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RE: [RC] Electrolytes - heidi

"Forage" includes grasses and hays.  Grass hay is a great e-lyte source.  
Sounds like your girl has the right idea--eat, eat, eat and drink, drink, 
drink!  As long as she is doing that, no worries!

As to the "B" on gut sounds--nothing wrong with a "B"!  And yes, it is likely 
due to fatigue and to less available energy, rather than to an e-lyte problem.  
The way to improve the gut sounds is to stop and eat.  :-)  A good plan at and 
before rides is to let her have her grass hay free choice--on ride day she is 
"running" on what she ate about 48 hours before.  Let her start filling that 
hindgut all she will with grass hay in that 48 hours pre-ride, and that will 
help her out a lot.

You will also see improvement as her fitness improves and she gets used to what 
she is being asked to do.

Sounds like you did just fine for your first time out.  :-)

I wouldn't worry about buying e-lytes at this point--what she needs if she gets 
a bit down is more food, and if she will eat more hay, that is great.  Sounds 
like she is willing.  If she "needs e-lytes" she needs food even more--so just 
take some extra time at a vet check and let her eat more hay, for the time 


OK, so we have only done one at a "longer" distance - 25 miles.  So far her 
appetite was JUST FINE!!! (I like to call her "Chunky Monkey", it suits her 
looks and personality!) She drank OK on the trail and ate everything in front 
of her - just grass hay, some apples and alfalfa pellets for treats (at 
halfway hold and after ride).  Gotlands can get fat on thistles and air - so 
they are on a pretty restricted diet - usually just grass hay, and careful of 
amount of grazing she does - the breeder had a mare founder on too much grass 
- and so is very careful.  She ate probably equivalent hay to 1-2 flakes 
(from a small square bale). 

She sweated a lot, so that is why they recommended giving her some 
electrolytes (they being other riders, and vet said OK to give since you 
cannot overdose on electrolytes, will just excrete extra - so long as is 
otherwise fine!)  She wasn't at all tired, just wet and hungry and thirsty 
after the ride.  Her gut sounds decreased to a B after the ride (A's at 
beginning and hold).  What does this indicate to you? Tiredness, therefore 
gut shutting down, not lack of e-lytes?

I do understand you can overdo electroytes, especially if dehydrated.  What 
other damage can high levels cause?

You said there are electrolytes in forage, are there still high enough levels 
in hay?  Or is it stronger in grass?

So, would a good plan be to not buy any, ride a few rides, see how she does, 
and borrow some if needed on a ride?  Are they that expensive?  Or should I 
have some on hand, just in case she might need?  My personality is a "just in 
case" kinda girl, I'd rather spend a bit extra, and have something on hand (I 
hate mooching!)  And if I never need, that's just fine with me!


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