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Thank you for the great info on this topic. I would like to
understand this a bit better. You said;endurance mailing
"When this energy tank is depleted the exerciser must rely pretty
much entirely on fats, which are not preferred by the fast twitch
fibers and which is supplied more slowly. "
"Really fit horses can maintain those top
speeds because they are using a higher proportion of fats, and less
carb, to get the work done. "
This would explain why rookie horses can run into this problem.
They are charged up for the first part of the ride but "run out of
gas". But how does this explain the seasoned horse, one that is
fit, has run before with no problems and is not over ridden. There
were three horses that this happened to in SC, maybe more that I
don't know of.
"Small amounts of sugar or sugar
in water might also be an option for horses as long as it is given
once the exercise has begun. Although sugar does trigger insulin,
exercise is a powerful suppressor of insulin, at least in other
animal models, and typically can be given in moderate amounts
during exercise with good results. "
As Heidi and Steph also mentioned low blood
sugar may have been triggered by giving large amounts of sugars,
particularly during a hold when insulin levels are no longer
suppresed. The insulin may kick in to lower blood
glucose just as the horse is beginning to exercise, thus providing
too much of a drain on blood sugar: the result is called reactive
hypoglycemia, as the levels drop well below normal. "
A lot of riders give molasses or caro syrup during the ride, assume
that this is small amount of sugar that you are referring to.
Perhaps the timing of the doses could be causing a crash?
John and Sue Greenall
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