Mineral lick for the field..

Fiona

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My three ponies are turned out now 24/7 for the summer, and because we have plenty of grass this year, I've decided not to feed any additional feed.

However my Connie has started to dig wee shallow holes on the field, and their smooth appearance makes me think he is licking them.... lack of salt/minerals?

I bought a lick for the field years ago, and the three I had then fought over it, and ate it in 48 hours, giving the ID mare an allergic reaction and blisters on her neck.

Hence I'm really not keen to repeat this, but I do think they need something.

Should I just tie up a Himalayan salt block?

Or are there molasses free licks one can buy?

Fiona
 
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I get a huge salt lick and hang from fence post/ or leave on the floor
And replace every few months or as required they seem to last a good while and are pretty cheap

I’ve looked at the rocky ones before with interest though but they are pricey and no local stockists
 

ester

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I've used rockys in the field a few times, they don't disappear too quickly in the rain.

I don't worry about soil licking though, F does it regardless of what he is fed.
 

Fiona

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I get a huge salt lick and hang from fence post/ or leave on the floor
And replace every few months or as required they seem to last a good while and are pretty cheap

I’ve looked at the rocky ones before with interest though but they are pricey and no local stockists
My hubby suggested just hanging a big salt lick out.....

I'll do that first and see how we go.

Thanks.

Fiona
 

Fiona

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I've used rockys in the field a few times, they don't disappear too quickly in the rain.

I don't worry about soil licking though, F does it regardless of what he is fed.

He's never done it in previous summer's though, when he was being fed.

Hopefully the rock salt block doesn't melt too quickly in the rain... 🤣

Fiona
 

bonny

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I th8nk the problem is horses on the whole ignore salt licks unless they have molasses in them in which case they are too appealing and disappear very quickly!
 

Gloi

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I'm going to the feed merchants tomorrow to see what they have..

Is Rockies a brand name?

Fiona
Yes. You get two 10kg licks in a box. I usually get the Rockies Red but there are different ones. They will be £25-30 for the box and will last a long time.
 

daydreamer

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I put a small Rockies Red in the field the other day for my 2 youngsters. They have been licking it but aren't obsessed with it. It is doing pretty well given the torrential rain we've had and the fact that they like pawing it (I didn't want to get a big one until I knew if they would use it).
 

SpringArising

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I'd get a couple of licks and spread them out as you would with hay. Horses really need salt and will rarely lick enough from a block to get what they actually need. I give mine literally a handful of grass cubes and add one tablespoon of salt.
 

Fiona

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I'd get a couple of licks and spread them out as you would with hay. Horses really need salt and will rarely lick enough from a block to get what they actually need. I give mine literally a handful of grass cubes and add one tablespoon of salt.
Fionn has a salt lick in his stable and loves it, so I think he probably would use one...

I just need a healthy lick, if that exists, rather than one full of sugar and molasses..

Fiona
 

supsup

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My advice would be not to rely on a lick to provide any micronutrients other than salt. Because horses have free access, the levels of minerals are kept so low in these licks that they provide nowhere near the daily required amounts (just in case the horse eats the lick in one sitting, it shouldn't get overdosed!). Of course, that also means the lick won't do any harm - it's basically just salt.
If you want to feed minerals at a level that is more likely to make a difference, I would look either into a vit&min supplement in treat form, or a pelleted balancer. Some of them (e.g. Equimins Advance complete) are very concentrated and the daily dose is literally a small handful, which you could feed like a treat. (Small caveat: that particular one has quite a strong smell, and not all horses may like the taste).

As for salt licks - you can take your pick. The mineral levels (both desirable, e.g. copper, and undesirable e.g. arsenic) in Himalayan salt licks are too low to make a difference either way. I've been getting 4x 5kg plain salt licks from Decathlon for £10 which is a pretty good deal. I'd rather not contribute to destroying the Himalayas with salt mining.
 

Steerpike

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A couple of years ago I managed to buy a vitamin and mineral lick which was in a tub trug, didn't have molasses and lasted the winter, I can't seem to find the company now, sorry not very helpful!
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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I don't know my "science" on this....... but I remember reading a while back (probably on here??) about salt-licks where sheep and horses share the same pasture.

IF (and I say if) my memory serves me right, you had to be careful if you were grazing horses with sheep, and used a salt-lick containing Magnesium (I think it was) as this can be toxic to sheep?? Or maybe it was the other way round.

Anyway, it might be worth checking. Just flagging up. Hoping someone on here might know!
 

TheMule

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I don't know my "science" on this....... but I remember reading a while back (probably on here??) about salt-licks where sheep and horses share the same pasture.

IF (and I say if) my memory serves me right, you had to be careful if you were grazing horses with sheep, and used a salt-lick containing Magnesium (I think it was) as this can be toxic to sheep?? Or maybe it was the other way round.

Anyway, it might be worth checking. Just flagging up. Hoping someone on here might know!

That's copper, it's toxic to sheep
 

SpringArising

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Hasn't there been some research which says that the Himalayan salt licks are bad for horses?
I'm not sure - is there? I can't find anything online but would be interested to know more. The only thing I did see is that apparently there are some elements in them that horses may not need? For one article that says they're no better than your regular table salt there's another that says they are.
 

JennBags

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I'm not sure - is there? I can't find anything online but would be interested to know more. The only thing I did see is that apparently there are some elements in them that horses may not need? For one article that says they're no better than your regular table salt there's another that says they are.
I'm not sure either, I also did a google search and couldn't find anything but I'm sure I remember reading something about it. When I was looking at adding salt to feed, I remember deciding on sea salt as all others seemed to have some problems. Wonder if our resident science nerds experts @ester @JFTD-WS @Leo Walker might know?
 
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There are quite a few licks that horses and sheep cannot share therefore I just put out salt lick and the sheep have a specific mineral block for them in stable so horses cannot access.
 

Fiona

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Update...

I bought a salt block for the field, and he was licking it before I had even lifted it out of the wheelbarrow lol...

Just realised his vit supplement is pelleted though, so going to try feeding it by hand....

Fiona
 
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