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Re: RC: SERA convention notes - long

Thank you so much for doing this!!  I didn't take notes (it was too early
in the morning for me <BG>) but I did pay close attention, and burned a
few things in my mind that I'll try to add to what you wrote:

> 2. Offer small doses of E. to encourage drinking. 
> Don't fall into the trap of not giving E. because 
> the horse isn't drinking - that's when they need 
> them the most - but in smaller doses with a 
> chance to drink inbetween doses.

I thought this was really interesting.  She explained that, particularly
on the first loop, the horse is losing a lot of water *and* a lot of salt,
so the salinity of his blood is staying about equal, which means no thirst
response.  Thirst is only triggered when the blood has a
higher-than-normal concentration of salt.  Horses don't drink the first
loop cuz they're not thirsty -- the salinity level in their blood is about
normal, it's just that the volume of water & salt is low.  If you give a
small dose of 'lytes at this time, it will moderately increase the
salinity of the blood and trigger the thirst response.  It makes so much
sense when explained this way!

> 3. Continue E. for 2 days after a ride - you can 
> pass with all A's and the horse look good and 
> then crash in the pasture the next day - it's due 
> to the fact that the E. are still being figured 
> out in the horse's body even after the ride is 
> over.

I've never heard that before, but it definitely makes sense.

> 3. Don't use human supplements for horses or vice 
> versa.

I really enjoyed her explanation of how horse sweat is so very different
from human sweat.  Humans have the ability to sweat nearly pure water in
times of stress, to conserve 'lytes, whereas the horse's sweat is
extremely salty, with up to 50 times the concentration of potassium.  So
lots of potassium is lost in the horse's sweat, which explains why they
need soooooo much more 'lyting than humans doing comparable exercise.

> Fat is the best source of energy - stay away from 
> high protein, high carb diets for horses - so 
> just say no to alfafa and decrease the grain - 
> use beet pulp, rice bran, fat to augument caloric 
> needs.

I also caught this:  she suggested that bringing your horse to a ride with
a good layer of body fat means he's ahead of the game and will do better
than a too-thin horse.  Just like SusanG has been telling us all along. :)

> He then asked us for suggestions on ways to 
> decrease the time we stand in line at a check - 
> that's exactly what our horses don't need to be 
> doing - especially early on when the lines tend 
> to be the longest.

I thought this was a really interesting thought, too.  He mentioned that
in human footraces, ultras and such, a crew person can "stand in" for the
runner in line, and he wondered whether we could do that at VCs for the
horses -- have a crew member stand in line while the horse is able to eat
& drink & rest, or hand-walk him to keep him from stiffening up, and call
for the horse to come up when it's about his turn in line.  Obviously this
wouldn't work at all rides because of the physical layout, but I think
Peggy Clark said they might try this at Oconee in March, just to try it
out.  He also suggested "taking a number" like when you go to the license
commissioner to get a tag for the used car you just bought. :)  
Interesting ideas.

Overall I thought the seminars were really interesting and informative.
They are both very good speakers, too, so it was easy to listen to them.
I vote we give them each two hours to talk next year! lol

Glenda & Lakota
Mobile, AL
AERC # M18819 & H27310
SE Region

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