Problem: There are no age, gender, or breed predilections that influence the voluntary salt intake of an individual horse. Salt helps maintain electrolytes and water balance in horses as it does in all animals, and certain individuals may consume more or less salt than others based on need and preferences. Best approach is to provide a salt block and allow voluntary intake, while limiting the amount of salt for horses that gobble it.
Problem: Standing in mud can increase your horses’ risk of thrush (in their hooves) and scratches or mud fever (on their lower limbs).
Strategies: If mud can’t be avoided in your horse’s living space, at least keep manure picked up to limit your horse’s exposure to bacteria. A 6-inch-deep application of stone dust on top of mud can sometimes lesson the muck in a chosen area, as can a generous piling on of sawdust. Ask your veterinarian about using a barrier cream or hoof coating to seal our moisture on your horse’s feet and legs (these products should never be applied to already wet skin, however).
At a minimum: Inspect your horse’s feel and legs and pick out their hooves regularly to check for and head off developing problems.
Source: Horse & Rider Magazine, Feb 2014