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Canadian Carbo Loading

Canadian Carbo Loading is normally meant for the human part of the
endurance team. However my horse Zeus does enjoy having beer (prefers
Old Milwaukee with clamato juice).

On a more serious note I would like to relate some info regarding a
problem Zeus(Saddlebred /Arab cross) has been having. I have been
struggling to keep some weight on him. He has been tucked up and gaunt
looking all spring. When I have ridden him hard such as a 50 mile race ,
he looks all washed out. I have taken him to the vet college and they
ran a series of tests and X-rays looking for possible infections, tooth
problems, worm problems, blood levels etc.etc.. The end result was that
everything looked fine.

I have been separating him from the other 10 horses at feeding time to
give him a diet of beet pulp, sweet feed ,corn ,yeast, canola oil, and
molasses with minerals and vitamins. I patiently have waited for him to
finish eating, before turning him back with the other horses and then
feed them all their hay. Still no weight gain , still always a bit

Before the 50 mile race in Manitoba(The Great Northern Connection) for
the IAHA Region 17 Championship,I had Gayle Ecker and the team from
Guelph ,Ontario do a test on the effect of carbo loading to determine if
it would cause a problem with Zeus. The results showed that I could
safely use the carbos without causing problems( depending on the amount
used of course.) The really interesting thing that came out of the
testing was the fact that Zeus was low on salt. This surprised myself as
I  have salt blocks everywhere. Art King DVM explained that  horses
often do not satisfy their need for salt  with blocks because their
tongue will get sore, thus also putting them off their feed.

With the help of the whole crew from Guelph and their monitoring of
blood levels and fluid losses during the ride , Zeus came thru the race
winning best condition. I learned I was not giving nearly enough
electrolytes before and we had to give Zeus lots of electrolytes to keep
his levels up. He did swallow the Perform/Win rather than spit it out as
he has done in the past with other electrolytes.

I have added loose table salt stations in my pastures and Zeus is no
longer tucked up after 4 days of being home . He was running around the
pasture last night like a spring colt.

I would like to thank the group from Guelph , Art King, Gayle Ecker,
Mike Lindinger, Marilyn and  the rest of the crew.

P.S. I would also like to thank Myna Cryderman and the rest of the
volunteers for making it a very enjoyable ride and a great weekend. I
hope to see everyone back next year for more Canadian Carbo loading and

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