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quitting - carbs?

Hi Sue,
you wrote:
<<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.  

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?>>

If I had to guess, I'd say that the timing of carb intake could have 
been a problem here.  Didn't you mention in one of your posts that 
the holds were quite long at this ride?  Perhaps that extra time 
allowed horses to eat more sugar than usual, or they ate the same 
amount but had more rest time afterwards and a chance to actually 
absorb a significant amount of the ingested sugar.  During a long 
hold it is very possible the suppression of insulin would decrease; 
as a result blood sugar would begin to fall.  The horse would then 
return to high intensity work, giving blood sugar a double whammy and 
the horse would bonk.  We usually tell humans no carbs within one 
hour of exercise for just this reason.  As soon as they start to 
work, though, they can resume carb intake since insulin is unlikely 
to rise much during exercise.  I'd be very careful about sugars 
during long holds, but I might play around with a bit of sugar or 
brown sugar at intervals while back out on the trail.   If horses are 
like humans in this regard you will likely find some horses are more 
sensitive to insulin than others, and I'd certainly experiment during 
training with any kind of ergogenic supplementation.  

Well, back to writing the reference section for a manuscript.  
Dreaded, dull work.   errr..........


Beth Glace, MS, CDN
Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma
Lenox Hill Hospital
New York, NY

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