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Re: [RC] electrolytes - Heidi Smith

The biggest problem I see with administering electrolytes is that there
seems to be an attitude that giving more electrolytes will make up for
riding too fast. I believe some horses can compete at the top w/o
electrolytes, I also believe that it is wise to  replace salts that are
lost
during competition with electrolyte dosing, BUT - if the horse is ridden
beyond it's natural ability, or beyond it's level of training and
preparation, then no amount of electrolytes or probiotics or carbos will
help the horse. In fact, they might actually cause more harm than good.
You
can't get back what has already been lost (electrolytes, glycogen) w/o
adequate rest.

Bingo, Steph.

And I might add that one has to take into account the differences between
individual horses, the differences in climate, weather changes, etc. in
determining whether to lyte, and how much to lyte if you do.

I will preface this statement by saying that I actively select for horses
that are extremely efficient eaters and drinkers, and that I also select
from family lines that are already proven to be able to compete without
lytes.  That said--I have yet to lyte a horse in nearly 6000 miles of
competition.  Some of that has been slow, but a fair amount has been
actively racing.  In that time, I've had only two metabolic pulls, both back
in the 70s, and in retrospect both due to ignorance in feeding practices.
I've ridden in SOME rides where humidity combined with heat was a factor
(and a lot of HOT rides without the really extreme humidity).  And my
horses' bloodwork, when done, has been good.

As a ride vet, I HAVE treated horses that have been either over-lyted or
incorrectly lyted, if you prefer.  It CAN and DOES happen.  Maybe it doesn't
happen in the SE--but it sure happens up here where it is cooler.

E-lytes have a profound physiological effect--and I think one should try to
understand HOW they work in the body before one goes overboard on
administering them.  They can be profound both in their lack and in their
overabundance.

Heidi


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Replies
RE: [RC] electrolytes, Steph Teeter