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electrolytes

Discussion in 'Horses - all breeds / types' started by OTTB lvr, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. OTTB lvr

    OTTB lvr New Member

    Hey guys, I'd like an opinon on something. With warmer weather setting in (finally!) I'm getting ready to put my horses back on electrolytes. In the past, I've had my horses on self care in my neighborhood, but early last fall, I moved them to a boarding facility because my work schedule was getting heavier. I've always put their electrolytes in their AM feed (this is how I was taught as a child) but my current barn manager wants to keep all supplaments PM. I'm hoping she'll switch that over once the turnout schedule is switched, but if she doesn't, should I ask her to do my electolytes AM, or does it really not make a difference?
    Thanks :)
     
  2. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    why are you putting electrolytes? Are they sick? Horses do not need extra stuff unless they are heavily worked, sick. or don't have access to hay, grass and fresh water daily. You can do more harm than good by giving too many vitamins and suppliments than good.
     
  3. OTTB lvr

    OTTB lvr New Member

    Sams- I was told early on that electrolytes act as a salt-base, and aide the horse in not becoming dehydrated. If this is wrong, please let me know. My Thoroughbred is on a fairly hard schedule, being ridden 1-2hrs a day, usually 5 days a week, varying from dressage, to jumping, to trail and field work. My baby is, of course, not being ridden. However, I'm worried that once summer fully sets in, if he doesn't start drinking more, that he'll start having problems.
     
  4. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    On the worked mare thats a good plan, BUT I would only use the electrolytes if she starts showing signs of illness, dehydration ect....
    Horses are though animals. They know when and how much to drink. On average a full grown horse will drink up to 13 gallons of water daily. SOme very according to size, activity level, ect.

    I wouldn't start your colt on anything other than normal feedings, access to fresh water 24/7 and fresh grass and hay. Adding a salt block that is accessable at times to the horses will allow them to get the salt needed when they need it. They know what they need.
    Its a common misconception that horses need suppliments, vitamins ect. There are signs to watch for mineral deficiancies and salt and iodine:

    If your horse is begining to lick or eat dirt, he/she may need a 12/12 mineral block. They will eat whats needed.
    Instinct tells them.
    Some horses that are heavily worked require additional suppliments, IE:joint, hoof, ect.

    Unless they are depleated of natural vitamins and minerals, I wouldn't give it to them.

    My advice (and please conferm with your vet) Instead of forceing them to eat it in their feed (because they probably don't need it), Allow them free access to either loose 12/12 mineral or a pressed block, and an iodized salt block. The 12/12 mineral block is about 25lbs and about 1'x1'x1' and aourn $13.00 The salt block comes in 2 sizes a 6"x2"x4" and is about $2.00 or the standard block like the 12/12 and is around $8.00
     

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