Salt-Block Design Reigns
Plastic is your best defense against the corrosion caused
is the one mineral that every horse, regardless of diet,
workload or turnout time, requires as a supplement.
Insufficient salt intake leads to dehydration and problems
like constipation, overheating, insufficient milk production
in mares and poor exercise tolerance.
people prefer to supply salt in the form of a block
or brick, which the horse can lick, and sometimes chew
or bite, free choice. Securing the salt in a holder
to keep it clean is preferable to just putting it in
the feed tub, since an excessively salty taste could
throw the horse off feed.
addition, most horses are absolute masters in getting
their salt bricks out of the tub and onto the ground.
Once youíve located the salt-block-turned-toy and dug
it out of the bedding, youíll then need to rinse it
off before replacing it. We much prefer a stationary
When we looked at salt holders, we considered:
Durability: It needs to hold up to equine rubs and chews.
ē Corrosion resistance: Salt is a corrosive substance
that causes metal to rust.
ē Security: We want the salt to stay in the holder and
the holder to stay on the wall.
ē Mounting: It shouldnít take an engineer to install.
holders are relatively inexpensive, with top-of-the-line
models running around $20. Most are about $5. Before
reaching for the bargain brands, though, consider what
shape the holder will be in a few months. Metal holders
with corrosion-resistant coatings, such as plastic or
zinc, will only last as long as the coating remains
intact. After that, they begin to rust.
choosing your holder, check with your feed store regarding
the dimensions of the salt bricks they sell. Most holders
are designed to take the rectangular-shaped blocks with
a rectangular end and wonít accept blocks that are shorter
but thicker, and have a more square-shaped end.
salt bricks weigh about four pounds, a size and weight
thatís easy for the horse to toss around the stall if
he is so inclined. This is one reason why you should
have a holder in the first place so make sure it holds
the salt securely.
makes sense to us to choose a holder that has predrilled
mounting holes. This saves time and eliminates the guesswork
as to where you should secure the holder.
srainless Steel Screws,even if they don't come
with the holder.
sure a field-size holder allows rainwater drainage.
a plastic holder, unless your horse has a chewing
plastic-coated metal holders; once the plastic
cracks, they rust.
When mounting your in-stall salt brick holders, place
them above tail level, since many horses will be tempted
to use them to scratch. Pick a spot near the feed tub
or water bucket. Position your holder where you want
it to be, and mark the spot for the holes with a pencil
or bit of nail polish for easy line up after you start
installation. Regardless of the material used for your
salt-brick holder, itís a good idea to invest in stainless-steel
screws for mounting if the holder didnít come with them.
This will reduce the chances of corrosion from the contact
with the salt. Corroded screws can be difficult to get
out to replace or move the holder.
The coated-wire holders are usually the least inexpensive
initially, but as soon as a break appears in their armor,
they begin to rust.
we decided we like plastic holders best, as we want
a holder that can be used outside or in a run-in shed
as well, and plastic will last and wonít corrode. Our
favorites are from Danís Saddlery and Valley Vet, although
we prefer the design from Danís because itís a bit more
heavyweight and, once when the salt is in place, the
only real free edge for the horse to grab or chew on
is the salt itself ó at least until the block is nearly
gone. Be prepared to wrestle the brick into place, but
once it snaps in, itís there to stay.
you really want metal ó especially if your horse has
a propensity for chewing ó we recommend the Stainless
Steel Salt Block Holder, which is well built.
the field-size category, weíd go with the Jeffers double
salt block holder. This allows you to place both a plain
and a mineralized block side by side, but it remains
just as stable with only one block. Again, we were pleased
with its corrosion resistance, and we liked the drainage
holes in the bottom to minimize salt loss from rain.
/ Stall Size Salt Holders -