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Current to Wed Jul 23 17:42:27 GMT 2003
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  • - Maggie Mieske
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  • - Tim Worden

    Re: [RC] Tie up Question Response - suendavid

    > > Firstly, for her natural weight she is built husky for an arab.  She has =
    > > pretty good conformation, and nice feet. However, her hindquarters are a =
    > > bit larger and seem to be a bit more muscular than what I see in other ar=
    > > abs in endurance.  I'm worried she may have some "tie up" episodes if I d=
    > > on't care for her properly.  She hasn't done that yet-but I'm wondering i=
    > > f she is higher risk for it due to her build.  I take good care of her an=
    > > d do watch her closely.  She gets good quality hay and is wormed and trim=
    > > med regularly.
    Well, here's my opinion.  If she's purebred Arab, then despite the stockier 
    build, she probably still has a higher percentile of slow twitch versus fast 
    twitch muscle fibers, and thus is less likely to tie up than a breed like a 
    quarter horse or draft type.  Having said that, there are a lot of different 
    causes for tying up---dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and lactic acidosis 
    and glycogen depletion are biggies without getting into specific weird things 
    like hormones, viruses and such.  BY FAR, you will be way ahead of the game if 
    you just pay attention to keeping your horse well hydrated, appropriately 
    cooled or warm as conditions warrant, well electrolyted and well fed with 
    plenty of forage and small amounts of grain throughout the ride. 
    I agree with Roger that monitoring vitamin E and selenium status is a good 
    idea, although there are several differing opinions about how much daily 
    vitamin E is utilized or necessary.  Some data from creditable sources 
    suggests that there is no additional benefit above about 1000 IU per day---on 
    the other hand, it's not toxic at 5000 IU and other sources feel it is 
    beneficial, so no worries feeding that much per day.  If you have accress to 
    green forage, that's a terrific source of vitamin E, A and other antioxidants 
    as well.
    I also agree that some horses do require alot more selenium than the 1 mg per 
    day recommended by NRC---one source has mentioned horses in their practice 
    area needed more than 10 mg per day to maintain normal levels, others a lot 
    less.  However, selenium levels in forage really do vary widely, and while 
    it's not all that easy to cause selenium toxicity without really trying, it's 
    worth monitoring via serum levels.  Not a perfect test, but fairly useful.
    Unless you are currently seeing a problem that needs addressing, I would just 
    ride and condition carefully, and pay attention to hydration, etc.  When my 
    research group was collecting endurance ride data, we sure saw an awful lot of 
    stockily-built Arabs that did just awesome without additional hand-holding.  
    Granted, those rides were out West with fairly low humidity, but still long, 
    hot rides.
    Good luck!
    Susan G
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