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Re: Electrolyting for Endurance Competition

> electrolytes into applesauce or yogurt I do well to get it all into the
> syringe.  I don't want to have to fix 2 syringes for every dose.

That's fine.  Just use the homemade or use a different brand of the
commercial stuff.  I should have better defined in my previous post that the
homemade endurance formulas seem to work fine.  What I meant was that if
people are going to use any commercial brand of e'lytes at a ride, use one
of the endurance-specific formulas, not one of the general powders like
Apple-Dex.  But I'm just fine with the homemade formulas, as long as they
provide sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium and a bit of magnesium.

>  I'm *far* from being one who likes to figure out percentages, etc. but
> what I do remember from one of the convention seminars was talk that the
> electrolyte needed to contain glucose to go with the electrolyte and the
> commercial provided that whereas the home made ones didn't.  Then, she
> showed a chart (If this was your talk you can correct me) that showed the
> horse's glucose levels.  There was one big spike and she said, "That's
> just where he ate some hay". horse eats hay too...and he grabs

That wasn't my talk, that was probably Gayle's---but, yes, e'lytes (well,
sodium and chloride, not the others) do need glucose to be transported, but
you're absolutely right, glucose can come from places other than sugar in
the syringe.  Hay, beet pulp mash, some grain, grass along the trail,
whatever.  The equine GI tract doesn't move along so rapidly that you need
to give a bite to eat RIGHT THEN AND THERE---a few bites along the trail are
sufficient for the e'lyte transport, and snacking your way through a ride is
a really good way to maintain hydration and gut motility, too.  But if a
rider isn't taking the time to stop and eat more often than just at vet
checks, then I would be a little more concerned about it.  I just don't
think you can stress enough the value of letting horses eat their way down
the trail.

> own recipes.  One more thing.  I haven't really tried the dosing 2 days
> before the ride thing, but it seems to me that a few people that I know
> who do that are often complaining that their horse won't eat at a ride.

It might be that they're dosing in one or two 'big' doses rather than a
bunch of little doses.  Sarah Ralston and I were talking about this last
week (I flew back on a whim to visit and watch her do the NJ 100 CTR, which
she finished and won the Ltwt division, btw).  If your stomach is empty and
you get a big bunch of salt in there, it does cause an upset tummy, and I
can really see a horse not wanting to eat because he has stomach cramps.
Rather than big doses, try suggesting a couple of smaller doses, while the
horses is already eating.  If the horse eats in the trailer, great.  If not,
then wait until he gets to the ride and is eating before you dose him.  I've
worked with a fair number of people that have reported the horse will
actually eat better if you just avoid salt on an empty stomach.  Anyway,
give it a try.

> improvement with the good commercial mix.  The only difference I had was
> that it wanted to clump up into hard little pebbles in the tub and
> sometimes stopped up my syringe causing one of my rare violent temper
> tantrums. >blush<

Karen Chaton has a trick that she puts a cup each of e'lyte, applesauce and
Optamax into the blender, whizzes it up, lets it sit for ten minutes, then
repeats two more times before it goes into the syringe.  She says it really
takes care of the lumps.  I really hate those, too. :-)

> I don't recommend this to anyone, but for what it's worth, I give
> electrlolytes starting about an hour before the ride starts, then every
> hour after it starts.  Home made Ridgeway recipe using the good ol film
> cannister scoop.  I may try the night before thing and slowly back it up
> but if the appetite suffers I'm going to stop.

That sounds like a pretty good plan to me.  I think the key point is
starting before the ride (not 20 miles into it) and doing it consistently in
small doses.  And absolutely, always play around with a method to make sure
it works for you---I have yet to find a horse that will actually read a text
book. :-)))

Susan G

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