It might be the salt…
We all know horses need salt, but you can feed too much of a good thing. And the thing with salt is, when a horse needs it, it tastes really good. But when they are getting too much, their ‘sodium intake regulation system’ (I just made that up, sounds about right though hey!) makes it taste bad.
The result being they will reduce their feed intake… or they might completely stop eating feed with salt in it so they don’t eat too much salt. Which is a problem if you have a performance horse that NEEDS to eat so he can work to the best of his ability for you!
If you suspect this might be happening, the easiest solution is to stop adding any salt or electrolyte to your horse’s feed. If too much salt was the cause of your horse going off his feed, appetite should return really quickly once his feed is no longer salty.
The other possibility is that your horse has ulcers. Have you ever put salt on an open wound? It hurts… a lot! So imagine if your horse has ulcers (i.e. open wounds in his stomach) and you feed him something salty… it could be reasonably expected to cause pain. And if something hurts you when you eat it, chances are you would stop eating it pretty quick.
So if your horse has ulcers you may need to moderate salt intake.
Trick is you still need to meet his sodium and chloride requirements.
Here is where FeedXL can really help. FeedXL will show you how much sodium and chloride is in your horse’s diet and how much salt (if any) you should be adding. So with FeedXL you add just enough to meet requirements, but no so much you will put your horse off his feed.
If you would like more information on the role salt plays in your horse’s diet read our article Does Your Horse Need Electrolytes.
Do you have a question or comment? Do you need help with feeding?
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