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RE: [RC] Elyte "treat" -- overall effectiveness - Susan E. Garlinghouse, DVM

If you are going to hand out elyte cookies during a ride, there are probably some better alternatives than this particular one---this cookie is pretty darn high in sugar, fine if your horse doesn’t turn into an idiot and you’re really intent on going the high-soluble-carb route in a big way.  Not so great if you’re wanting to feed something other than mostly sugar.  It’s also kind of wonky in its elyte components and ratios, lacking in magnesium and calcium, etc, etc etc.  But at least there’s no bicarb in it.  Finally, you’ve have to feed a pretty impressive amount to make any noticeable dent in the electrolyte deficit---something in the neighborhood of ten pounds an hour based on a 5 liter per hour sweat rate just to replace the sodium.  I suspect at ten pounds an hour, the company will be putting you on their Christmas card list.  Keep in mind that also means you’d have fed your horse over four pounds of sugar an hour as well.  Yippee ki-ayyy, cowgirl, hope you buckled your seat belt.


Without opening up the elyte-or-not can of worms again (and I have no objection to more discussions, but there are lots of comments ad infinitum in the archives), handing out these treats is probably not going to go an especially long ways towards offsetting the electrolyte loss accumulated during endurance exercise.  On the other hand, it’s also not likely to cause any electrolyte-associated problems, either, because you’re providing it as a ‘trickle’ of little bites, as opposed to a big syringe full of goop.  If your horse likes the treats, then by all means, hand them out during your ride.  It won’t add any appreciable elytes to the fray, but might keep his mind in the frame of this-is-all-just-a-25-mile-vegetarian-tour-so-what’s-for-lunch.  


There are some recipes for elyte cookies in the archives, you might consider making up a batch of those to carry along.  My horse is always happy to share my granola bar with me.  And her idea of “share” is I’ll-eat-the-entire-granola-bar-and-you-can-have-the-wrapper.  Bad horse.



Susan Garlinghouse, DVM




From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Beth Leggieri
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2008 6:22 AM
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC] Elyte "treat" -- overall effectiveness


Am curious about the contents of an electrolyte "treat" that is on the market.  It is marketed as a "tasty reward" rather than a bona fide elyte.  This product was not developed with the needs of the endurance horse in mind.  I will post the contents and then would like feedback from those who are very familiar with the needs of a 25-mile LD horse as to how this product relates to the overall e-lyting needs.


I am one of those who is very leery of elytes:  Scared to death of overdoing it.  Scared to death of not doing it.  How will this product affect the endurance horse?


0.55%:  phosphorus

1.5%:  salt (min)

2.0%:  salt (max)

3.0%:  potassium (min)

44.0%:  total sugars (as invert) (Min)


Ingredients:  carrot powder, potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, cornstarch, egg whites, gum arabic, calcium sulfate, citric acid, cream of tartar, silicon dioxide, artificial color.

Thank you very much for feedback that will be enlightening and helpful in making intelligent decisions for helping our horses stay metabolically sound.


Beth in Texas


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[RC] Elyte "treat" -- overall effectiveness, Beth Leggieri