One of the most popular questions we get when talking to new Redmond Rock customers is “How long does the Rock last?” It’s also one of the most difficult to answer concretely.
The Redmond Rock is packed full of 60+ different natural trace minerals. The majority of these minerals are not available in the salt blocks that you buy in your local feed store. Redmond Rocks have been buried under soil and clay for millions of years, making them very dense—much denser than conventional pressed blocks. For this reason, pound for pound, Redmond Rocks should last longer than a pressed block—even though the mineral content of the Rock means your horse will probably end up using it more than a pressed block. (That’s a good thing that we’ll get back to.)
When you bring your lucky horse their first Redmond Rock, you’ll find they will likely devour it pretty quickly. Some people tell us their horse finishes it in a week or two. If that’s true for your horse, don’t be alarmed. This is normal at first. Usually, their consumption will start to slow after the first or second rock, when they’ve loaded up on the trace minerals their body might have been craving. Give your horse plenty of fresh water and let them enjoy it at their pace.
Following the initial mineral-loading period, each horse will consume the rock at a different pace. Just like people, their appetite for it will vary based on several factors. Some things that could affect it are changing of the seasons, temperature changes, workload, training regimen, traveling, feed changes, water changes, boredom, and stress. (Yeah, your horse stress-eats, too.) Unlike people, most horses are very good at self-regulating for the changes in their life so long as the right tools are provided to them.
As we said, it’s a hard question to answer concretely. The best way to find out how long a Redmond Rock will last in your case is to keep it in front of your horse for at least a month. By then you should be able to get a feel for your horse’s appetite for it.
If you feel that your horse is spending a lot of time and effort licking these rocks and the consumption levels have not slowed, you could start feeding the Redmond Rock crushed and mixed into their feed to help them get the salt and minerals they are craving faster. Or if you find that your horse is not consuming as much salt as he/she should, adding the Redmond Rock crushed to their feed is a great move. This will ensure your horse is getting the salt, minerals and electrolytes they need. Think of it as the horse version of sneaking vegetables into brownie recipes for your kids (except it actually tastes good to them). A full size horse (900-1200lbs) should be getting 2-3 ounces of salt per day. These levels can be even higher if the horse is under a heavy workload.
Taking all these variables into account, we would say that a 3lb Redmond Rock on a rope should last your horse between 1 and 6 weeks. We really narrowed that down didn’t we? Keep in mind that a horse not getting enough salt is more of an issue than a horse that is getting too much salt, and the main cause for colic is dehydration. The more salt your horse eats, the more water they’ll drink. The Redmond Rock will give them salt plus a variety of trace minerals and electrolytes that contribute to proper hydration, reducing the chances of making that dreaded call to the vet, and increasing the chances of having a happy, healthy horse.