Electrolytes for horses... Who uses them? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Electrolytes for horses... Who uses them?

I have noticed my new horse Henry sweats easily even at rest, walking around calmly in the paddock etc. Where my Arab does not sweat at all. Just wondering if anyone has the same problem and if they feed any electrolytes during the summer months?

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post #2 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 05:19 AM
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nope, I just make sure my horse has access to a salt lick, that way they can balance it themselves.
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 06:18 AM
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pretty much, I leave out a mineral block. Comercial horse feed usually has minerals in it. I do preload electrolytes prior to heavy work and give him a bit during endurance rides.
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 11:03 AM
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Commercially prepared electrolytes are nothing more than salt and a few minerals, mostly Ca, P, K and Mg. Don't spend money on a special electrolyte just make sure he has a good quality vitamin and mineral blend plus salt available to him at all times.
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post #5 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 11:25 AM
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Funny story. A mare I used to own had a trainer that would give her a powerade at the end of her workout. Not for any special reason, just as a treat because she found that she liked them, but she would say "It's good for her, electrolytes". Other than that my horses have always had mineral salt licks.
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 07:29 PM
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Lots of racehorse trainers use electrolytes.

However, a race horse would be considered a "heavy" work load, compared to a pleasure horse.

I could also see high level competition horses or ranch horses also benefitting from some electroytes, just to make sure they didn't get dehydrated, since they are more likely to sweat enough salt out in a day, that just licking the block would take a while to replenish what they lost.

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post #7 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 07:50 PM
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I tend to use them when I'm away from home. Horses aren't inclined to drink water that doesn't taste like that at home. Adding some electrolytes (and some favor to the water) makes them more likely to drink normal amounts of weird-tasting water.

I sometimes use them during periods of very heavy work in the summer, but only when I know my horse is going to be losing a lot of water for several days in a row.

I mainly use them when I'm away at distance rides, where horses are ridden 30 or more miles a day. We stay on the trail for six or more hours, so it is important the horses drink the "unappealing" water on the trails from creeks and puddles. My horse is a very picky drinker and will not touch creek water unless she is very thirsty.

There are some people who say excessive electrolyte use can cause stomach ulcers. Never researched this personally.
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 07:59 PM
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i do at shows and trail rides also before them also just a few days before. just so they drink.
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-12-2011, 08:31 PM
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I use them during the summer.
I don't think you can go wrong with them, better safe then sorry.
I feed my mare feeds that are very well balanced with all the things she needs but I also leave a min block and salt block out for her all year round. I also from time to time pour a powerade in her water, I do this not only for the electrolytes but sometimes I have trouble getting her to drink away from home and this is not a good thing for a barrel horse to do at shows but ever since I started adding the powerade to her water at home and away from home she drinks with no issues.(tricks her to think its water from home)
Anyways, most electrolyte supplements are all the same no matter the brand or the price, but it would never hurt, and in the end I would rather feel like I was trying to do all I could do to keep my horse healthy then to not.
As far as the free choice blocks, although I use them all year round to me I prefer a feed through because I know my horse is getting it on a daily basis. My mare use to not show any interest in the free choice block until I put another horse in the pasture with her that loved them.
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-13-2011, 09:24 AM
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all electrolytes are not created equal, there are some that should never be giving to horses under heavy long term work, many commercial electrolytes and especially pastes are designed for illness or horses that work very hard for a very short time and build up acidic conditions.
A long trail or endurance ride horses sweat alot and blood becomes alkaline, one of the above electrolyte blends would be more harm than good and even dangerous. NEVER EVER give elctrolyte containing bicarbonate to an endurance horse.
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