Salt is a necessary ingredient of most mixed feeds. In spite of that, though, I prefer to have a salt block permanently in my stalls. Horses crave access to salt night and day. You can determine that your horse is licking away at his salt block because of the lick marks that will be evident.
All of this may sound like basic horse sense, but you may be amazed at just how many horse owners, including some of the big guys in the industry, consider their responsibility fulfilled when they get a salt block in place in the stall. The responsibility does not actually end there; you want to make sure the salt block stays clean and free from grime and cobwebs. You want to make sure your horse is actually eating the salt. Just as you would be concerned if your horse refuses to take his feed, you should be concerned if he refuses to touch the salt. In such an event, try shifting the sale to your horse’s feed tub. He is going to benefit himself because he will have to move the block around to get at his feed, and the movements will rub off salt onto the feed. Your horse is getting his salt that way.
From personal experience, I am convinced that horses need salt in their diet all year through and not during summer only.
Unless a horse sweats copiously, I don’t include electrolytes in my horse’s water or feed. There is no need. Racing horses do sweat copiously while on a race and after it, and so they must be given electrolytes. Electrolytes must be given to ponies and horses involved in strenuous sports like polo and show events. Most horses used for just normal riding of the non-strenuous kind do not sweat enough to justify getting electrolytes.
Try to go easy on the electrolyte quantity. Keep a watch on the type of activity a horse is used for and the degree of hard work he has to put in. Horses at riding training schools, with their relatively low level of exertion, do not need electrolytes the same way as horses that work up a huge sweat running hard cross country or jumping high and continuous over a extend spell of time do. If you have a horse that does not sweat even after a high degree of exertion, watch out. You should be calling your veterinarian to come over immediately.