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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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