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Re: [RC] [RC] electrolytes - Heidi Smith


Hi Heidi,
6000 competitive miles!Dr Heidi Smith!No electrolyte!I am thoroughly and
utterly confused!
This is interesting.Can you expand further.I mean a horse is a horse
whether
it is ridden in Montana,down in Florida or inKuala Lumpur.Accepted that
there exist individual variation in sweating and ability to conserve
internal millieu.But 6000 competitive miles are still 6000 competitive
miles.I will probably be more conservative with my electrolyting going by
your experience.

Well, one of my points that people seem to miss is that no, NOT all horses
are created equal.  And although my opinion about what should happen with
regard to those that NEED major lytes to do this sport isn't popular, I'd
submit that those who do are on the ragged edge and perhaps are not well
suited to the sport--and should find another discipline to which they are
better suited.

You also have to temper the use of lytes with your riding conditions.  But
the main thing I'm trying to get across is that dumping in huge amounts of
lytes (causing a MAJOR hypertonicity in the stomach and small intestine,
even if only briefly) is a practice that has hazards as well as benefits,
and that the astute rider needs to first actively assess WHY his horse needs
lytes instead of just arbitrarily giving them, and secondly will understand
the hazards if the lytes ARE indeed needed and will take steps to offset
those hazards.

I think that if the horse is not eating, the lytes should not go in.
Period.  Slow down.  Stop.  Do whatever it takes to get the horse eating
again.  But don't dump lytes in on an empty stomach.  Also, lytes SHOULD be
administered (if they ARE going to be administered) in a substance to at
least dilute them somewhat--applesauce, yogurt, whatever tickles your
horse's fancy.  But NOT straight!  And third, if it ain't hot and humid,
think again!  You give them to replace lytes lost in sweat.  If it is 45 out
and raining, your horse is NOT losing many to sweat!  So instead of giving
more to "make" him drink more, back off!  He likely is packing enough lytes
in his hindgut (PROVIDED you fed him properly and he has a good gut fill) to
get him through, and he isn't going to drink for the thermoregulation, so
don't force it.  If in doubt, slow down!  (And if you didn't feed him right,
he's in trouble in terms of calories and fluids anyway, so you shouldn't be
running up front if that is the case, either!)

Heidi


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Replies
Re: [RC] [RC] electrolytes, Nik Isahak Abdullah