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This is a discussion on Electrolytes? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    11-18-2009, 09:09 PM

Would there be any reason to give electrolytes to a non-working horse in the winter?

This was on a list of things my horse's former owners were giving him on a regular basis, but in my experience, electrolytes were given to a horse in hot weather and/or after a heavy workout that resulted in a good sweat. They are, by nature, designed to replace those things lost in such situations.

Basically I want to know why I'm giving my horse a supplement, not just because someone else was doing it a certain way. If there's no benefit to him now, then I can better spend my money on a good all-around vitamin supplement.

If it makes any difference, this horse is coming off a neglect situation. He was pretty skinny this spring/summer, and while still underweight when I bought him a month ago, he is now thriving and nearly at 100% of his normal weight.

Any thoughts?
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    11-18-2009, 10:44 PM
Many horse decrease their water intake during the winter because they don't care for very cold water.

The electrolytes keep them drinking no matter what - which reduces the chance of colic.

All of my horses get electrolytes in the winter to keep them hydrated, whereas in the summer only the horses in work get them because the others drink plenty because of the heat/sun alone. If he was my horse, I would leave him on them. They can only help :)
    11-18-2009, 10:52 PM
As already mentioned, alot of horses drink less in the winter. My mare is one of those horses, we would go to the barn to find her bucket still full in the morning.

I know some people will give them to their horses on show days in the summer as well.
    11-19-2009, 12:05 PM
Ok, works for me! I'll pick some up this weekend. Thanks for the replies and helping me to understand the "why!"
    11-20-2009, 06:39 PM
Ok - not to threadjack - but do you use it daily in the winter? My horses are good drinkers so should I add electrolytes or just leave them as is?

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