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Jaxnopie

Is He Missing Something?

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My daughters Arabian gelding is licking the stall bars. He is turned out on 20 acres of pasture and stalled at night. He is fed grass hay before he is turned out and alfalfa when brought in at night. Is he missing something in his diet that makes him luck the bars? He does have access to mineral blocks. I wasn't concerned thinking its just a habit with him but I noticed that my other gelding is doing it now. What could they be missing? Thanks for your help.

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Very likely it started from boredom, and is now just a habit. Enough hay to last all night could help, and you could try spraying the bars with bitter apple.

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Thank you ozland. Could be boredom but sometimes even after just getting done riding him or even while still on him and your standing by a fence rail he will try and lick it. I was thinking maybe a nervous glitch he may have if its not him lacking something in his system but then my other gelding did it too.

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I had this problem. He then switched to chewing on rocks. You could hear him in the middle of the night.

I had the Vet. come out and do a wellness check. It turns out that the local hay lacked a certain mineral, and the mineral blocks did not have enough mineral to make a difference.

He had me switch the salt blocks to plain, and add a mineral mix for horses to his diet. He stopped chewing everything within the month. I add 1/4 cup of mineral mix per day to his hay in his feeder. He loves it.

P.S. He is an Arab

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Is there any rust on the bars? Iron rusts and it tastes good to horses.

Yes are rusted. They are made from old thick well pipe. Maybe that's it.

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You can buy some Himalayan salt (the crumbled kind) and mix it into his grain. We had a horse that would do that because the bars taste salty, and we put him on the Himalayan salt and he quit doing that : )

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I hope you don't get freezing weather there! He'll get a nasty surprise if he licks metal in freezing weather.

He would only do that once. Lol

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Those red mineral blocks don't have the right mix for horses, nor enough of anything.

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Have you had your hay tested? It is pretty easy and inexpensive around here. We can borrow a hay-plugger to sample the bales from our local extension office, and send the samples away for about $35 dollars. Good to know where your hay stands, nutritionally, and be able to correct any deficiencies.

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Mineral blocks IMO are useless. They are actually mostly salt, and horses arent able to eat enough of them to fufil their mineral requirements. Have you looked into a vitamin/mineral supplement, to fill the gaps? There is a really good one called california trace, formulated to balance the "average" hay in California. I live in PA and actually use it, because its suited to the hay I feed as well. I think the price is super reasonable, $60 includes shipping and is an 80 day supply. It works out to be cheaper for me than the grostrong minerals I was using before. They make a pellet too thats nice for horses not on grain, since they dont get anything to mix a powder with. I heard about this supplement from the hoof board, and Im glad I tried it.

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Mineral blocks IMO are useless. They are actually mostly salt, and horses arent able to eat enough of them to fufil their mineral requirements. Have you looked into a vitamin/mineral supplement, to fill the gaps? There is a really good one called california trace, formulated to balance the "average" hay in California. I live in PA and actually use it, because its suited to the hay I feed as well. I think the price is super reasonable, $60 includes shipping and is an 80 day supply. It works out to be cheaper for me than the grostrong minerals I was using before. They make a pellet too thats nice for horses not on grain, since they dont get anything to mix a powder with. I heard about this supplement from the hoof board, and Im glad I tried it.

I am heading to my local feed store today. Do you think they will carry something comparable so I can get started right away? It's making more since to me now. They are lacking and have been for awhile. I should have researched this sooner. I have always supplied the red block and white one thinking that covered it since the feed store called the red block trace mineral block. Thanks for the advice.

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How is the selinium in your area? We give selinium shots here once a year. You could try something like Horse guard its got a pretty good mix of vits, keep in mind that the trace selinium blocks dont have enough selinium in them to do you any good.

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