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RE: [SPAM] [RC] Electrolytes - heidi

It was pointed out to me at the last ride (my first! *grin*) that the horse 
needs it's electrolytes replenished when doing long distances, especially in 
warm weather.  I already knew this.  But what I didn't know is what to use, 
and that there are electrolytes mixes specifically for endurance horses!  

What is unfortunately NOT pointed out often enough is that electrolytes are 
present in food (especially in forages) and that horses that eat well consume 
more than enough electrolytes to replenish all but the worst of electrolyte 
losses.  My best advice is not to start experimenting with e-lyte mixes until 
you have ridden a few rides at a moderate pace and have given your horse an 
opportunity to allow mild deficits to encourage him to eat and drink better on 
his own.  

Most of the "hitting the wall" that is popularly attributed to lack of e-lytes 
is really due to lack of energy.  Allowing some time for your horse to get used 
to the excitement of the sport and to learn to eat well in spite of it is key.  
Horses that eat well tend to drink well, too.

We use NO e-lyte supplements in our horses, and many top riders do not use 
them, either, except perhaps in extreme situations.  The French--noted for 
their international successes--use few or no e-lyte supplements, but instead 
rely upon good horse selection, good training, and good management.  

While there are a few horses that truly need supplementation in most 
conditions, and many that benefit from supplementation in extreme conditions, 
you need to first get to know your horse before you start using supplements.  
Electrolytes are NOT completely innocuous--they CAN be overdone and cause 
problems.  So take your time, ride a few more rides, see how your horse does as 
you learn good management skills and your horse learns the ropes--and then make 
decisions about whether or when to use e-lytes.



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