Is cooking salt ok?

Mrskyfall

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Hi everyone, I have been feeding my horses salt in their feed for a while. Not much, a heaped teaspoon once a day as I have read that they cannot get enough from salt licks. The horses eat it readily, but I am using cooking salt. Is this ok, or is there something better?
 

YasandCrystal

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nikkimariet

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Goofy is 2 x heaped teaspoons a day. Fig will not eat his feed with it in. I just use the cheapies from Asda/similar.
 

supsup

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Yes, any salt will do. The only salt you should avoid is so-called "lite" salt (Some of the salt, i.e. sodium chloride is replaced by potassium chloride in this type of salt, to help humans avoid too much sodium. But it is the sodium and chloride of real salt you want to give your horse.) Cooking salt tends to be very pure, while rock salt or sea salt ("natural" options) tend to have traces of other minerals. Some people think that is in advantage, but IMO it probably doesn't make any difference since other minerals are only present in very small traces. Also, some of those traces are things you don't necessarily want (e.g. arsenic, additional iron), so it's actually a good thing there are only traces present. Usually, you pay much more for fancy "natural" salts than you do for plain table salt (Lidl - 17p for half a kilo), so I don't think it's worth the extra cost.

ETA: Personally, I'm also not a fan of destroying the Himalayan mountains by mining for salt, then shipping it half-way around the world when there are sources of salt available closer to home.
 

9tails

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As much as I love my horse, she ain't getting finest quality sea salt! She has a himalayan lick on her wall and gets a tablespoon of Home Bargains table salt (19p) in her dinner. Now I know that Lidl are 2p cheaper, I'll chuck a couple in next time I'm there.
 

ashlingm

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Yes, any salt will do. The only salt you should avoid is so-called "lite" salt (Some of the salt, i.e. sodium chloride is replaced by potassium chloride in this type of salt, to help humans avoid too much sodium.

Just wondering why? All equine electrolytes contain potassium chloride (alongside the other electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium etc) and horse sweat is composed of approximately 15% potassium? Potassium is necessary for the functioning of the heart, muscle and kidneys while the lack of potassium can affect muscle contractions and strength.

I've always added in ''low-salt'' alongside normal salt when giving it to my horses and tend to match the concentrations found in commercial electrolytes. Just wondering why you think its bad to feed it when so many companies include it in their electrolyte products?
 

Tnavas

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Just wondering why? All equine electrolytes contain potassium chloride (alongside the other electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium etc) and horse sweat is composed of approximately 15% potassium? Potassium is necessary for the functioning of the heart, muscle and kidneys while the lack of potassium can affect muscle contractions and strength.

I've always added in ''low-salt'' alongside normal salt when giving it to my horses and tend to match the concentrations found in commercial electrolytes. Just wondering why you think its bad to feed it when so many companies include it in their electrolyte products?

Because they feed it in balanced proportions - not good to mess with electrolyte balance unless you really know what you are doing. Different disciplines require electrolytes in different ratios.

Normal household salt is best to feed.
 

Exploding Chestnuts

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Because they feed it in balanced proportions - not good to mess with electrolyte balance unless you really know what you are doing. Different disciplines require electrolytes in different ratios.

Normal household salt is best to feed.

Different disciplines require electrolytes in different ratios? Where is there reference for this?
In my world, I thought electrolytes for horses were all the same, they regularly use them in the US for all racehorses, and I know some UK trainers use them ,, but not all ........ in fact I have worked in many yards where no salt is fed at all. Most would be on a racehorse type feed though. I thought that salt is not added at the time of feed manufacture as it absorbs moisture, so the feed gets damp.
 
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Tnavas

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Different disciplines require electrolytes in different ratios? Where is there reference for this?
In my world, I thought electrolytes for horses were all the same, they regularly use them in the US for all racehorses, and I know some UK trainers use them ,, but not all ........ in fact I have worked in many yards where no salt is fed at all. Most would be on a racehorse type feed though. I thought that salt is not added at the time of feed manufacture as it absorbs moisture, so the feed gets damp.




The Facts behind Electrolyte Supplementation – By L Morrow DipappSc(chem) BSc(chem)
http://npchealth.co.nz/index_files/Electrofacts.htm

Excerpt from -

What is the purpose behind acid and alkaline electrolytes ? and why use them ?

An acid electrolyte replaces salts and helps neutralize blood pH returning it within normal range. This helps prevent sore muscles, fatigue and boost recovery. A higher potassium and chloride to sodium ratio electrolyte is an example of this type. Horses working at moderate aerobic speeds (such as slow to steady speeds at walk, trot or canter) in hot, humid weather conditions benefit from this type in conjunction with a balanced diet (as explained previously).
An alkaline electrolyte is designed to neutralize acid (lactic acid) in the blood produced from an-aerobic exercise such as galloping or short fast work.

Blood pH is around 7 so these types of electrolytes address different types of work to maintain steady blood pH, which in turn helps to boost recovery, prevents stiff, sore muscles, tying up and post exercise fatigue. These types of electrolytes are often used for performance horses for faster recovery times where these types of horses are usually in full work and are required to be in top athletic order.
 

supsup

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Just wondering why? All equine electrolytes contain potassium chloride (alongside the other electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium etc) and horse sweat is composed of approximately 15% potassium?

Depends on the situation. I was assuming we are talking about a normal leisure horse doing "light" work, or maybe at most "medium" levels of work (and UK weather being what it is, probably not in very hot conditions). Forage already contains plenty of potassium, usually, while it can be short on sodium and/or chloride even for maintenance levels. But maintenance levels of electrolytes can double or triple quickly if the horse is in heavy work and sweating a lot. In that case, supplementation in the right proportion of all the electrolytes might be advisable.
But for your average leisure horse, a table spoon of regular table salt per day should cover sodium and chloride requirements, and so long as plenty of fresh water is available, won't do any harm. If you use lite salt in this situation, you might still not provide enough sodium (and add potassium that's not really needed). I wasn't trying to imply that lite salt is harmful, just not the most suitable thing to use for the task.
 

Leo Walker

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Just wondering why? All equine electrolytes contain potassium chloride (alongside the other electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium etc) and horse sweat is composed of approximately 15% potassium? Potassium is necessary for the functioning of the heart, muscle and kidneys while the lack of potassium can affect muscle contractions and strength.

I've always added in ''low-salt'' alongside normal salt when giving it to my horses and tend to match the concentrations found in commercial electrolytes. Just wondering why you think its bad to feed it when so many companies include it in their electrolyte products?

This is why:

http://www.calmhealthyhorses.com/solution/salt.html
 
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