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The best horse salt lick

Salt and mineral licks are not only good for your horse, but they are also good for your fence. A horse seeking minerals and salt missing from their regular diet will chew on wood boards to get the nutrition they need.
Salt and mineral licks are not only good for your horse, but they are also good for your fence. A horse seeking minerals and salt missing from their regular diet will chew on wood boards to get the nutrition they need. (BestReviews)

Horses in the wild spend their daylight hours roaming and grazing to meet their complex nutritional needs. The average 1,100-pound horse requires 10 grams of sodium every day. Although this measures to just one ounce of salt, many domesticated equines don’t meet their needs with forage and grain alone. They may need a horse salt lick to supplement their daily ration.

When this happens, it's important to choose a high-quality horse salt lick. Weighing in at a whopping 22 pounds, the Himalayan Secrets Himalayan Rock Salt Animal Lick provides enough tasty salt and trace minerals to keep your equine companion happy and healthy.

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What to know before you buy a horse salt lick

Types of salts

There are three main types of salt licks for horses: plain, Himalayan and red trace minerals. Which you choose depends entirely upon the dietary needs of your horse.

Plain salt licks are white and contain sodium chloride — the same salt on your dinner table. Himalayan salt licks are light pink to red in color and have not only salt but also trace minerals. A red trace mineral block is opaque red and contains more minerals than salt.

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How the salt is delivered

While loose salt can be added to a horse’s grain, this may not be an option if your horse does not receive grain (or they don’t like the added salt). Horse salt licks provide free-choice salt for horses in the pasture or in their stall. They can be threaded with rope and hung from a tree or a fence or they can be placed on the ground or in a feed tub.

Keep in mind that threaded salt licks may eat through the rope over time. Salt licks in tubs can also be dissolved by standing rainwater.

Horse salt lick features

Rope for hanging

Some of the best horse salt licks feature a sturdy rope for hanging. Most ropes are rough natural fibers, but some are nylon. Both are safe for horses, but keep an eye out as salt can wear the fibers down over time.

High-quality trace minerals

A horse salt lick can meet all of your horse’s supplemental needs, but check the amounts of trace minerals in each block. They should be listed on each label. If you aren’t sure what your horse needs, work with your vet to choose the best horse salt lick.

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Size

Providing a horse salt lick for a big herd? Make sure you select a large enough block for everyone to have access. A tiny 4-pound salt lick is not going to last long for a five-horse herd that gets its salt from that block alone. Look for larger sizes or place several salt licks at various locations in the pasture.

Horse salt lick cost 

Horse salt licks are an affordable, hands-off way to make sure your horses get the nutrition they need. The price can vary depending on the weight of the salt lick, but expect to pay $14-$40.

Horse salt lick FAQ

How long will my horse salt lick last?

A. That really depends on how many horses are using it, where you keep it and how often your horse visits the salt lick. A horse salt lick kept in a stall will last much longer than one used outside; however, the more horses that visit the salt lick, the faster it will wear down.

That said, a horse salt lick can last anywhere from two weeks to a month or more.

What’s the difference between a horse salt lick and a red mineral block?

A. A red trace mineral block includes minerals like copper, zinc, manganese, cobalt, iron and iodine, plus a small amount of salt (which helps attract the horse). A horse salt lick can be simply sodium chloride (white table salt) or it can be Himalayan salt. Himalayan salt contains trace minerals as well.

The major difference? A red trace mineral block only contains marginal amounts of salt and may have more minerals than your horse actually needs.

What trace minerals are included in a horse salt lick?

A. Depending on the salt lick, trace minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium are also available in Himalayan salt licks. This is what sets them apart from simply adding table salt to your horse's grain.

Which horse salt lick should I get?

Best of the best horse salt lick 

Himalayan Secrets Himalayan Rock Salt Animal Licks: available at Amazon 

Our take: This pure Himalayan salt lick is a great everyday treat for all of your farm animals, including cows and goats.

What we like: The smooth edges make this salt lick safe for sensitive lips, gums and tongues. Most animals love the pure Himalayan salt with no additives. There is a hole to make threading a rope for hanging easy and this salt lick comes in three sizes.

What we dislike: The rope for hanging is not included. In order to get your money's worth, be sure to choose the larger size.

Best bang for your buck horse salt lick

Nevlers Himalayan Salt Licks with Ropes: available at Amazon 

Our take: Choose this two-for-one pack at a more affordable price.

What we like: Both salt licks feature a pre-threaded rope for easy hanging and a wide range of trace minerals in pure Himalayan salt. The weight of these ranges from 4.5-6.5 pounds.

What we dislike: The rope that's provided is not very sturdy and could break if a horse gives it enthusiastic attention.

Honorable mention horse salt lick

Horsemen's Pride Himalayan Salt Block on Rope: available at Amazon

Our take: Horseman's Pride is a trusted name in salt licks and this durable model is well worth the money.

What we like: Though it seems compact, this horse salt lick weighs in at a hefty 7.5 pounds of Himalayan salt and trace minerals. The pre-threaded rope is sturdy and the salt lick lasts for a long time.

What we dislike: One user reported that their salt lick arrived broken.

Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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