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Re: Electrolyes

Since I am form FL, where our heat plus humidity index is seldom below the
"magic" 150 and have ridden all over the East and in the semi arid western
states, allow me to comment on electrolytes.  What I am going to say should
not be taken as fact or data arrived by through any scientific process, but
personal experience with three horses and observations of many other horses
in the East.  I have been at several rides where studies were being done and
have the analysis of the blood work so I have some feel as from this data as
to how we were doing.

I have ridden rides in the West where I did not worry about electrolytes.  I
have never ridden a ride in the East where I was not concerned about
electrolytes.  The Biltmore ride last year was a very good example of what
can happen when rideres riding in the East don't pay careful attention to
electrolytes supplementation.  And this ride was not a particularly bad ride
when considering some other rides in the East.

I did a ride last year in Texas in Sept of where the day time temp was above
100.  I mashed my knee against a tree so I didn't finish, but the conditions
there were much less sever on the horse as far as needing constant monotoring
for electolytes loss than many rides I have done in the FL when the temps
have been in the upper 70's.

The need for electrolyte supplementation is variable with the horse and is
very dependent on the climatic conditions of the day.  These climatic
conditions tend to vary from one part of the country to the other - with the
West being normally dry and the Gulf coast being normally very humid.

I venture to guess that there are very few riders in the East that don't use
rountine electrolyte supplementation as part of there routine.  While I am
sure one can over electrolyte, the price for under electrolyting is not one
that I am willing to pay.  Statistically in FL where the rides are run in the
late fall to early spring it is not uncommon for horses that come from
outside the state to end up being treated and it is very uncommon for FL
horses to be treated.  Also statistically the completition ratio for FL
horses at FL rides is drastically higer than for non FL horses at FL rides.

Even in the winter in FL it routinely happens that the heat plus humidity
index is high - relative humidity of 65% and a temp of 85 to go along with
it.  We train our horses in it  and we develop our electrolyte routine in
it.  When horses come down to do FL rides, the riders sometimes tend to
forget these conditions and run into trouble because of it.

So while electrolytes on a ride in Utah may not be critical, electrolytes on
a ride in the East probably will. be  It is a big country with a lot of
variably in how horses need to be managed concerning electrolyte


> I have competed for thousands of miles without giving my horse either of
> these things (as have MANY endurance riders).  I do offer (just like at
> home) free choice salts.

Truman Prevatt
Brooksville, FL

Mystic "The Horse from Hell" Storm with one on the way
Rocket a.k.a. Mr. Misty
Jordy a.k.a. Bridger (when he is good)
Danson Flame - Hot Dog I'm healed and ready to go.

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