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RE: When a horse "quits"

My experience with hitting the wall is based on
low blood sugar levels:

At the PAC 100 mile preride in Manitoba last year ('98), 
Gayle Eckert and Art King did on-the-spot blood analysis. 
Every time we came into a hold they drew blood and analyized 
it during the hold. 
The parameters of most interest were electrolyte levels
(Ca+,P+,Na+,K+,Cl-, plus several other less critical ions)
and blood glucose. The horse I was riding hit the wall
at about 75 miles. We had been going pretty fast - in the
top ten I think. He was still willing, but felt sluggish
and was forging. We got into the hold, they drew blood
and had results within 20 minutes - his blood glucose
was very low, bordering on hypoglycemic. He spent the
hold eating, plus I gave him an extra 30 minutes of 
hold/eat time, and gave him a few doses of Carbo Charge. 
They drew blood again towards the end of the hold and his
blood glucose was back up to normal, but by the end 
of the next loop (90 miles)it was the same story. We 
spent extra time at the hold, and took it easy all the
way in. He finished ok, even better than coming in to
those holds - probably because I slowed down so
much. But the message was clear - he 'ran out of gas'.
Didn't have enough fuel in his system to keep the
engine running on high. His hydration parameters were
fine, CRI was ok - 56/56 I think, nothing great, but
nothing to really worry about either. His attitude
was 'ok' - a little tired, but still bright. But
he was bordering on hypoglycemia! If I had been in
a competitive mode - and he had another horse to
race and pull him along we could have had a serious

The recent posts on the wrist glucometers has me
thinking - this might not be such a bad idea. If 
there is an easy/painless way to assess your horse's
blood sugar level, it may make a big difference in
how you manage your horse during the ride. This particular
horse (Sukaro HCC) simply cannot do speed. If he goes too fast
he runs out of gas, but it wasn't really until this
ride, when we had access to the blood analysis, that
I understood what was actually going on with him.
I still haven't figure out how to 'fix' the problem,
but I know how to manage it. 

Btw - I believe this is the same sort of analysis that
Barney Flemming and his 'Pride' project is doing. Very
good stuff.


-----Original Message-----
From: John & Sue Greenall []
Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 5:20 PM
Subject: RC: When a horse "quits"

This season I have seen quite a few horses "quit" on the trail.  
Nothing seemed to be wrong, they just stopped racing.  To my 
knowledge, all of them eventually finished (some had 2 miles to go, 
some had 25 miles to go) and none were treated.  All were 
experienced trail horses, some were top contenders and the ones I 
saw were running up front until "it" happened.   Any comments 
from the nutrition gurus out there?  Any one else experience or see 
similar cases?  
John and Sue Greenall

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