Salt Med/course 1kg
The reason why it is so important to feed salt is that salt is made up of sodium and chloride (NaCl). These key electrolytes are often too low in horses’ intakes. This is true for cold climates and even more likely in a hot climate or use rugs or do a lot of floating (transporting) of horses; horses need salt supplementation as so much can be lost in sweat.
The key electrolytes include sodium, chloride and potassium. Grass/hay and other feeds are relatively high in potassium for horses which is fantastic as it means you generally don’t need to supplement potassium, unless the horse has no access to feed for a period of time and is sweating.
Horses need electrolytes for daily body maintenance jobs (staying alive) and to replace what is lost in sweat. Some of the important jobs include:
- The production and secretion of sweat, saliva, intestinal tract fluids, urine and mucus
- Skeletal muscle contraction
- Heart contraction
- Nerve function
- Intestinal movement (and other involuntary smooth muscle contraction, such as the uterus)
- Absorption of nutrients across the intestinal wall and into the body cells
- Maintenance of normal acid-base balance (pH)
- Maintenance of normal hydration (the body contains roughly 70% water)
- Preventing tying up
- Preventing fatigue