay and grain at the door next to the tack room. Watching my horse, I noticed that he LOVES to watch what's going on in the pasture (no other horses out, but birds, etc.) ALL THE TIME. It's like a fascinating movie to him. So, he was taking a mouthful of hay, walking to the opposite side to look over the half door at the pasture, then going back around the stall to get another bite of hay. Lather, rinse, repeat. END-LESS-LY!! Hence the messy stall.

                      When I convinced the BO to move his hay to the far side of the stall next to the pasture door, he stopped with the stall-walking. Now he takes a bite, looks out the window, takes another bite, watches the pasture. Soooo now the only issue regarding the hay is that he drops a ton of hay in the run-in. When I clean his stall, I just scoop up the hay in the aisle and put it back inside his stall. Still much better than the ground-up poop and messy bedding from the constant circling.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Foxhound View Post
                        I would try one of thos big Himalayan pink salt licks. They are much harder than the red or white manufactured blocks, so horses really can't bite off chunks. A friend's horse used to devour the manufactured blocks, but the Himalayan salt licks (the 6-8 pound cylindars) last him several months.
                        Hmmm. I used the hard, 4lb (?) white salt blocks. I put it in a separate small bucket just for the salt, not in with his food (as all the other horses get -- but their blocks last weeks and weeks! ) My horse didn't bite off chunks, he just LICKS -- by the hour. Surprised that he didn't wear a sore on his tongue. He just LOVES his salt!

                        Given that he's licking it anyway, do you think the Himalayan salt would be any better???
                        Proofreading is your friend.

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                        • #13
                          If you try the himalayan salt blocks, can you hang it more in the middle of his stall, where he can't trap it against the wall? A horse at our place who was on stall rest loved that thing, I mean he loved it. He was able to trap it against the wall and went through it pretty quickly.

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                          • #14
                            A small warning on the Himalayan blocks... my horse liked to bite into the regular salt blocks (he likes to eat anything within reach) so I got him the Himalayan ones, which were supposed to be unbreakable. Then he broke his tooth on one. (And the salt broke too.) So after the emergency vet call, I've avoided the Himalayan blocks. (:

                            I put the salt block holder a little higher on his stall--he can reach it but it's not as much fun to play with now. So it seems to last a lot longer.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Altag View Post
                              OMG, you have my gelding's TWIN. He will go through a white salt block in a week to ten days. Two five-gallon buckets a night, huge pee spots, tons of bedding and an unhappy BO -- EVEN though I do his stall myself, and pay for his hay and bedding.

                              The BO insisted on taking his salt block away and giving him loose salt in his food. She claims he's getting enough, but the small container of sea salt that I buy him seems to last way too long to me. I think she forgets to give it to him and only gives him about a couple of tablespoons at a time when she remembers. It's hard to argue with her, she always says that yes, he's getting it and he gets enough. (He doesn't get ridden much, isn't sweating in heavy work-outs or anything, so maybe she's right.)
                              Well, in my case the barn owner decided to take away his salt and ration him to three gallons of water a night. I was not happy. Limiting water seemed like a recipe for a vet bill, either from impaction colic or some kind of internal stone. (In fairness to the barn manager, he did get free access to a clean, full water tub all day.) This was the beginning of the end for me at that barn. I started looking for a new facility soon after. It took a few months for me to persuade the more inertia prone members of the family (we have multiple horses, so it had to be a joint decision) to get a clue, but eventually some other bizarre barn management decisions pushed us into leaving.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Foxhound View Post
                                I would try one of thos big Himalayan pink salt licks. They are much harder than the red or white manufactured blocks, so horses really can't bite off chunks. A friend's horse used to devour the manufactured blocks, but the Himalayan salt licks (the 6-8 pound cylindars) last him several months.
                                I was going to recommend the same thing. The Himalayan licks last forever.. You can either tie it up or leave it in his feed dish.
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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Th BO doesnt put salt in turnout. Its easier to put in the stall (they say).

                                  Can the Himilyan salt be taken out by horse teeth? I figure he would take it out just for fun...
                                  “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JohnDeere View Post
                                    Like...? If hes missing something Ill get it for him but I have no clue what would cause this. Oh Mikey doesnt do this to his salt black and theyre fed the same thing. Goofball gets more actually.

                                    carp I hear ya. Our BO decided to give more hay pm to those who eat it. Hes much happier now that he gets 1/2 bale of sweet smell sundried grass!
                                    If he's eating all his hay and it really is due to boredom, why not get him one of those small opening hay bags? http://www.thinaircanvas.com/nibblen...lenetframe.htm It will slow him down and make his hay last longer. There was a post about these not too long ago: http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...ight=nibblenet
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                                    • #19
                                      this probably has nothing to do with nutritonal deficiency and everything to do with boredom. A horse's main entertainment in a stall is chewing and eating. If you bed with straw, one of those treat balls, where you put a few cups of pellets in and he pushes it around as they trickle through holes in the ball works well for bored horses, but with shavings they end up eating a lot of shavings instead. My guys enjoy logs. Yes, the new miraculous horse toy, fresh logs. We have trees around here so I can usually find a fresh fir or pine log about 6-10 inches diameter and 4-6 feet long. Lasts for weeks. I bolt ours up to the stall wall and when they have been throughly stripped of bark, chewed and dried up, we can replace it with a new one. For salt hog horses buy the extra big block of salt and put it in a place, like his turnout paddock, where he will only have access for a few hours. He will get all the salt he needs- he doesn't need it to be available to be wrecked 24/7. My horses get daily turnout and use the salt lick in the pasture as otherwise I was going through a small block a week for some of them as they played with it ( before I got the LOGS!)
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JohnDeere View Post
                                        Youngster has mineral block in his stall for when hes not out. I have gotten him about 4 over the summer. I put it in there and the next day its gone. Just. totally. gone. I figure he chews it into pieces and plays with them. He does that with likits. I think hes bored but I dont want a new salt block every week. How can I put it in there (metal holder) so he wont do that--or would lose minerals be better?
                                        well among real cattle folks salt blocks are shunned since the study that revealed a cow needed to lick on one of the things for 8 straight hours to get the salt she needed...and her tongue is a whole lot rougher than a horse tongue

                                        which is why we only use loose mineral salts poured in bunks or buckets in the stalls
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