Compared to the standard salt block the Himalayan salt licks sure do look better. And they sound healthier, too. It seems a simple way to do something that’s just better for your horse without breaking the bank. But are they worth the additional cost?
How can you resist a sales pitch like this:
A 550 million year old source of minerals and trace elements for your horse or pony. Mined from the vast and ancient Himalayan mountains, transported down steep passes on the backs of Yaks, and providing the mountain people with one of their main sources of income, these salt licks must be the purest form of salt available. The distinctive rose pink colour comes from the salts’ high mineral content, such as iron, potassium and magnesium, which are all vital for maintaining health. Mass produced salt licks are produced using salt with minerals added in the manufacturing process. Himalayan rock salt licks are literally ‘rock hard’, this means that horses and ponies are unable to bite chunks off the block, a problem that can occur with the softer ’pressed’ salt licks. These licks are also much more weather resistant, which means they can be safely left outside in the field for horse to ‘self dose’. Our experience has show that horses do prefer these to other salt licks.
The problem is, it really is just a sales pitch. Take a look at the handy mineral comparison chart published by SmartPak and you’ll see that while these attractive pink salt blocks come with a rope, they do not contain many of the microminerals that are recommended for your horse (such as zinc, selenium, iodine, cobalt, other than the ones typically abundant in a horse’s diet. With an estimated cost per day of 46 cents, you can do better for your money. For example, your standard 50 lb trace mineral salt block costs only $6.50!
As to its origins, the salt marketed under the name Himalayan is actually mined in Pakistan, at the Khewra Salt mines, the second largest salt mine in the world. A group called Tourist Watch did research on the Himalayan salt and found that it was no healthier than normal table salt.
Bottom line: while it looks nice, you are better off feeding a good vitamin/mineral supplement and table salt or buying a trace mineral salt block.
16 thoughts on “Himalayan Salt Blocks – Are They Worth the Fuss and $$?”
That was some good information, thanks for doing the research. I’ll bet a lot of people don’t know that these block are not transported down steep passes on the backs of Yaks, but made in the Pakistan salt mines. Ah, the spinning of a tale to sell a product.
The pink is appealing. I thought about buying it a few times, but it didn’t seem worth the money and I thought the nutritional value might be what you indeed discovered. Thanks for the post!
This sales pitch got me going too. What if my horse has been desperately needing some magical mineral in Himalayan salt? It’s very tempting.
I went instead with the Spearmint Lick from Wendals Herbs for my stall rest horse. He needs something to do *sigh*
That stuff looks real good though; the important word being “look” 😛
I only use himilayan salt blocks for my horses. They are both shown a lot and my filly sweats a lot. The blocks are wonderful because they last so long and gives them something to do in the stall besides getting bored, not to mention the minerals in the blocks.
Although I am disappointed that the hype on these is just that, I still have to agree with Pat. My horse just LOVES these salt licks and they really last. It’s actually cheaper for me to use because when my guy gets bored, he crushes the “regular” blocks into a chunky, inedible mess but the Himilayan lasts him until he licks it down to a tiny nub. Still, I wish I WAS helping ‘Mountain people’ when I buy them! LOL!
I am not familiar with the particular study you reference, however I find it extremely hard to believe that one can conclude that regular table salt is just as healthy for you as Himalayan salt. Regular table salt is chemically processed and altered, stripping it of any mineral value whatsoever. Anti-caking agents and preservatives are addedd which are certainly bad for humans, and probably not all that good for animals either! Himalayan salt is pure and un-tampered with in any way. It is mined and consumed in it’s raw form with nothing added or taken away. This way, you get the benefit of the 84 different minerals and trace elements essential to life.
I agree with Jesse about the quality, our horse loves it. A 3 lb. Himalayan Mineral Salt Lick will last the average horse 6 months to a year. Our horse would chew the old blocks up into little pieces and half would be wasted. The Himalayan block is so hard it cannot be bitten off in chunks and it holds up to the weather. We found the blocks at a Farmers Market and paid $8.00 I think it’s a great buy.
Himalayan salt is far better than table salt, which is BLEACHED; it contains chlorine, which as we all know, is not good for us. Table salt has no nutritional value at all whereas HS contains 84 trace minerals and is salt in its purest form. My horses love it.
My spoiled 8 year old gelding seems to prefer the Himalayan salt to the mfg. salt blocks. The pink Himalayan does last for months. The trace mineral salt breakes down to an unusable mess on the bottom of the stall.I have a Himalayan salt block in his stall and one hanging in his trailer. The block in the trailer keeps his pasafied on long trips
In today’s technically modern world, the trend being adopted by individuals is to try and be all “natural” to best possibility. From any or all perspectives Himalayan salts is a best choice as has been described in views, comments and personal experience above. The main reason being its nutritional and mineral value consistently present in the 84 trace elements and the natural color which make it appealing; above all, without any added or artificial means, process etc. The right choice for all who prefer and using Himalayan Salts.
On the yard where I keep my horses, people have tried many types of salt lick, including me, horses might lick them once or twice then that’s it. Since I introduced my 2 horses to the Himalayan Salt lick a couple of years back, they love them, now all the owners have started buying them too for their horses, a definite favourite on our yard.
My guy just LOVES Himalayan Salt Blocks…he’s worth the extra $…and they last forever, So…I’ll buy them and continue to believe that some yak dragged them down from a Himalayan Mountain Pass somewhere… 🙂
My horses love them! And, I also have the conventional salt block avail for them.
Here’s a provoking thought…..why not buy both for your horse and see which one he prefers? Horses are not influenced by marketing and advertising like we “smart” humans are. My bet is that the horse will go with the one which is more closely found in nature. That’s why it’s called “Horse Smarts.” It’s a good rule of thumb to not feel the need to do all the thinking for your animals, as well as the people in your life. Less trouble too! As for me, I’m with the pink salt, for me and for my animals. Just makes sense. If you are troubled by any particular brand, seek out the sources which actually come from the ground, with minimal processing. For your own well-being, do a search for people on the benefits of Himalayan salt. All 84 trace minerals are ESSENTIAL for every operating system in your body. Trace means even the tiniest amount. If you don’t have it, you (and your animals) will die. Don’t let conventional medical information deter you from what your body needs. The word “salary” comes from the Greek word “sal.” In biblical times, people knew that they would die without the essential minerals in NATURAL salt, so they were actually paid wages in salt. There is always much more information than the initial Google search, no matter what the subject. Go deep, and find Truth. 😉
It does not surprise me that SmartPak published the mineral comparison chart, because to people who have not researched the subject, it appears on the surface that SmartPak is a better choice. (Great advertising from one who spent 18 years in the industry!) Check out the measurements across the top of the chart. They are measured in mg (milligrams) which is why the TRACE minerals are not shown on the chart. Trace minerals are measured in micrograms, thus explaining the meaning of “trace.” Just because a smaller amount is required for even marginal health, do not underestimate the critical importance of trace amounts of essential cell salts aka “minerals.” It is also a good choice to educate yourself before publishing articles that could mislead people into thinking they are taking good care of their pets, only to have develop an easily preventable condition or disease. Google Dr. Joel Wallach and get a wealth of information of how important trace elements are. He started off as a vet and was employed by Mutual Of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” doing autopsies of large wild animals. In every single case, he discovered the death could have been prevented by adding simple and inexpensive trace minerals, just like the ones in Himalayan salt. The fact that the salt comes from Pakistan? If you look at a map you will clearly see the Himalayan Mountains border Pakistan. I am a health coach & certified nutritionist, and use nothing but Himalayan salt. There is so much information contrary to the shallow opinion of this article that can provide more information to convince your brain that whenever there is a choice to be made between science and nature, nature kicks as* every time. If you and your pets use products as close to nature as possible, you will be doing both of you a great service. And when all else fails….let the horse decide!