Electrolytes - The Horse Forum
  • 4 Post By phantomhorse13
  • 1 Post By Eole
  • 1 Post By equifix
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-23-2014, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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Could anyone advise me on how best to use electrolytes, I'm slightly confused as there seems to be a lot of different information out there, what is a good brand to use as sodium/chloride phos/mag content seems to vary so much? Would you feed a separate mineral supplement or just rely on what's in the hard feed ration? Many thanks
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-23-2014, 09:28 AM
Green Broke
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Originally Posted by equifix View Post
Could anyone advise me on how best to use electrolytes, I'm slightly confused as there seems to be a lot of different information out there, what is a good brand to use as sodium/chloride phos/mag content seems to vary so much? Would you feed a separate mineral supplement or just rely on what's in the hard feed ration?
Unfortunately, this is similar to asking "what is the best saddle" in that the answer is going to vary for each individual horse and, to some extent, parameters like weather and terrain.

We have 3 actively competing horses and all 3 get a different elyte protocol.

Dream gets Lyte Now. She always gets dosed starting the night before the ride, the morning of the ride, each hold during the ride, and at least once after the finish. Depending on the season, she may get pre-loaded starting the night before we leave to trailer to the ride and then after the ride until we have returned home. She also may or may not be dosed mid-loop during the ride, depending on the weather and her behavior/recoveries.

Sultan gets a double dose of Enduramax mixed with ProCMC, starting at least the night before the ride, the morning of the ride, every 10 miles during the ride, and at least once after the finish. He also may get more before or after the ride, depending on the weather/recoveries.

George gets a double dose of Enduramax mixed with ProCMC in the same way as Sultan. George also gets dosed with No Salt (for the potassium) every 10 miles.

If you are interested, I can explain the reasoning behind what each one is getting (or you can let your eyes glaze over and stop reading now ).

Dream generally has excellent recoveries and is a moderate sweater. Lyte Now is thought to be a relatively fast-acting elyte, in that it gets into their system fast but doesn't necessarily hang around forever. So its enough to boost her system but not overkill (potentially upsetting her stomach).

Sultan sweats like a fiend. Originally he was just dosed during holds, but we noticed that as the ride would go on, he would take longer to pulse down. We suspected that even though he is a great eater and drinker, he was simply sweating so much that he was getting behind. So we tried elytes every 10 miles, and so far that seems to have done the trick, keeping his recoveries consistent.

George also sweats like a fiend, so the thinking we applied to Sultan also applied to him. Dosing every 10 miles helped, but he was still tending to take longer as the ride wore on, esp during hot, humid rides. George is the heaviest muscled of all our horses and one of the ride vets suggested trying an additional potassium supplement. Bingo! With that extra potassium, his recoveries have been consistent.

In terms of normal mineral supplementation, we have a couple brown trace mineral blocks out in the pasture with them at home. During the rides, we don't worry about additional supplementation. They get all the grass hay they want and their normal grain ration outside of the ride, and during the ride they get all the hay they want (we offer both the usual grass and alfalfa) and grain of some sort (how much and what depends on the horse).

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-23-2014, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Well, I can tell you what I do, but answers will vary depending on individual horse, its condition, climate in which you live, and weather when you ride.

My horses have free access to a basic salt block. Horses don't balance their own needs in other minerals, so I have a ration balancer: a supplement of vitamins and minerals that complements my hay (analyzed). For example, my area has NO selenium in the soil, so none in the hay, so I have to give it in my feed in proper amount.

Electrolytes. I use Perform 'n Win. Reason: it tastes good, horses like it and it's mild enough that you cannot overdose your horse on it. I preload the night before we travel, once or twice (depending on weather) the day we travel and one scoop (2oz) per 1-2 hours of riding on ride day. One more before I travel back home. We are in a very humid climate during ride season, so horse are sweating a lot.

One of our ride vets wrote about it recently on OCTRA Green Beans FB page, here is the link, although I'm not sure it works for "outsiders" from the group:

Then there is Karen Chaton's blog that has good info:
Electrolytes « Karen’s Musings & Endurance Ride Stuff

When you use electrolytes, remember that you need to have regular access to water for your horse, that's the whole idea: replenish lost electrolytes and keep well hydrated.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-24-2014, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both so much for replying and for this wealth of information and the links to facebook, it makes much more sense hearing your practical experiences than just reading a content analysis and amounts of scoops to feed depending on work load!
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-24-2014, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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My horse was on electrolytes but (bad horse parent alert) I'm not sure which one, or the dosage. In all fairness, he was in another state at the time. xD

I think a lot of it depends on the horse's workload, and on the climate where you are riding.

...Wow, I'm no help at all xD

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-26-2014, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Crestwood, KY
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I am pretty new to endurance, far from an expert, but I'll share what I do anyway. I did a lot of research, and really wanted to have a good elyte, since I ride QH types and one of my horses sweats a ton. The preloaded syringes are soooo expensive, so I make my own with:
Crushed Tums powder (for the calcium and gastric buffer - similar to ProCMC or Nutrient Buffer, but cheap!)
and chase with a syringe of Aloe Vera juice (they seem to go back to eating and drinking faster if I rinse out the nasty taste, plus Aloe is a gastric buffer)

Preload my own syringes for how ever many I think I might need. I'm still working out my protocols for when and how often I dose. It depends on the horse, weather, behavior, and recoveries.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-30-2014, 12:08 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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I use this rule of thumb: one ounce of electrolytes per 10 miles of competition. I use a little less for colder rides and more for hot rides.

I dose the night before (one ounce) and double dose before I ride out in the morning (two ounces.) I dose for the first time on the trail (I carry LyteNow tubes) after around 20 miles, and then maybe again after she drinks really well, or I feel her running out of gas.

Baby Girl is an easy horse. She doesn't sweat much, her pulse drops like a rock, and she rarely over heats.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-30-2014, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: california
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I have used apple dex . I use it when my horses act colicky. I dont endurance ride, and it was just a scoop to a bucket . If it is extremely hot here, and the horses seem dehydrated i will give it to them .
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chloride , electrolytes , magnesium , minerals , sodium

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