WHY ELECTROLYTES ARE VITAL FOR HORSES DURING EXERCISE

Did you know that horses lose electrolytes on a daily basis?
horse-drinking-water 1
During exercise the main loss is via sweating and the harder and longer your horse works the more electrolytes he will lose… so feeding electrolytes according to your horses work level is important.

The Facts and Importance of Electrolytes

Primary electrolytes are sodium and potassium chloride, bicarbonate, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, all of which have very important duties in maintaining the balance within the horses system for a healthy nerve, muscle and circulatory function. 

Your horse will lose electrolytes constantly in his urine, droppings, sweat and even his breath and can result in dehydration, tying up, fatigue, lethargy, constipation and a general loss in performance. 

A horse on exercise generally begins to sweat after 10 minutes, however during warm and hot weather this may be sooner and certainly more intense. In these conditions a horse can lose between 10-15 litres per hour. 

Fresh water should always be available, supported with a salt lick and added electrolytes to the feed. Dehydration and loss of electrolytes remove the stimulation to trigger the thirst which spirals into increased dehydration. Common table salt is an important electrolyte which can be administered on a regular basis either by small amounts in feed and in water buckets.

Monitoring the horse's water consumption during hot weather is important in making sure they are drinking enough; automatic watering systems can be beneficial. 

The normal water intake for a horse at rest is between 5 -7 gallons however when subjected to hard exercise this can increase to up to 20 gallons. 

Observe your horse closely and be well aware of the threat of dehydration, approximately 70% of the horses body is water and it is vital the balance is maintained for overall good health.

Related topic: How much water does your horse need

ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SUMMER HEALTH PROBLEMS FOR HORSE'S AND PONIES Read more


 
Top