Minerals and Horses

Minerals are necessary for most chemical reactions occurring within your horse?s body.? Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and sulfur are the main minerals needed by your horse.? Common salt blocks usually only contain very small amounts of minerals, and are in fact mostly sodium.? Although your horse will get some of these other minerals from his hay and grain, it is sometimes necessary to feed a supplement.? If you have concerns that your horse?s diet may be lacking in this area, check with your veterinarian.? Minerals are very important parts of your horse?s diet, and deficiencies can cause such difficulties as rickets, fragile bones, weakness or lethargy, anxiety, lack of appetite and weight loss, and dehydration.

There are many trace minerals that are also important for your horse, such as zinc for his feet, and copper and iron for healthy blood.? These minerals are no less important than the main ones, but are needed by the body in much smaller quantities.

Be aware that too much can actually be a bad thing.? For instance, calcium and phosphorus must exist in a delicate ratio of about 2:1.? Upsetting this balance can cause weak bones and detached tendons.? Your horse will require a very specific balance of minerals depending on his age, weight, and condition.? This is not an area for guess work, but should first involve consultation with your veterinarian.? If you are concerned about your horse?s mineral intake, have your feed and hay tested to see if it is deficient in any way.? Also, different geographical regions will have deficiencies in different minerals in the soil, so be aware of what minerals are common in your area.

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