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Discuss Licking dirt and metal?? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

My new mare arrived from KY on Monday and as soon as she got out ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ Callie's Mom's Avatar
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    Licking dirt and metal??

    My new mare arrived from KY on Monday and as soon as she got out of the trailer all she wanted to do was lick the dirt and once she got into her new stall all she wanted to do is lick the metal on her stall bars. Do these behaviors point to anything specific that she may be lacking in her diet?
    Her previous owner said she was fed half grass half alfalfa and she was also on pasture... I saw the hay she had been eating and it was really yucky - looked like cattle hay/straw.
    I started her right away on good quality meadow grass and alfalfa 3x per day as well as about 2 lbs of LMF low NSC stage 1 (I had it on hand ) dressed with forco (one scoop) (she had some diarrhea in the trailer) and red rock salt (loose) 1 scoop. Her manure was solid and looked fine in less than 1 day of arriving... I also dewormed her today - she was last dewormed 11/27 with Ivermectin.

    So why is she licking everything and is what I'm feeding her going to help/be adequate? Oh and in case it matters... she is a coming 4 yr old Rocky Mtn horse maybe 800 lbs and 14.3 hh.

    here she is upon arriving to my house


    thanks.
    2008 RMHA Mare - "Polly"/ 2004 TWH Gelding - "Java"

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    Senior Member RoozerCruizer's Avatar
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    Subbing, I have the same issue. Beautiful horse btw

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    My first thought would be ulcers, but it could be any number of things.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teekin
    I am NOT a 7 toed climbing tree sloth. I know this, I have total conviction in this. It does not matter how many times you call me a tree sloth, a ****** tree sloth, get your friends to call me a *Bleeeeeeeeeep* Tree Sloth

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    I would suggest having your vet draw blood and check vitamin and mineral levels so you know what is going on with this mare. Hopefully all is ok and you just have a mouthy horse who has to lick and taste everything. She's a beautiful girl--is her color chocolate?
    ....I'm sorry to say you are setting yourself up for total failure trying to keep this lot on topic --Maisie
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    Senior Member StarPattern's Avatar
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    My first instinct would be an iron deficiency, but she could just be mouthy.

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    Senior Member Cheryl D's Avatar
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    I have a Rocky too and she's on a orchard/alfalfa w/beet pulp,flax etc along with California Trace as a mineral supplement. She will lick the bars but only after she eats her supplement...as if it gets stuck on her teeth. She doesn't do it any other time and I have never seen her eat dirt. What farm did your mare come from...she looks like she could be closely related to my girl.

    Want to add....my girl is mouthy as well...always has been.
    Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

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    Are you giving her free choice minerals and salt? She could just be mouthy....my horse likes to lick everything.
    regards,
    from the Crazy Horse Obsessed Woman......

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." Stuart Chase

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    I would let her have free choice vit/mineral supplement and loose salt. If she gobbles it up restrict it for the first few days to allow her craving to subside. I think every horse should have access to free choice vit/mineral supplement. There are many on the market specific to areas. Seems every new horse to my my place gobbles up mineral for a few days and then it's just a lick or two a day from then on. I don't like the ones with iron as the iron can inhibit the absorption of others.

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    Senior Member+ Callie's Mom's Avatar
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    huntseat - ok thanks

    prariesongks - I plan to have blood drawn when I get all my horses shots done at the end of this month or first of April... and she is chocolate/flaxen

    starpattern-I have an iron supplement that I can give her as well... wouldnt hurt to boost it until I have blood work done

    cherylD- I have only seen her licking the bars after/while she eats so maybe it isnt too strange. Its been raining cats and dogs so I dont know if she has been licking the dirt anymore - I haven't seen her do it since the day she came. She came from Freedom Farms in East Bernstadt KY... she is by Cedar hill sam (son of sewells sam) and out of a nick mare. where did your rocky come from?

    chow - I give her red rock salt (loose) in her supplement bowl and she has access 24/7 to a salt and mineral block

    whoa- thanks

    ... She is oral as are most Rockies She loves to lick your hands and everything around her. Being young still this may still be a baby habit of exploring her new world...??
    2008 RMHA Mare - "Polly"/ 2004 TWH Gelding - "Java"

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    Senior Member Cheryl D's Avatar
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    I knew I saw a resemblance...Thru Dock on your sire's side. My girl is a Choco Dock daughter born at Triple S Mountain horses in Oregon (somehow they were affiliated with Van Bert Farms in KY where her sire still stands). Long story but I found her purely by accident in 2006 as a coming 3 year old. I was her 3rd owner since leaving her foaling farm. You will love the breed. I grew up with every horse breed under the sun and other than a gaited Morgan my Mom had for some years...no one has come close in temperament or personality. No the licking doesn't go away...LOL My girl licks still at 8 years old...my pants, my sweatshirt, my arm the whole time I was teaching her the Spanish Walk underhand...yeah, I accept it as just part of her personality.
    Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

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